2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

#11
in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$25,750 - $38,800

8.0

Overall Rating

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2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: November 27, 2019


Crossover - it's not really a full-fledged body size; rather it's this weird breed of two different sizes cut in two halves and merged into one. How much can you cram into this mash-up? Cue Hyundai. The manufacturer has created the Santa Fe, which is affordable, easy to drive and comfortable while remaining practical. Alongside offering a grand list of features, the 2020 Santa Fe has been given a refreshed design and new transmission which should likely change things - right?

Propelling the AWD is a 2.4L inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Replacing 2-row seats over 3 from last year, the Santa Fe comes in five trims and an upcoming diesel variant would see the return of 3-row seats made standard in the previous iteration. It is packed with advanced safety features and is rated excellent by tests conducted.

See detailed review »

Pros

Smooth and nimble ride

Premium cabin quality and material

Abundant standard safety features and trim-specific features

Spacious cabin with plush seating

Cons

Lackluster engine performance

Fuel guzzler

What's New?

A new two-row design replaces the three-row which will be available on the upcoming diesel variant of the SUV. 6-speed transmission is replaced by an 8-speed automatic transmission.

A more powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine is introduced for this year.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25750

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

178 lbs.-ft @ 4000 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

front independent suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

64.3/64.7

dimensions

wheelbase

108.9 in.

length

187.8 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

66.1 in.

curb weight

3591 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

40 cu ft.

cargo volume

71.3 cu ft.

payload capacity

1138 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/25/29 mpg

highway range

545.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr. / 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

120 months. / 100000

corrosion warranty

7 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

5 yr. / Unlimited



Styles

 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Bronze Metallic, premium leather color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Lava Orange color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Machine Gray color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Quartz White Pearl color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Scarlet Red color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Twilight Black color  2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Symphony Silver color
Bronze Metallic, premium leather

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Engine And Performance

7.5

Interior

8.0

Safety

9.4

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SE

SE

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$25,750 - $27,450


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $25,750 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SE 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,450 MSRP (21/23/27) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SEL

SEL

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$27,600 - $29,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,300 MSRP (21/23/27) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
SEL 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,600 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SEL Plus

SEL Plus

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$29,800 - $31,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL Plus 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,800 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL Plus 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $31,500 MSRP (21/23/27) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Limited

power
235 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$32,600 - $35,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $32,600 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Limited 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $34,300 MSRP (21/23/27) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
Limited 2.0T 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $34,200 MSRP (20/22/25) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Limited 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $35,900 MSRP (19/21/24) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate

Ultimate

power
235 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$35,450 - $38,800


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Ultimate 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $37,150 MSRP (21/23/27) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
Ultimate 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $35,450 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Ultimate 2.0T 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $37,100 MSRP (20/22/25) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Ultimate 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $38,800 MSRP (19/21/24) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.0

Overall Rating


There is always another side to a story; and with all the goods the Santa Fe brings, it will face still rivalry amongst the likes of Honda CR-v and Mazda CX-5. These SUVs have quite an arsenal behind them however can the Santa Fe deliver? Read on.


8.0/10
Features

 

7.5/10
Engine and Performance

 
 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 

9.4/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

8.0/10

In its new refreshed iteration, Hyundai has split the SUV crossover, Santa Fe, in 5 different trim levels. They go by SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited and Ultimate where each trim consists of an optional front-wheel drive or the AWD choice for $1,700 more.

Even in the Santa Fe’s base trim, you’d find a host of convenient features and the list only gets more premium and in abundance as you climb the configuration ladder. A standard 2.4L 4-cylinders (185 hp and 178 lb.-ft. torque) mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission is available across all trims however the Limited and the Unlimited configuration level are available with the more powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine (235 hp and 260 lb.-ft torque).

Trims

SE

SEL

SEL Plus

Limited

Ultimate

Starting Price

$25,500

$27,600

$29,800

$32,600

$35,450

Key Features

7-passenger seating with 50/50 split folding third row

Foglights

18” wheels

19-inch alloy wheels

HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light & LED taillights

 

Chrome-tipped dual-outlet exhaust

Heated Mirrors

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Leather seating surfaces

8-inch touchscreen navigation system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

 

YES Essentials stain and odor resistant cloth

Keyless entry and ignition

Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter

Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop/start

Panoramic sunroof

  -

Power adjustable driver’s seat

-

Multi-view Camera System

6-passenger seating with second row Captains chairs


We recommend

The SEL Plus seems like the best configuration for it offers a premium set of features along with technology while being pocket friendly.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine and Performance

7.5/10
“The turbocharged 2.0-liter is the engine of choice for the Santa Fe. The base 2.4-liter engine is ill-suited to a car of this size. For the turbo engine, there's a noticeable delay in power delivery off the line, but acceleration is much stronger afterward. Handling is better than average, and it's easy to maneuver in tight spots.” -edmunds

The all-wheel driven Santa Fe is propelled by a paltry-for-its-size 2.4L inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This blend fuses to shoot 185 horses and 178 pound feet of torque.

Frankly, for the size of this SUV, you’d want to look at the higher trims with the 2.0 Turbocharged powertrain which has a remarkably better performance than its younger sister. That should explain what comes next now; while the acceleration on the Santa Fe isn’t sluggish, its performance as a whole has a rather uninspiring feel to it. Not what you’d expect from an SUV that struggles moving smoothly uphill. The new 8-speed shiftable gears is a big improvement over the outgoing six-speed box. It is responsive and smooth, and matches with the demanding power of the engine.

Under the competition, you’d find a host of great SUV’s with commendable performance; from the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, to the likes of Kia Sorento, Nissan Rogue amongst those that the Santa Fe rivals with.

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester 2.5i suv

$25,500

$25,190

$24,795

$25,345

$25,345

$26,980

$25,795

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.0L i4

1.5L i4 Turbocharged gas

2.4L i4

2.5L i4

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.5L i4

1.5L i4 Turbo Gas/Ethanol

2.5L flat4 Regular Unleaded

8 Speed automatic

8 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

6 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

9 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

185 hp@ 6000rpm

184 hp@ 4400rpm

170 hp@ 5600rpm

184 hp@ 6400rpm

187 hp@ 6000rpm

185 hp@ 6000rpm

170 hp@ 6000rpm

170 hp@ 5600rpm

182 hp@ 5800 rpm

178 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

221 ft-lbs@ 1600 rpm

203 ft-lbs@ 2000rpm

180 ft-lbs@ 3900rpm

186 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

178 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

175 ft-lbs@ 4400rpm

203 ft-lbs@ 2000rpm

176 ft-lbs@ 4400rpm

Acceleration

The 2.4L does not have the finesse on the performance bit, nor can it accelerate rapidly. It takes 8.9s to zip from naught to 60 mph where the GMC Terrain and the likes of CR-V complete the race at a quicker pace. Coming to the quarter mile, clicking 16.7s in the clock, the Santa Fe yet again stands in the mix of the competition like the rolling start to 60 mph test.

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

8.9 sec

N/A

N/A

7.7 sec

8.7 sec

7.3 sec

N/A

6.8 sec

9.6 sec

16.7 sec

N/A

N/A

16 sec

16.7 sec

N/A

N/A

15.4 sec

17.3 sec

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.0L i4

1.5L i4 Turbocharged gas

2.4L i4

2.5L i4

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.5L i4

1.5L i4 Turbo Gas/Ethanol

2.5L flat4 Regular Unleaded

N/A

7.7

6.3

N/A

6.3

N/A

6.1

N/A

N/A

Ride, Handling and Braking

Buy the Santa Fe if you want to sit back and enjoy the ride, not enjoy what you drive. Finally impressing in its driving dynamics, the SUV tends to sort out comfort along with spirited ride quality. The heavy duty is a major improvement over last year, with better engineering and mechanics fitted to the suspension to absorb and ride to answer the critics of the previous model. And answered positively to the critics, it has.

If the engine is too stubborn to yield all that power, the chassis yields to the fun and nimble ride experience. Taut, smooth, and agile, the SUV has limited body roll and responsive weighted-steering wheel, giving laudable maneuverability for this size. Handling around corners feels confident, and ride along bumps are well absorbed.

Get it on the off-road, or just about any climate condition, the SUV ‘fails to fail’. The AWD system on the Santa Fe is smarter this year; it predicts considering all factors like the gears, the speed and the like, to enhance traction on the tarmac you drive on.

For the 12 inchers on the front and rear discs, clasping the 3700 pound heavy SUV is quite a decent task. The brakes have a great feeling to it, neither too long nor too short. It doesn’t disappoint in its performance either, with smooth pedal feel and short travel. The SUV does an average job stopping to a standstill in 130 feet from 60 miles per hour.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

13.4

N/A

11.1

11.7

12.6

11.7

11.6

11.8

Brake Rear (in.)

12

11.8

N/A

10.2

11.9

12

11.5

11.2

11.3

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3591

3721

3274

3307

3541

3810

3456

3449

3499

60-0 MPH (ft.)

130

N/A

N/A

115

136

N/A

N/A

130

129

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Economy

While its average performance compensates with the ride quality, its frugality under the hood is lackluster and discouraging. The Sante Fe drinks 22 miles per gallon driving around the city, while cruising on highway has it guzzling 29 miles per gallon. These figures place the Hyundai on somewhere in the mix in the efficiency chain in this competition. However, its rivals are more fuel efficient than the Japanese manufacturer.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

MPG (city)

22

22

26

26

25

22

26

26

26

MPG (highway)

29

29

32

32

31

29

33

32

30

MPG (combined)

25

25

28

28

28

25

29

28

28

Range (city/highway)

(miles)

414 / 545

337 / 444

387 / 477

364 / 448

370 / 459

414 / 545

377 / 479

387.4/447

431.6/547.8

Tank Capacity (gal)

18.8

15.3

14.9

14.0

14.8

18.8

14.5

14.9

14.9

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

8.0/10
“The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is a competitive, comfortable family hauler.” -thecarconnection

The 2-row seating Hyundai Santa Fe seats a maximum of 5 passengers on with great comfort and space. Quality materials alongside soft feel furnish the cabin and comfortable seats with better bolstering allow long distance drives. The dash feels great and high-quality in places but there are evident hard plastics used in certain places in lieu of cost cut.

Sit in the back or the front, you’d always find space whether that’s your head or your legs. Spacing is greatly managed by the SUV. Visibility is fine around and noise is easily cancelled out from the outside world. A 7” infotainment system with touchscreen capability is installed along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard while the infotainment system is fairly simple and intuitive.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

Passenger capacity

5

7

5

5

5

7

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

41.2/59.1/44.1

39.6/57.0/40.2

40.0/57.2/40.9

40.1/57.9/41.3

39.7/57.1/41.0

39.5/59.1/44.1

41.6/56.6/43.0

41.2/58.2/43.3

40.0/57.2/40.9

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.2/58.3/40.9

39.1/55.9/36.5

38.5/55.5/39.7

39.2/55.6/40.4

39.0/54.8/39.6

39.3/58.0/39.4

38.5/55.9/37.9

39.6/57.2/39.4

38.5/55.6/39.7

Cargo Volume

At 36 cubic feet, the Santa Fe is accommodating in the trunk and fairly practical. Thanks to smartly designed cabin, the trunk feels less cramped and places the Hyundai amongst the best in the competition. The most copious SUV’s belong to Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and followed by the Santa Fe.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

35.9

12.0

29.9

39.2

30.9

11.3

39.3

35.4

29.6

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior

“The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe wears sharp new sheet metal and a handsome interior that gets better in top trims.” -thecarconnection

For 2020, Hyundai have completely redesigned the Hyundai Santa Fe. Driving over 17” wheels across all four sides, the SUV is sculpted aggressively more than before. Resting insignia upon the large chrome-accented front grille, the front fascia looks menacing with half-eyed front headlamps resembling a sleeping beast. The long wheelbase of the SUV allows it to stay more evident and present with its redesigned bulbous body.

Built at a height of 66”, along its side runs a deep window line given birth from the headlamps all the way to the rear taillamps. The roofline is square and carries all the way to the rear pillar where protrudes a spoiler lip. Its fenders bulge giving a rather meaty look while the back feels broad. On the bottom right sits a lone rectangular-exhaust pipe below hard plastic design atop the rear bumper.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Mazda CX-5 SPORT suv

Kia Sorento L suv

Nissan Rogue S suv

GMC Terrain SL suv

Subaru Forester suv

Curb weight (lbs.)

3591

3721

3274

3307

3541

3810

3456

3449

3499

Length(in)

187.8

185.1

183.1

180.6

179.1

189.0

184.5

182.1

182.3

Width(in)

74.4

72.4

72.6

73.0

72.5

74.4

72.4

71.5

72.4

Height(in)

66.1

66.3

65.4

66.1

66.2

66.3

66.3

68.1

65.4

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

7.9

N/A

7.8

7.5

7.3

7.8

8.7

6.9

Wheelbase (in)

108.9

109.8

107.3

104.7

106.2

109.4

106.5

105.1

107.3

Track width (in) F/R

64.3/64.7

62.2/61.8

62.2/62.2

62.9/63.5

62.8/62.8

64.3/64.7

62.8/62.8

61.6/61.8

62.2/62.2

Exterior Features

Some features included on the exterior of the SUV are –

  • Roof-mounted Center High-Mount Stop Light
  • Automatic headlights
  • Bodycolor exterior mirrors
  • Chrome accent front grille
  • Bodycolor door handles
  • Front 2-speed/variable intermittent windshield wipers

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Safety

9.4/10

Fitted with abundance of safety features, the crossover SUV manages to also score highest rating in the IIHS tests. It has been rated Superior in Front Test Crash Prevention, along with good in every tests. The list of safety features along with the IIHS ratings are -

  • Adjustable front-seat shoulder belt anchors
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters
  • Rear child safety locks
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA)
  • Vehicle stability management (VSM)
  • Anti-theft system integrated with remote keyless entry and panic alarm
  • Electronic shift lock system & ignition key interlock – electronic type

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

Hyundai Santa Fe vs Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a laudable performer while delivering great fuel efficiency. It also comes with a host of safety features next to an abundant list of features and technology. Practicality is at its highest here. On the other hand, the Hyundai Santa Fe closely matches the CR-V but still falls short of its driving dynamics. We’d pick the Honda for its reliability and performance.

Hyundai Santa Fe vs Mazda CX-5

Similar in character, the Mazda CX-5 is the class leader but the Hyundai Santa Fe does come up with magic up its sleeve. Both these SUV’s boast commendable interior equipments, plethora of features and safety tech and are similarly reasonably priced. However the CX-5 is the segment leader for a reason; it has great driving dynamics with great sporty experience and performance. We’d pick the CX-5 albeit it loses a few space in the trunk while gaining a bit in its miles per gallon.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Final Verdict

If only the Santa Fe had a powertrain to match some of its highs, it could have been a great crossover to recommend. You’d not find frugality in terms of fuel efficiency, but then it has its price to compensate for. Spacious and plush seating takes center stage especially with comfortable ride and nimble handling performance along with quality material cabin. And did we say how feature-rich and safe the SUV is?

So we come back to the initial statement; the Santa Fe is a good buy if you can overlook the machine under the hood for its other caliber, in other words, the adventurous won’t particularly enjoy the Santa Fe; in that case, its pricey rivals are worth considering.