2018 Hyundai Santa Fe


Ranked #8 in Compact Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$30,850 - $41,300

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Key Spec of 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
fuel economy


fuel type

Regular Unleaded


290 hp @ 6400 rpm

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Premium cabin space

Cramped third row

New Value Package

Plenty of standard safety tech

Lags in terms of ride quality

Hyundai Blue Link subscription now comes with three years service.

Great trim lineup

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe makes a comeback this year with good looks, 7 active passenger seats, a potent powertrain setup, and plenty of premium features, that make it quite reasonable for the $30,850 price tag. Up for a redesign soon enough, the 2018 Santa Fe seems aged both on the exterior and interior front. Invoking practicality at its best, the midsize SUV depicts sheer value for the price.

Powertrain duties are taken care of by the standard and potent 3.3L V6 engine that delivers right about 290 hp and 252 lb. ft of torque. Further carrying the same set of specs and features forward, the only minor changes brought about with the 2018 iteration are the addition of the new Value package, which delivers more comfort. Moreover, the interior dashboard now gets premium wood finish trimmings, whereas the infotainment unit gets Blu Link, which comes standard for three complete years with all services.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Latest Updates

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Trim wise pricing breakdown

NameInvoice PriceMSRPNumber of Listings
SE Ultimate 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)$36894$388500 Listings
SE Ultimate 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)$38537$406000 Listings
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Over All Rating


Out of 10

Notable Rankings

#8 in Compact Suv

#12 in Suv

Pictures & Videos


SE$30,850 onwards

  • 40/20/40-Split folding second-row bench seat
  • 7-Inch infotainment display
  • Dual-Zone automatic climate control
  • Hyundai'S Blue Link communications
  • Led running lights
  • Power-Adjustable driver seat
  • Rearview camera
  • Six-Speaker sound system w/ satellite radio

SE Ultimate$38,850 onwards

  • 115-Volt outlet
  • 12-Speaker audio system
  • 8-Inch touchscreen w/ navigation system
  • Heated front and second-row seats
  • Led fog lights
  • Multiview parking camera system
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Sunroof

Limited Ultimate$39,550 onwards

  • Captain'S chairs for the second row

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Colors and Styles

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Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

Hyundai is one of those brands, that prefers practicality more than it focuses on the performance front. The 3.3L V6 lags in terms of acceleration despite it having the best power figures in the segment. Towing capacity is rated at 5000 lbs, which is well in the higher ranges of the segment. Coming to the feature-list part, apart from the standard set of features included, Hyundai also offers different packages for a premium. The interior is well set-up, although in urgent need of a redesign. The fuel efficiency also takes a back seat this time around. There is also a smaller Santa Fe Sport, which is about 3.9-inch shorter in terms of wheelbase. Rivals of the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe include the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and the Mazda CX-9.


With only three trim levels and one option, picking the right Santa Fe isn't too difficult - Edmunds

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe engulfs every set of features you'd want from a premium SUV in about three trims. The trims go by the names SE, SE Ultimate, and the Limited Ultimate. Prices for the same start from an MSRP of $30,850 for the base trim, whereas the Limited Ultimate trim will set you back by $39,550. Regardless of the trim you choose, the powertrain on offer will be a standard 3.3L V6 engine, along with a 6-speed AT. Front-wheel drive is standard across the trim board, while AWD systems are optional for an additional $1750.

Trims SE SE Ultimate Limited Ultimate
Starting Price $30,850 $38,850 $39,550
Features LED running lights All Features on the SE trim Plus-  All Features on the SE Ultimate trim Plus-
  6-speaker sound system with satellite radio 19-inch alloy wheels HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light & LED taillights
  Chrome-tipped dual-outlet exhaust Leather seating surfaces An 8-inch touchscreen navigation system
  Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop/start Panoramic sunroof 
  Dual-zone climate control system Multi-view Camera System Second-row captain's chairs

We Recommend

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SE Ultimate is the best trim on offer by far. For a price of $38,850, this particular trim delivers sheer value. Safety systems are the best in this trim, with it housing the latest Tech package, which includes both active and passive tech. The tech package will set you back by $2100. Convenience takes a front seat with the Santa Fe, as it also includes plenty of advanced creature comforts to keep you comfortable for long journeys.

Engine and Performance

While Mazda’s CX-9 may have set a new standard for 7-passenger SUV handling, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV isn’t far from this benchmark -  Kelly Blue Book

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe's power duties are handled by a standard 3.3L Naturally Aspirated V6 engine. It is able to put out a maximum of 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. This particular engine is paired with an efficient 6-speed automatic transmission, which sends all of the power to either the front wheels or all the wheels for a premium of $1700.

The Hyundai Santa Fe's engine has enough punch to do the everyday task with power to spare. The suspension is compliant and the body movement is well controlled. The steering feels precise and predictable making for a well-centered drive at highway speeds. However, those looking for fun-to-drive characteristics in their midsize SUV might have to go to one of the other three competitors.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
MSRP $30,850 $30,900 $32,140 $32,130
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic
Drivetrain Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive
Engine 3.3 Liter Naturally Aspirated V6 3.5 Liter Naturally Aspirated V6 3.5 Liter Naturally Aspirated V6 2.5 Liter Turbocharged I4
Torque 252 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm 262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm 255 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm 310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Power 290 bhp @ 6400 rpm 280 bhp @ 6000 rpm 290 bhp @ 5600 rpm 227 bhp @ 5000 rpm

Under normal circumstances, the V6 engine sounds too cool for everyday use, but it does have to carry about 4000 lbs, and the 290 horses seem to lag a bit in that respect. The Inline-4 unit of the Mazda CX-9 surely lags on the outright power front to the rest of the segment, but the turbocharged setup in place does deliver respectable torque figures.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Acceleration

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe does the 0-60 MPH sprint in just about 7.3 seconds, all the while crossing the quarter-mile mark in 15.2 seconds. It turns out to be the slowest of the lot, the reason being its lowest-in-the-segment torque figures. It is quite slow despite having to be the slightest of the lot. Nevertheless, the under-8 figure is quite decent for a 7-seater SUV.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
0-60 7.3 secs 6.9 secs 7.7 secs 6.7 secs
Quarter Mile 15.2 secs 15.3 secs 15.8 secs 15.4 secs

On flooring the gas pedal, the engine takes its time to put down the power, whereas the 6-speed AT does not seem as though the perfect partner to punch that power down. It fails to keep the momentum and throttle response in check to clock a competitive quarter-mile time. Naturally so, the CX-9 has the most torque of the lot and thus is the fastest of the lot.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Ride and Handling

The Santa Fe is advertised as a practical crossover, and rightfully so, it does have a comfortable ride quality. It has AWD capability, but we wouldn't recommend you taking it outdoors on the rough to tackle terrains. Plus there are no driving modes, as there are with the Ford Explorer. Passengers seated inside enjoy smooth handling dynamics, courtesy of the impressive suspension setup. The ride feels planted, and the steering is also aptly responsive to inputs while taking on corners. Body roll is preserved to the maximum. The driving dynamics are average at best, and not at all fun. The Santa Fe also understeers a bit.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Braking and Towing capacity

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with 12.6-inch front rotors and 11.9-inch rear rotors. Couple that with the 4000 lbs heft and the Santa Fe comes to a complete stop from 60 MPH in just about 125 ft. The brakes are quite responsive, as it does have a smooth travel to it, rather than providing a quick sudden jerk to it. Despite having the biggest brakes in the lot, the Ford Explorer comes to a slow stop of 127 ft.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
Front Brake Rotor Diameter (in.) 12.6 12.6 12.8 12.6
Rear Brake Rotor Diameter (in.) 11.9 13.0 12.8 12.8
60-0 MPH (ft.) 125 128 127 123
Curb Weight 4026 lbs 4074 lbs 4453 lbs 4166 lbs
Towing Capacity 5000 lbs 5000 lbs 5000 lbs 3500 lbs

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe can tow an impressive 5000 pounds, which is well within the segment average. This is more than adequate for a perfect family getaway.

Fuel Economy

A thirst for fuel is something the Santa Fe has in common with its comparably powered rivals, and if you opt for an Ultimate model, the EPA estimates that you’ll make even more frequent stops at the gas pump - Car and Driver

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe is rated at an EPA-estimated 18 MPG in the city and 25 miles to the gallon out on the highway. This is with the FWD setup, Opting for the AWD system, drops the highway MPG by 1. The top-end Ultimate model, which is although hefty, is rated at 17 MPG and 23 MPG in the city and highway respectively, whereas, with the AWD setup, those figures drop down by 1 MPG.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
MPG (City) 18 19 17 22
MPG (Highway) 25 27 24 28
MPG (Combined) 21 22 20 24
Fuel Capacity 18.8 gallons 19.5 gallons 18.6 gallons 19.0 gallons

Combine that with the 18.8-gallon fuel tank, and the Santa Fe can stretch out to 470 miles. These are some sub-par figures compared to the rest of the segment. The Mazda CX-9's Inline-4 unit helps in achieving better MPG figures, unlike the V6 in the rest of the rivals.


Front-seat comfort is high, and the base model’s stain-resistant cloth fabric feels good. All materials are impressive down to the rubber that lines the inside of the door pulls – Kelly Blue Book

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Seating and Comfort 

While the Santa Fe Sport can seat only 5 people in it, the 2018 Santa Fe can seat about 7, although the third-row seems quite cramped for average-sized adults. The seats, on the whole, are pretty bolstered with soft bottom cushions and provide excellent comfort for long journeys. The front two rows have excellent headroom and legroom, where they can sit back and relax.

The front and rear seats both get electrically adjustable functions. Base trims get cloth upholstery, whereas the top-end trims are treated with leather upholstery. Moreover, the driving position is quite good, and the driver gets a good ergonomic view out. Hyundai also offers you a "Premium" package, which brings in plenty of creature comforts for your well-being.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
First Row (Headroom/Shoulderroom/ Legroom) 39.9/ 59.4/ 41.3 40.1/ 62.0/ 40.9 41.4/ 61.5/ 42.9 39.3/ 57.9/ 41.0
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulderroom/ Legroom) 39.4/ 58.3/ 40.4 40.2/ 62.0/ 38.4 40.6/ 61.0/ 39.5 38.5/ 58.1/ 39.4
Third Row (Headroom/ Legroom) 35.7/30.9 38.9/31.9 37.8/32.0 35.4/29.7

Some of the interior features on offer are-

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 40/20/40-split folding second-row seats
  • Power-adjustable driver seat
  • Sunroof
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Hands-free liftgate

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Cargo Space

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe has a decent 13.5 cu. ft of cargo space. This turns out to be the smallest cargo area in the segment. This is one area where the Santa Fe lags in terms of its practicality quotient. The seats are fully foldable. The third seat can be folded down to make way for 41.4 cu. ft of cargo storage. Additionally, the second-row seats can also fold down in a 40/20/40 manner thus opening up a space of 80 cu. ft.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
Cargo Space 13.5 cu. ft 16.5 cu. ft 21.0 cu. ft 14.4 cu. ft
Cargo Space(Behind the second row) 41.4 cu. ft 46.8 cu. ft 43.9 cu. ft 38.2 cu. ft
Cargo Space(Behind the third row) 80.0 cu. ft 83.9 cu. ft 81.7 cu. ft 71.2 cu. ft

The cargo floor is low, for easy access, and the SUV also gets the automated rear liftgate, thus paving way for easier loading and unloading. The Santa Fe also offers plenty of interior cubby storage spaces for storing other small items.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Infotainment

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a decent 7-inch center-mounted infotainment unit with in-built Navigation. This comes with the base trims, whereas the higher-end trims come with an 8-inch system. The graphics are crisp, and the system as a whole is pretty intuitive to use. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available with the Santa Fe. Moreover, for 2018, Hyundai also offers the Blue Link service, which comes as complimentary for three years.

Some of the infotainment features on offer are-

  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • USB connectivity
  • 8-inch infotainment screen
  • Bluetooth phone and streaming audio
  • A 12 speaker Infinity audio system
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay

Last year Hyundai nipped and tucked the exterior of the Santa Fe and the surgery was a success. The SUV rolled out of the design studio with a new 5-bar grille, a more aggressive front end and a shapelier backside- Kelly Blue Book

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe has quite a rudimentary exterior silhouette, nothing like the elegant and dynamic design the CX-9 posses. The front end gets the big Hyundai grille, followed by the fluidic shaped headlights around th corners. The side profile is filled with creases, that give it an appealing look. The rear end is of a typical SUV nature, with a symmetrically sculpted headlights and clean lines all over.

Nevertheless, contempory lines on the whole, give this SUV a confident look, although it is no way sporty. Different packages bring about different exterior features such as the roof rails and chrome laded exhaust tips. Coming onto the dimensions at hand, the Santa Fe is the lightest SUV of the lot, but still manages to underperform on the acceleration front. It also has the shortest wheelbase here, but does manage to put up a decent comfortable cabin space.

Model 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Mazda CX-9
Length (in.) 193.1 194.5 198.7 199.4
Width (in.) 74.2 78.6 78.9 77.5
Height (in.) 66.9 69.8 70.0 69.0
Wheelbase (in.) 110.2 111.0 112.8 115.3
Ground Clearance (in.) 7.3 7.3 7.8 8.8
Curb Weight (lbs) 4026 4074 4453 4166

Exterior Features on offer are-

  • Roof rack side rails
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Side mirror turn-signal indicators
  • Hands-free smart liftgate with auto open
  • Proximity Key entry with push-button start
  • LED fog lights

Basic active safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on the base SE and standard on every other trim level – Car and Driver

Hyundai takes its safety quotient quite seriously and thus has equipped the 2018 Santa Fe with some of the latest tech in the safety department. Also new for the year 2018 is the Tech package, which is optional with the top trims, and that brings various other features such as the Emergency automatic braking with pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control to the fray. On the crash-test front, the 2018 Santa Fe gets an overall 5 on 5-star rating from the NHTSA, while the IIHS deems it with the "Top Safety Pick+" award.

Some of the active and passive safety features on offer are-

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Tire pressure warning systems
  • Emergency automatic braking
  • Adaptive Cruise control
  • Lane Departure Warning system
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Multi-view camera system

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2018 Honda Pilot

What the Honda Pilot lags on the exterior design front, it more than makes up for it in terms of practicality. One of the cheapest options in the segment, the Honda Pilot is a well-rounded SUV, with a great cabin space decked up with good bolsteres seats.

It also has a much more potent engine setup, which allows it t be a bit faster than the Santa Fe. On the cargo front too, the Pilot leads the way. Hyundai offers a 10 year warranty that none of the other rivals in the segmetn can match. The Santa Fe is also a value based proposition for the price tag it comes at.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2018 Mazda CX-9

If there is an SUV that could make the prospective customer base weak in the kness, it is the Mazda CX-9. Outrageously the most good-looking SUV of the segment, its potent turbocharged unit also allows it to be a tad faster than th erest of the segment. It is th eonly SUV in the segment that houses an Inline-4, rather than a V6.

If its a premium cabin that you seek for, opt for none other than the CX-9, as not only is it sumptuous, but also practical at the same time with its feature list. Although one con that it does have is that, the CX-9 still does not offer both Android Auto and Mazda CX-9.

Final Verdict

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe is exactly what most American families need but are not what they desire. The reason being, the Santa Fe has been showing its age, especially on the interior front. Apart from that, from performance traits to a comfortable and feature-laden cabin, the Santa Fe is definitely aces. Plus, the safety systems on board are what make this crossover a worthy buy. Its 5000 lbs towing capacity is just the icing on the cake.


vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr SUV

engine type

204 cu in

horse power

290 hp @ 6400 rpm


252 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm


6 speed Automatic


193 in


110 in


73 in

curb weight

4198 lbs


67 in

Ground Clearance

7 lbs

passenger volume

146.6 cu ft

cargo volume

80 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy

17/19/22 mpg

highway range

413.60 mi

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

Hyundai Santa Fe 5 year Cost To Own

Cash Price(MSRP)
5 Year Cost To Own
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $44,944
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Financing Interest$1,552$1,249$924$578$209$4,512
Taxes and Fees$2,425$220$208$197$184$3,234
Total Cost-To-Own$11,416$7,956$7,471$8,819$9,282$44,944
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