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Curve(less)ball: The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe front 3/4 view

If you're thinking the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe looks different from the last one, you're right. Here's a refresher:

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe front 3/4 view

The designers threw away their compasses, picked up their T-squares and...okay, nobody designs vehicles that way anymore. Let's just say that they may have been slightly *cough* under the influence of the Land Rover Defender when they sat down at their computers.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe rear 3/4 view

That comparison with the Defender is not as big a reach as you might think. Without its rear-mounted spare wheel, the Defender is 2.6 inches shorter than the Santa Fe. The Defender is two inches wider and two inches taller.

2023 Defender black trim

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe badging

Each has an engraved piece of black trim just aft of the front wheels.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe grab handles

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe grab handles

And the "load me up and take me places" message is carried through on both C-pillars by grab handles that help you get up to and down from the roof rack.

It's not the Defender 130's ladder, but it's a huge leap from the mommy-mobile vibes of the previous Santa Fe.

While there is absolutely a certain family resemblance to the Kia EV9, the Kia is seven inches longer and three inches wider than the Santa Fe.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe left front lighting

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe hood up

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe engine

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe engine detail

The old Santa Fe's optional 2.5-liter turbo four is now the standard and only engine available. 277 horsepower, 311 lb-ft of torque and and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Zero to 60 happens in 6.3 seconds. The EPA combined city/highway fuel economy estimate is 23 mpg.

The ride is smooth, but for winding roads, you really do want to use the adjustable drive mode's Sport setting. It firms up the suspension and more than anything gives the driver more confidence to tackle those curves at a slightly higher speed.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe rear liftgate open

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe rear cargo area

With the third-row seats in place, cargo space is about that of the trunk of a small sedan---14.6 cubic feet. Fold down the third row, and that jumps to 40.5 cubic feet, and with the second row folded as well, it's 79.6 cubic feet.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe third row

As with most three-row SUVs, the wayback is best used for kids, with only 30 inches of legroom.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe second-row seats

Folks in the second row get limo-like leg space---42.3 inches.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe front seats

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe front seat detail

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe instrument panel

There are eight trim levels of the new Santa Fe, five gasoline-powered and three hybrid. The lowest price is the gasoline-powered SEL, which starts at $35,345 including destination.

Our tester was the top-of-the-line Calligraphy AWD, with a base price of $46,695 (including destination).

As is typical of Hyundai, that starting price includes a lengthy list of standard equipment, including a comprehensive suite of active safety features, 21-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, power-folding heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators, a dual-pane sunroof, roof side rails, the aforementioned C-pillar grab handles (which are lockable), a power liftgate, proximity key, pushbutton start, dual automatic temperature control with vents in the second and third rows, Nappa leather-trimmed seats, remote smart parking assist, a surround-view monitor, highway driving assist, a UV-C sanitizer tray, head-up display, eco-suede headliner, power front seat with driver memory and relaxation, ventilated front seats, heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, rear window sunshades, digital rearview mirror, interior ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bose premium audio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and digital key...

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe dual wireless charging

...and a first---dual wireless phone chargers for the driver and front seat passenger.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe steering wheel and digital information cluster

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe center stack

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe center screen

In fact, the only extra-cost option on this car was carpeted floor mats ($210), so the as-tested price of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy AWD was $49,905.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe front view

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe side view

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe rear view

Distinctive, useful and loaded for under $50,000? I'd bet on Santa Fe selling as many of these as they can make.


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