It takes a lot----a whole lot---to stand out in a market as packed with entries as the two-row, five passenger SUV. Everybody makes one. Arguably, some make more than one, slicing and dicing the segment to leave no hairline crack, let alone niche, unfilled. That just makes the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T all the more remarkable.
People of child-rearing age were likely in child safety seats themselves when Hyundai first appeared on these shores as an extremely humble bargain-priced conveyance. They were the first Korean vehicles to be sold in the United States---a question mark on four wheels.
Today? They're the brand you go to when you want the reliability of a Toyota or Honda, plus a longer warranty, more feature content and a lower sticker price. And the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T is the physical manifestation of that philosophy.
Under the hood, it's a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. 235 horsepower, 235 pounds per foot of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission. Zero to 60 happens in the low sevens. EPA fuel economy estimates are solid for the size class and level of performance at 20 City/27 highway.
A family funeral (small, with masks and social distancing) in Mendocino County, California was the reason we took the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T up to Fort Bragg from suburban Sacramento, and that gave us an opportunity to drive it on freeways, straight two-lanes through Napa Valley, winding mountain roads and along the spectacular Highway 1 (yes, Big Sur is further south, but if you haven't driven Highway 1 north of San Francisco until it turns inland at Rockport, you're missing out).
The Santa Fe was quick, quiet and composed no matter what---and on occasion topped the EPA fuel economy estimate---we saw a surprising 28.5 mpg.
$37,500 is the base price for the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T, and true to form for Hyundai, the feature content is remarkable. The window sticker is at the end of this review, but the highlights are 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, leather seats (heated in both rows, heated and ventilated up front), an acoustic laminated windshield, dual automatic temperature control, keyless entry, pushbutton start, navigation, an Infinity premium audio system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Harman Kardon's Clari-Fi system.
The only extra-cost option on our tester? $135 for carpeted floor mats. Everything else---standard at $37,500.
Factor in Hyundai's legendary 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T is a very compelling proposition.