Road Test: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL is a fantastic crossover in every way. From the fresh exterior design to infotainment, convenience and safety technologies, Santa Fe XL meets the passenger and utility requirements of the modern crossover.

Under the hood, the 3.3L V6 Lambda II engine that Hyundai has used for quite some time now with proven reliability, is mated to a 6-speed automatic and produces 290 horsepower. From a standstill, the acceleration is peppy and strong. The same is true when passing on the highway, there’s a high level of reassurance that the Santa Fe XL has your back.

Our AWD tester is rated 17 mpg city, 22 highway, 19 combined and we averaged 23 mpg in mixed driving with no focus on economical driving and rarely utilizing the ECO drive mode which modifies the throttle mapping. Speaking of drive modes, we didn’t see any improvements with Sport mode, so Normal is what we’d recommend.

Hyundai says that Active Cornering Control is standard on AWD models and helps in all weather conditions to improve handling.

Inside, a long roster of standard equipment makes this one of the most well-equipped vehicles on the market. Specifically, the xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, and 12-speaker Infinity Logic7 audio system which features QuantumLogic Surround and Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology are a joy.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and work beautiful on the large, accessible touchscreen.

Hyundai’s innovative power Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open makes it even easier to gain access to the cargo area. Both feet stay on the ground and by simply standing within a few feet of the rear bumper with the key fob in a purse or pocket for a few seconds, the rear hatch opens. The feature can be turned on or off from inside.

Also unique is Hyundai Blue Link, which provides a full suite of connected safety and diagnostic features, as well as features that are only possible with an embedded connected car system, such as Remote Start with Climate Control, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Remote Door Lock/Unlock. Navigation-equipped Santa Fe models also benefit from Blue Link Guidance, which provides Destination Search, powered by Google, as well as POI Web Search and Download to download destinations to the Santa Fe XL.

We highly recommend the technology package which includes adaptive cruise with stop/start, a boon for daily commuting. It modules speed smoothly and doesn’t overreact like we’ve seen in other systems.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling10
Powertrain and Fuel Economy9
Interior Fit and Finish10
Gauges and Controls9
Total Score94

Make: Hyundai
Model: Santa Fe XL
Trim Level: Limited Ultimate
Engine: 3.3L V6
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Options: Teck Pkg, Floormats

Base Price: $41,300
As-Tested Price: $44,530

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