The Hyundai Santa Fe, along with its Tucson twin, have represented the brand in the SUV segment for quite some time now. Rumor has it they’ll soon be joined by a Hyundai truck, named the Santa Cruz. And with the new Palisade still captivating customers at the dealership, it might be easy to overlook the Santa Fe. Doing so, however, would be a mistake.
There are plenty of reasons why the 2020 Santa Fe should be parked in your driveway. To help shed light on its qualities you might overlook, we’ve put together the following guide. It will make sure you know all the facts before you hit the dealership — even if you’re only going to look at the Palisade or chat up the salespeople about the Santa Cruz. Either way, let’s get started!
Available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, the 2020 Santa Fe is a two-row, five-passenger SUV. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 3,500 pounds. There are two different engine choices available on the 2020 Santa Fe. One is a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which puts out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. The peppier upgrade is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. You can expect 235 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque from this version of the Santa Fe. Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Available Color Schemes
Choose from the following colors on your new 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe.
- Machine Gray
- Symphony Silver
- Scarlet Red
- Twilight Black
- Stormy Sea
- Quartz White
- Shimmering Silver Pearl
- Portofino Gray
- Lava Orange
- Earthy Bronze
- Calypso Red
Available Trims and Prices
This base model starts at just over $26,000. Delivered only in front-wheel drive, the SE includes features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, keyless entry, and a seven-inch touchscreen. All-wheel drive is available for an additional cost. All 2020 Santa Fe models come with three driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Smart. The sportier engine is not available on this entry level trim.
If you’re looking for a powered driver’s seat, this is the trim level for you. Heated front seats up the ante, along with satellite and HD radio. While extras such as a hands-free liftgate, parking sensors, a dual-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, leather, and 12-speaker Infinity sound system will cost you about $5,000 more, they’re required if you plan on upgrading to the turbo engine. Hyundai cleverly markets another trim called “SEL 2.0T,” which is just the SEL model with the turbocharged powerplant. You’ll still pay extra to upgrade to all-wheel drive.
The highest trim available on the 2020 Santa Fe, the Limited model offers you features like ventilated front seats, heated second-row seating, a heated steering wheel, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, GPS navigation, heads-up display (HUD), and a surround-view parking system. Again, all-wheel drive, along with the turbo engine (technically labelled the Limited 2.oT), will cost you extra.
Named one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Picks for 2020, the Santa Fe scores “Good” in all categories. The model also took home a 5 out of 5 star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Hyundai includes a number of standard features on the 2020 Santa Fe. These include “a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, driver drowsiness monitoring, and lane keep assist.” Optional add-ons include a heads-up display (HUD), surround-view parking camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. You can find more information about these safety features on Hyundai’s website.
Expect low- to mid-twenties when it comes to the 2020 Santa Fe’s fuel efficiency. Front-wheel drive models only outperform the all-wheel drive variants by a few points. Even the addition of a turbo doesn’t seem to make much difference.
For example, FWD models with the naturally-aspired engine are the most fuel efficient, scoring 22 city and 29 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon. The AWD model dips down to 21 and 27 MPG respectively. Add the turbo to the FWD model and you’ll see 20 and 27 MPG, with the AWD model only losing one point on the highway to the front-wheel drive model.
Let’s begin by focusing on the awards the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe has received thus far. Edmunds featured the 2020 Santa Fe in their “Cheapest New Cars” article. U.S. News named it a finalist for the “2020 Best Two-Row SUV for Families” and also their winner of the “2020 Best Two-Row SUV for the Money.” If you’re looking for an SUV that’s affordable and also maintains its value, the 2020 Santa Fe should be at the top of your list.
After all, many of the experts agree there’s a lot to like about the 2020 Santa Fe. It has “bold styling,” noted Kelley Blue Book reviewers. With a “more impressive standard warranty” and “abundant” legroom, the 2020 Santa Fe checks more boxes in its favor. Edmunds praised the “high-quality interior materials.” The folks at U.S. News had to admit “it has just about everything most people look for in a vehicle.”
Too Good To Be True?
So where does reality start to kick in? Well, there’s not a huge difference between this year’s model and the outgoing one. True, the sliding rear seat isn’t a thing anymore. There’s no longer an Ultimate trim level. But the bones of the SUV remain the same. For some, that might mean an older used model — even with a few thousand miles — might be a better option financially.
KBB experts did point out that the fuel economy on the 2020 Santa Fe isn’t exactly stellar, either. It’s no longer able to take the higher ground when it comes to pricing, and Hyundai has quite a roster of competitors to contend with. “Rivals handle better,” notes U.S. News reviewers. The team at Edmunds tended to agree.
You should compare the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe to mainstays such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Jeep Cherokee. Even Nissan’s Rogue and Murano have a fighting chance to earn your loyalty. There’s also the Ford Edge and redesigned Ford Escape to consider as well. Subaru’s Forester will tackle off-roading better than the Santa Fe, if that’s more your scene. Some will argue the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 have the edge when it comes to styling. Any way you slice it, the competition is fierce in this SUV segment.
The Last Word
The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is an SUV worth considering. From the generous list of safety features to the pages of interior and exterior options, the Santa Fe is as comfy or luxurious as you like it. Stop by your local Hyundai dealership to test drive the newest Santa Fe. Or check out the rest of the lineup while you’re there. Stay tuned to Autoversed for more on that Hyundai Santa Cruz, too.