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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

187.8” x 66.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Turbo engine's smoothness, midrange power
  • Ride comfort
  • Visibility
  • Roomy backseat
  • Overall value
  • IIHS crash-test performance

The bad:

  • Handling on twisty roads
  • Numb steering feel
  • Modest passing power
  • Transmission unwilling to kick down to low enough gear
  • Sport mode makes gas pedal touchy
  • Accelerator lag (turbo engine)

8 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Redesigned for 2019, replacing Santa Fe Sport
  • Five-seat mid-size SUV
  • Choice of four-cylinder engines, including a turbo
  • FWD or AWD
  • Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Standard automatic emergency braking

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe review: Our expert's take

By Mike Hanley

The verdict: Comfortable and well-equipped, the redesigned 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe should appeal to families shopping the mid-size two-row SUV class, but a few drivability issues annoy.  


Versus the competition: The mid-size SUV class is poised to get a lot more competitive, with Honda and Chevrolet readying the 2019 Passport and 2019 Blazer, respectively, Ford launching an updated 2019 Edge SUV and Nissan offering a refreshed Murano. As with other Hyundai models, value for the money promises to be one of the Santa Fe’s biggest selling points.  


Hyundai has tinkered with the names of its mid-size and full-size SUVs for the 2019 model year. The redesigned two-row 2019 Santa Fe reviewed here replaces the Santa Fe Sport in Hyundai’s lineup, and the three-row Santa Fe has been dubbed Santa Fe XL for 2019 but is a carryover model with few changes. The Santa Fe XL isn’t long for this world, though; it’s slated to be replaced by the three-row Hyundai Palisade, which will arrive next summer as a 2020 model.

The 2019 Santa Fe starts at $26,545, including a $1,045 destination charge, for a base front-wheel-drive SE trim. We tested two higher-end versions: a $36,620 front-wheel-drive Ultimate with the 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that goes in most trims, as well as a $39,970 all-wheel-drive Ultimate with the optional 235-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

More SUV, More Futuristic

The 2019 Santa Fe’s profile looks more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport’s, with a windshield that’s not as raked. It looks more like an SUV now, and one big practical advantage of the design is good visibility: Thin front roof pillars and side mirrors mounted on the front doors (rather than the base of those pillars) help give the Santa Fe great forward views. Hyundai also flattened out the SUV’s beltline, increasing visibility for rear passengers and providing better over-shoulder views for the driver.

The Santa Fe’s front end is, without question, the most polarizing aspect of the design. Like Hyundai’s subcompact Kona SUV and upcoming three-row Palisade, the Santa Fe has slim LED daytime running lights that sit below the front edges of the hood and flank a gaping grille (the headlights sit below the DRLs). It’s not a new design tactic — the pre-2019 Jeep Cherokee had something similar — but it’s an approach that’s gaining steam; the upcoming 2019 Blazer also uses it.

How It Drives

The Santa Fe is composed and comfortable in the city and on rural two-lane highways, but it’s flustered by more challenging, twisty roads. Some drivetrain-tuning choices also hurt the driving experience.

The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes adequate power, but full-throttle acceleration is modest. The engine works with an eight-speed automatic transmission that kicks down quickly but isn’t always willing to select as low a gear as is needed.

Gas-pedal response is gradual in the Comfort drive mode, but you get used to it after a while. The Sport mode, however, isn’t great in everyday driving; it makes the gas pedal extremely sensitive, to the point that it’s hard to accelerate smoothly or hold a steady speed.

The optional turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder performs very well. It’s smooth and produces a lot of midrange power that helps the Santa Fe build speed rapidly. It’s also quieter than the base four-cylinder. Still, passing power is modest with this engine, too, and the automatic transmission’s unwillingness to kick down into its lower gears is partly to blame. Gas-pedal responsiveness is an issue with the turbo engine, as well; there’s some lag when starting off from a stop regardless of whether you’re in Comfort or Sport. Once you’re moving, the gas pedal can feel a bit too responsive, with a jumpiness that makes accelerating smoothly more difficult than it should be.

The Santa Fe’s suspension is comfort-oriented without feeling floaty, which seems like the right approach for this class. It feels composed and stable through sweeping corners, but handling suffers on more challenging roads due to numb, isolating steering feel and moderate body roll in tight corners.

The Inside

Hyundai touts the Santa Fe’s variable-density front seats, which use three types of cushioning. The seats are wide and supportive, but the cushions felt a little flat. Cloth upholstery is standard, and leather seating surfaces and heated front seats are included on Limited and higher trims.

The 60/40-split backseat is comfortable for adults. There’s good legroom, and the seat cushion is high enough off the floor to provide thigh support — an attribute that’s gradually vanishing across the market. On SEL Plus and higher trims, the seat slides forward and backward to balance cargo and passenger needs. The rear backrest reclines quite a bit, which gives stargazers a good view out the optional panoramic moonroof.

Materials quality in the high-end Ultimate trim is good, and the controls are sensibly arranged. The dashboard’s separated sections are intuitive, with a standard 7-inch touchscreen positioned above the center vents and air-conditioning controls, but the optional dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system’s temperature display is hard to read if viewed through polarized sunglasses.

Standard technology features include Bluetooth streaming audio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Satellite radio, an Infinity premium stereo, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system, wireless device charging and a larger, 8-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation are optional.


The Santa Fe has 35.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat. The backseat folds flat with the cargo floor for a maximum 71.3 cubic feet of cargo room. There are two large bins under the cargo floor for storing items out of sight.


In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2019 Santa Fe received the highest rating, good, in all crash tests, and the organization rated the SUV’s standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems superior, the best possible score.

Other standard active-safety features include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, blind spot warning, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and a driver-drowsiness monitor.

SEL Plus and higher trims also have Hyundai’s Rear Occupant Alert system. It monitors the backseat using a sensor, and if movement is detected after the SUV has been locked, the horn honks and the Hyundai Blue Link system sends an alert to a paired smartphone. While safety technology like this is welcome, we still recommend that drivers traveling with small children place in the rear seat something they plan on taking with them at the end of the trip, like a backpack or purse, to help minimize the chances a child is accidentally left inside.

Value in Its Class

Hyundai has long been known for giving shoppers a lot for their money, and the redesigned Santa Fe reinforces that reputation with its long list of standard active-safety and technology features at a starting price thousands of dollars less than some competitors. There’s a lot here to like — especially if the drivetrain quirks aren’t deal-breakers for you.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.9
  • Interior 4.9
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value 4.8
  • Exterior 4.9
  • Reliability 4.8
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Most recent consumer reviews


Consider a reliable vehicle before buying Hyundai.

I am the original owner (“OO”) of a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate FWD 2.0L Turbo. I bought the vehicle because there is a 100,000 mile Power Train Warranty (“PTW”) for the OO. I started experiencing vibration about 98,000 miles after balancing and rotating the tires. After three more attempts at re-balancing the tires, they were replaced under the tire warranty, but still the vibration persisted. The tire shop noticed nothing abnormal the four times they had my car in the shop. At 99,580 miles (“weeks” later), I finally got a Service Appointment at the local Hyundai Dealership. The Service Manager test drove the vehicle and said, “Your CV joint(s) and/or drive shafts are bad…” I contacted Hyundai and they approved the service to replace them under the PTW… but… The Service Manger said the “boots” were leaking grease at the CV joints. After the repair, I noticed those boots were not torn, ripped or broken in any way. The failed CV joints caused the boot clips to open and let grease out. Since Hyundai returned previous warranty parts to the Dealership after post-warranty review, the Dealership was caught eating those repair cost. As a result, the Service Manager refused to process a PTW claim “unless” Hyundai guaranteed the parts would not be returned after the service was performed. He didn’t want to be burned by Hyundai yet “again.” Hyundai USA could not guarantee anything, and my Case Manager could not even identify the post-warranty location within their organization that did post-service inspections and returns. Going back and forth between Hyundai USA and the Dealership caught me in the middle, and cost me $2,500 to return my Santa Fe to working order. Without the repair, the transaxle, engine or other power-train components could have been damaged. Yes, Hyundai advertises a “too good to be true” (“TGTBT”) warranty for their vehicles, and probably the best in the industry until warranty service is needed. Hyundai USA puts their vehicle owners in the middle, and forces the Dealerships to perform repairs on their nickel. Hyundai USA Case Managers are not technically knowledgeable, and rely on the Dealership Service Managers to referee any warranty repairs. Since Dealerships are in business to make money, the owner bears the brunt of the cost… even for covered warranty work. Even if a valid PTW repair, some unknown gremlin in Hyundai USA returns warranty parts to the Dealerships to reduce Hyundai warranty-claim costs. BOTTOM LINE: Buy a “reliable” vehicle — like a TOYOTA — and forget about a TGTBT warranty from car makers like HYUNDAI.


Reviews by Edson

I wanted a nice car at a value price at a great price so I got the 2019 Santa Fe and it had 30,000 miles on it and this thing runs and drives as smooth as glass



Had since new. Over 92,000 miles and I just replaced front brake pads. Did rear pads at 65,000. Never had any issues. Very comfortable. Actually got over 31 mpg on highway for the 2.4 which is rated at 22-29 mpg

See all 209 consumer reviews


Based on the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
Combined side rating rear seat
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
Overall rating
Overall side crash rating
Risk of rollover
Rollover rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating driver
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
Side pole rating driver front seat


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Hyundai
New car program benefits
60 months/60,000 miles
84 months/unlimited distance
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 80,000 miles; less than 7 years old (currently MY18- MY24)
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of the 5-Year/60,000-Mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
10-Yr/100K-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
Dealer certification required
173-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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