The choice in compact crossovers is more than ample. And depending on your needs – space, power, driving dynamics, safety, maximum value, etc. – It may all quickly become confusing. Needless to say, the offer is strong, 70% of vehicles retail sales sold in Canada are SUVs and crossovers.
The Santa Fe received a major overhaul for 2019, aesthetically for the most part. We recently drove the vehicle in question you can read our full review here. So if you feel lost in the compact SUV madness, here are the strong points and the weak points of this model.
Why should you buy a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe?
It looks great
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is definitely a head turner. Yes, it borrows its looks from the Kona, but it’s clearly an upgrade from the outgoing generation. It is bigger in every aspect, thanks to a new platform. It also lost weight; up to 90 Kg on models equipped with the four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and HTRAC AWD.
It’s got great safety features
The 2019 Santa Fe ranks highly against its competition when it comes to safety. All of these systems are available or standard on the Santa Fe, depending on the variant and option package chosen: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, FCA with Pedestrian Detection, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, High Beam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/Stop & Go, Driver Attention Warning.
The Rear Occupant Alert and the Safe Exit Assist are two interesting safety features. One monitors traffic coming from the rear of the Santa Fe when it is parked, notifying the driver and keeping the rear doors locked for safety. And the other one scans the rear seats to notify the driver not to forget a child in the back.
It’s a comfortable ride
Thanks to the addition of sounds absorbing material throughout the cabin, the 2019 Santa Fe offers a pretty quiet ride. Not only that, the suspension is also tuned to keep the ride comfortable on bumpy roads. The cabin also offers great amounts of space for cargo, thanks to it’s enhanced dimensions, with 1016 litres. For comparison, the Ford Edge provides 1110 Liters of cargo space in the same configuration, while the Nissan Murano only has 908 litres
It’s not expensive
Starting at 28 999$, the base Essential trim comes with the 2.4 Litre engine, and is front wheel drive, but also offers heated seats and heated steering wheel along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment. The Essential trim is very well equipped with many safety features for 35,099$. Looking at the competition, the Nissan Murano has a base price of 31 498$ while the Ford Edge has a base price of 29 914$.
Why you shouldn’t buy a 2019 Santa Fe
It lacks power and enjoyment
Despite the fact that the ratings on the four-cylinder 2.0 Litre turbocharged engine are reasonable with 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the 2019 Santa Fe seems to be dragging its feet (or wheels…) upon accelerations. Once at cursing speed, things seem to be normal and the Santa Fe can pick up speed at a decent rate. We haven’t tested the base 2.4 Litre engine, but one must consider that it is much less powerful than the already slushy 2.0 Litre unit, with 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque.
Maybe enjoyment doesn’t rank high in the priorities of the compact SUV buyer. And the Santa Fe doesn’t have any major flaws like body roll and bad braking. However, it could be a little bit more enjoyable to drive, given that the HTRAC AWD comes with drive modes that should enable it to do a little bit more around the curves.
It’s hard on gas
The turbocharged 2.0 Litre engine mated to the HTRAC AWD system uses 11.2 Litres to 100 kilometres in terms of fuel consumption. Compared to its rivals, this rating is a bit high. For comparison, the Ford Edge ranks in at 10.5 Litres to 100 kilometres and the Nissan Murano is at 9.9 Litres to 100 kilometres.