Five days ago a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe was dropped off at my door for an extended drive. I hadn’t been in a Hyundai Santa Fe since 2013 and I was anxious to see what sort of changes might have been made.
From a purely cosmetic standpoint I think it’s easy to see that the Santa Fe has maintained it’s good looks. Though there are slight changes they didn’t do anything wacky like to folks at Jeep.
In all candor I liked this car but I cannot love it as a base model. It just needs more.
The ride is good for families.
It’s a small engine with the same 190hp you got in 2013 but you can change up the suspension. Between using the eco mode to save on gas and the comfort ride I was extremely happy in the garbage traffic that Los Angeles offers her drivers. The back seat is generous and three car seats is not at all unreasonable. There is approximately a football field’s worth of space in the trunk and the rear seats recline for car napping.
You can see why this model has been awarded the Family Car of the Year by Cars.com. With that being said I have some very real reservations about the base model Santa Fe and families.
This vehicle came to me without a backup camera. Small and large SUVs have terrible visibility issues and coupling that with a family car can easily lead to disaster. By May 2018 all vehicles sold in the US under 10,000 pounds (basically all passenger vehicles) will be required to have a backup camera. I drove this car for six days and had two very close calls, one with a child in a grocery store parking lot dashing behind the car and I could only just see the top of her head. As parents we need to be realistic about where and when we drive. Moms are doing a lot of driving with more distractions than anyone else on the road. We’re doing that driving to and from locations where kids are busy being kids (short and unreliable). This isn’t to say that parents are bad drivers. I will say that parents drive in bad circumstances and I can only recommend this vehicle if you buy or lease it with the backup camera.
In keeping with the Hyundai aesthetic the interior lines of the car are aimed more toward someone who appreciates a European car. Even on the lower trim models you’ll find wood grain and leather accents. Further using rich brown for the headliner rather than black gives the cabin a feel of luxury. The pickup is reasonable and though it’s not a sports car it’s certainly not lumbering. The 35.8 foot turn radius helps you feel like you’re in more of a car than a truck. I can U turn on a residential road without making a three point turn, which is something that I need to do with my CMax.
The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is built to make families happy.
The second row comes standard with air vents and optional heated seats. Warm kids are happy kids. YES Essentials is standard in this vehicle. You can spill all over the interior fabric and it’s much less likely to stain. The second row also reclines moderately which may be helpful on longer road trips and for kids who aren’t in car seats and there are eight cupholders. Coffee for everyone!!!