2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

#7
in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$26,125 - $39,425
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8.0

Overall Rating

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2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 23, 2020

Aaron Smith's image
Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist


Hyundai as a brand excels on many points and the Santa Fe naturally is the beneficiary. It has a roomy, well built, and comfortable tech-laden cabin riding on pliant suspension – all in a cost-effective package. The heavy SUV is moved around rather briskly by the 2.4 L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6 speed automatic. After a thorough refresh last year, there is no noticeable change in the 2020  Hyundai Santa Fe. with big boot space, spacious interior and intuitive infotainment system, this compact crossover SUV does a fairly decent job of balancing the priorities. The SUV is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (AWD) systems. But, it still misses out on delivering a high level of excitement. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Plenty of standard features for the money

High-quality interior material

A lot of safety features are standard

Impressive warranty coverage

Cons

Compromised visibility

Underpowered base engine

Mediocre fuel efficiency

What's New?

Revised feature list

Omission of Ultimate trim

Intrusive road noise


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$26125

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

178 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12.6/12.6

dimensions

wheelbase

108.9 in.

length

64.7 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

66.1 in.

curb weight

3591 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

110.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

71.3 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

1138 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.9 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.7 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/29/25 mpg

highway range

545.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

7 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

5 yr. /unlimited


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior video
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Review video

Styles

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Lava Orange color 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Quartz White color 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in Twilight Black color
Lava Orange

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.5

Interior

8.0

Safety

9.4

Competition

7.0

8.0

OVERALL RATING

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Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SE

SE

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$26,125 - $27,825


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $26,125 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,825 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SEL

SEL

power
235 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$27,875 - $36,425


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,575 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $34,725 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $36,425 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Limited

power
235 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$35,875 - $39,425


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $35,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $37,575 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
Limited 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $37,725 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $39,425 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.0

Overall Rating


The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is a feature-loaded and attractive mid-size SUV moved by an efficient 2.4L or a more powerful 2.0L turbo engine. It takes the fight to more established rivals like Honda CRV by providing an impressive 10-year Power-train Warranty. A starting price of just over $25,400 sweetens the deal.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Front View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Rear View

8.5/10
Features

8.0/10
Interior

9.4/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition


2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

8.5/10

In its new refreshed iteration, Hyundai has split the SUV crossover, Santa Fe, in 5 different trim levels. They go by SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited and Ultimate where each trim consists of an optional front-wheel drive or the AWD choice for $1,700 more.

Even in the Santa Fe’s base trim, you’d find a host of convenient features and the list only gets more premium and in abundance as you climb the configuration ladder. In base three trim, SE, SEL and Limited, Hyundai offers a standard 2.4L 4-cylinders (185 hp and 178 lb.-ft. torque) mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission is available across all trims however the Limited and the SLE 2.0 configuration level are available with the more powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine (235 hp and 260 lb.-ft torque). Other than that all trims are very well-equipped with features.

Trim

SE

SEL

SEL 2.0

Limited 

Limited 2.0

MSRP (FWD)

$26,125

$27.875

$34,875

$35,875

$37,875
MSRP (AWD $27600 $36,425 $36200 $37350 $39425

Key Features

Noise-reducing windshield 

Adds/Upgrades to SE

Adds/Upgrades to SEL Adds/Upgrades to SEL 2.0 Adds/Upgrades to Limited
  Stain-resistant cloth upholstery

Leather upholstery

8-inch touchscreen

Ventilated front seats

Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
 

Reclining rear seats

Cross-traffic warning

Blind view monitor

Heated rear seats

Panoramic sunroof
 

Apple CarPlay

Blind-spot monitoring

Dual-zone climate control

Heated steering wheel

6-passenger swaeting w/second row Captain chairs
 

Android Auto

Heated front seats

18-inch wheels

8-inch touchscreen

Chrome tipped dual-exhaust
 

Automatic emergency braking

Power-adjustable driver's seat

Adaptive cruise control

Blind View Monitor

Automatic high beams

We recommend:

The SEL 2.0 seems like the best configuration for it offers a premium set of features along with technology, without compromising on while being pocket-friendly.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine and Performance

The all-wheel driven Santa Fe is propelled by a paltry-for-its-size 2.4L inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This blend fuses to shoot 185 horses and 178 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV has 8 Speed automatic Transmission

Frankly, for the size of this SUV, you’d want to look at the higher trims with the 2.0 Turbocharged powertrain which has a remarkably better performance. With 235 hp of power and 260 lb.-ft. Torque, this engine does its job of filling the gap in the performance factor of the Santa Fe. That should explain what comes next now; while the acceleration on the Santa Fe isn’t sluggish, its performance as a whole has a rather uninspiring feel to it. Not what you’d expect from an SUV that struggles to move uphill. The new 8-speed shiftable gears is a big improvement over the outgoing six-speed box. It is responsive, smooth and matches with the demanding power of the engine.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

MSRP

$26,125

$25,190

$24,795

$25,345

Engine

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.0L i4

1.5L i4 Turbocharged gas

2.4L i4

Transmission

8 Speed automatic

8 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

185 hp@ 6000rpm

184 hp@ 4400rpm

170 hp@ 5600rpm

184 hp@ 6400rpm

Torque(lb-ft @ rpm)

178 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

221 ft-lbs@ 1600 rpm

203 ft-lbs@ 2000rpm

180 ft-lbs@ 3900rpm

While three out of four rivals show identical power output figures with minimal differences. While the Chevrolet Equinox stays last in this comparison by putting out 170hp. But, it also showcases the maximum amount of torque produced by all the rivals. 

Acceleration

The 2.4L does not have the finesse on the performance bit, nor can it accelerate rapidly. It takes 8.9s to zip from naught to 60 mph where other rivals do it at a quicker pace. Coming to the quarter-mile, clocking 16.7s, the Santa Fe yet again stands in the mix of the competition like the rolling start to 60 mph test. Its sluggish acceleration gives the competition a heads up.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV covers 0-60 in just 8 sec
Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.9 sec

N/A

N/A

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile (sec)

16.7 sec

N/A

N/A

16 sec

Engine

2.4L i4 Regular Unleaded

2.0L i4

1.5L i4 Turbocharged gas

2.4L i4

Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 

N/A

7.7

6.3

N/A

Taking almost 9 seconds to reach 60mph from a standstill, this Hyundai SUV comes out to be the slowest in this face-off. While the Santa Fe can perform better if opted for the 2.0L turbocharged engine which significantly improves this SUVs acceleration.

Braking 

The smooth, unhurried theme continues in the braking department too. Don’t panic, the Santa Fe brakes can stop this SUV within 130 feet from 60 mph (average in class) if intently kicked. We used the word unhurried because the initial pedal travel causes a smooth slow down rather than jerky stop. The brakes are responsive once past this small buffer zone.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

13.4

N/A

11.1

Brake Rear (in.)

12

11.8

N/A

10.2

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3591

3721

3274

3307

60-0 MPH (ft.)

130

N/A

N/A

115

As exact figures for other rivals are not available. Coming to a conclusion in braking is not possible. Hyundai does an average job stopping to a standstill in 130 feet from 60 miles per hour. 

Ride and Handling

The cushioned ride quality of Hyundai Santa Fe is impressive. The handling – not so much. Let us explain, this Hyundai SUV will cocoon you through bad roads. As the suspension on the keeps the body motions in check and the ride feels planted. With the steering providing precise and predictable feeling. However, the steering feels numb and you simply cannot enjoy corners in this midsize Hyundai SUV. For those looking for fun to drive a 7-seat SUV, Mazda CX-5 is a better pick.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV 3 Quarter View

 The swift acceleration and smooth transmission along with calm interiors make the driving experience pleasant. The interiors are comfortable and good quality plastic and leather materials make a commendable ambiance. The driver seats are adjustable and comfortable in the standard trim but the upper trims are featuring more comfortable options like heated, adjustable front seats and driver memory seat.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Economy

The Santa Fe, apart from being the slowest, is also the thirstiest – that feeling where making a compromise on one side does not bear fruit on the other. Don’t worry, we were exaggerating a bit. Santa Fe SE delivers 22 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 25 mpg. While these numbers stand lowest amongst rivals. Hyundai should work on making the Santa Fe more efficient. 

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

MPG (city)

22

22

26

26

MPG (highway)

29

29

32

32

MPG (combined)

25

25

28

28

Range (city/highway)

(miles)

414 / 545

337 / 444

387 / 477 

364 / 448

Tank Capacity (gal)

18.8

15.3

14.9

14.0

Honda and Chevrolet come out to be the top efficient cars in the above competition. Followed by Mazda Cx-5 and the last position goes to Hyundai for the Santa Fe.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

8.0/10

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe holds a seating capacity of seven passengers. The interiors offered by the SUV are comfortable and spacious. With main highlights of the interiors include Spacious and foldable second-row seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat along with tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The panoramic sunroof and heated, memory driver, front and 2nd-row heated seats and heated steering wheel are available in the upper trims. While the taller roofline also made up for some amount of headroom in the cabin.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Front Seats​​​​​​

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Passenger capacity

5

7

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

41.2/59.1/44.1

39.6/57.0/40.2

40.0/57.2/40.9

40.1/57.9/41.3

Second 

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.2/58.3/40.9

39.1/55.9/36.5

38.5/55.5/39.7

39.2/55.6/40.4

Interior features

There are two types of infotaimnet screeens available depending upon the trim you choose. The base model features a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment setup. While, the higher trims get 8.0-inch screens. Regardless, the controls are easy to use and understand. The infotainment features the following tech :

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Smart device integration
  • Auxiliary audio input
  • MP3 player

Creature comforts

The list of comfort features on the 2020 Santa Fe isn’t too long though. They include:

  • Infinity Premium Audio with 12 speakers and QuantumLogic® Surround and Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Power mirrors
  • A/C
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry

Cargo space

The cargo space in the Santa Fe has benefited greatly from its redesign. With all seats up, the Santa Fe has enough space to carry your bags for an outing without any fuss. But when the third row is in use, things might change as utility is compromised if you are utilizing the third row for passengers. With the third row folded, the Santa Fe is as spacious as its rivaling SUVs and shows great numbers. If you are hauling very large objects, folding the second row liberates 80 cubic feet which is enough to carry a lot in terms of cargo. 

As the new Santa Fe is longer and wider than its predecessor. This means more space is available on the inside to offer more practicality. Along with increased headroom and legroom, even the boot space has improved significantly.

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

35.9

12.0

29.9

39.2

Honda CRV takes the crown for biggest cargo space, the Santa Fe comes out second in this comparison with 35.9 cu.ft. of space. Followed by Chevrolet and Mazda in cargo utility.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Seats
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Dashboard
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Shift Knob
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Feature images
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Staring feature
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV interior
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV car space
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior

After the design overhaul for the Santa Fe in 2019, there are no major changes in the 2020 model as it carries forward the same design language.

Featuring the new design language of big and aggressive grill, the front now houses the new two tier headlight design. Elegant curves and well-defined lines give this 7-seat crossover a contemporary and confident stance. The long window line with blackened B and C Pillar gives an impression of size. As the roofline now gives the SUV a taller stance than before, the tall boy design gets carried forward to the rear as well. 

Model

Hyundai Santa Fe SE suv

Volkswagen Tiguan S suv

Chevrolet Equinox L suv

Honda CR-V LX suv

Curb weight (lbs.)

3591

3721

3274

3307

Length(in)

187.8

185.1

183.1

180.6

Width(in)

74.4

72.4

72.6

73.0

Height(in)

66.1

66.3

65.4

66.1

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

7.9

N/A

7.8

Wheelbase (in)

108.9

109.8

107.3

104.7

Track width (in) F/R

64.3/64.7

62.2/61.8

62.2/62.2

62.9/63.5

Exterior Features

  • Roof-mounted Center High-Mount Stop Light
  • Automatic headlights
  • Bodycolor exterior mirrors
  • Chrome accent front grille
  • Bodycolor door handles
  • Front 2-speed/variable intermittent windshield wipers
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Exterior View

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Safety

9.4/10

The 2020 Hyundai Santa-Fe has been crash tested by top agencies such as NHTSA and IIHS. As expected, this SUV has scored top level of safety ratings amongst both these agency testing. 

Safety Features include: 

  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Parking Distance Warning – Reverse
  • Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
  • Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert (Ultrasonic ROA)
  • Immobilizer
  • Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
  • Adjustable front-seat shoulder belt anchors
  • Outboard Front & Shoulder Safety Belts
  • Rear child safety locks
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA)
  • Vehicle stability management (VSM)

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

7.0/10

Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Volkswagen Tiguan S

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan S

Hyundai’s are about comfort and VWs are always focused towards driving dynamics. Same way the Hyundai Santa Fe is everything you ask for in terms of comfort and livability in the given price range. While the Tiguan S is everything a someone on the driving seat will consider, meaning it is for self driving fun along with the weekend family getaway vehicle. Going by personal choice in the end, we still think the Tiguan will make up for a better SUV than the Santa Fe if you enjoy driving.

Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Kia Sorento L

2020 Kia Sorento L

There couldn't be any more similarity while comparing two vehicles. As both these cars share the same DNA. However, going by looks and a few other aspects, the new Santa Fe does take the crown in every segment you can compare these two vehicles. Featuring a more roomier interior and a boot that is significantly more spacious than the Sorento’s, the Santa Fe will surely impress you.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Final Verdict

The Hyundai Santa Fe has spacious and comfortable first and second row, is loaded with features, has decent boot space with the third row folded and can tow 5000 pounds. Availability of AWD on all the trim is a boon and the engine does their job smoothly. All these are wrapped in a fresh looking exterior. But again, the competitors are more spacious, faster and more efficient too. The Santa Fe cabin has started to show its age and there are way too many buttons. Also, the third row is difficult to use for adults. If you can live with these, Hyundai is a safe bet for your money and the 10-year warranty is just plain good.

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