2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Walk Around

Recently, Hyundai has moved toward a strong emphasis on appearance, and Santa Fe is among the beneficiaries. Sharp edges and tight creases wrap around the Santa Fe in imaginative ways. Up front, the hexagonal grille was developed in a way that stands well apart from previous versions.

On the whole, the longer Santa Fe comes across as slightly less distinctive than the Santa Fe Sport, which is 8.5 inches shorter.

Interior

Inside, the dashboard centers upon a shield-like grouping of controls, surrounded by familiar, fluid swoops and curves. Adding an upscale touch, the dashboard is trimmed in appealing two-tone materials for an upscale touch. In our view, it looks better when highlighted by glossy trim pieces rather than by simulated wood.

Crossover wagons of any size focus on room and utility, and Santa Fe meets that requirement. Front seats are a step up from those in recent Hyundai models, with improved support built into the bottom cushions. Buyers can choose between a six-passenger layout with captain’s chairs in the second row, or a center bench that yields seven-seat configuration.

The Santa Fe’s longer wheelbase translates to greater rear-seat leg room, accompanied by very good seat comfort. That’s especially true with the Limited’s captain’s chairs.

Only young passengers will go for the third-row bench. Adults will not want to squeeze through the small passenger opening to get to the third row, even though the second-row seats slide forward.

Cargo volume is on the small side, at 13.5 cubic feet behind the third row; but it expands to more than 40 cubic feet when the third row is folded flat. That’s accomplished by pulling on straps. From the cargo hold, second-row seats can be lowered via a lever. An available hands-free liftgate only requires the opener to stand nearby, with the proximity key at hand.

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