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Hyundai’s Santa Fe Limited: Limited Trim, Unlimited Appeal

Car Reviews

Hyundai’s Santa Fe Limited: Limited Trim, Unlimited Appeal

Hyundai’s Santa Fe Limited:

Limited Trim, Unlimited Appeal

I love cars that seem to fly below the radar. I enjoy the ones that aren’t flashy, and don’t gather a lot of attention driving down the highway, but do the job the consumer wants done; the ones that get better with every generation.  The current, 4th-generation Hyundai Santa Fe crossover hits all those right notes for me.  It’s not the hottest-selling crossover on the market or in its segment, but it’s a solid car that looks good and drives well.  The Santa Fe is a solid buy. 

I test drove a Quartz White 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T FWD that came with a $38,730 MSRP window sticker. That $38K is about $12,500 more than a base Santa Fe, which comes with a less powerful engine, a 185 hp, 2.4 liter normally aspirated four-cylinder. The base Santa Fe is still a nice drive, but not nearly as peppy as the higher trim Santa Fe, which gets that turbocharged powerplant.

The Limited version was equipped with a 235 hp, 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder that really added a fair amount of zip to the drive. Load the car up with four adults and a cargo area full of gear and that extra horsepower comes in handy. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Santa Fe gets EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. That’s good, but hardly outstanding.

The top-of-the-line Limited trim includes many features you usually only find on luxury vehicles, such as heated leather seats for both front and rear passengers.  The list of included interior comfort and convenience items even includes a heads-up display, a feature that is usually an expensive upgrade on luxury vehicles; it’s also a feature that is instantly addictive.  Another nice option on the Limited trim is a 115-volt power outlet, very handy if a passenger wants to plug in their laptop during a long road trip. 

There’s no doubt that the Santa Fe Limited is a little bit of luxury in a non-luxury crossover.  If you don’t need or want all the cushy bits, there’s a way to save some cash by opting for a less-expensive trim.  Much of the newest safety tech that new car buyers are looking for in a crossover are included as standard across the Santa Fe line.  It’s that 2.0 liter turbocharged peppier powertrain that’s the real attraction.

I looked at the website to build a new Santa Fe and found that if that more powerful engine is necessary, the SEL 2.0T trim with an MSRP of $34,875 is the way to go.  That trim level has some extras that I typically don’t look for in a non-luxury vehicle, such as leather seats, but, hey, I’ll take them.  There’s a Convenience Package option that does bring the SEL almost up to the Limited for another $2,250, but then you might as well go and pick the top level anyway.

I find the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe to be terrific at all the trim levels, it’s just that I’m partial to that better powertrain and that does it for me.  It may not turn heads or make the neighbors jealous, but it will get you where you want to go safely and reliably. And that’s all I ever want.

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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