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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe ranks highly among midsize SUVs because of its roomy and upscale interior, solid safety and reliability ratings, and balanced performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Admirable safety and reliability ratings
  • Lineup of peppy engines
  • Cavernous cargo space
  • Straightforward infotainment features
  • Stiff ride quality

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2015 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money award and a finalist for our 2015 Best 3-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Hyundai Santa Fe has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

Is the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe a Good Used SUV?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great choice among used midsize SUVs. It’s available in two- or three-row configurations, both of which afford a lot of cargo space. This SUV has a refined cabin and lots of available user-friendly tech features. When it was new, we named the Santa Fe our 2015 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money. All of the Santa Fe’s three engine options perform well, and it has relatively engaging handling. However, a stiff ride quality may be too much for some SUV shoppers to overlook.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 40 Hyundai Santa Fe reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Our site has more than 1,400 listings for the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, with an average price listed of about $20,600. Prices range from about $15,000 to about $27,000, and they fluctuate depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Cost to Own?

The 2015 Santa Fe's gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs are about average for a compact SUV. You can expect to pay around $25,500 over five years for these expenses with the Santa Fe.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Santa Fe?

For 2019, Hyundai fully redesigned the two-row SUV formerly known as the Santa Fe Sport, which is now called the Santa Fe. The three-row SUV version of Santa Fe was not redesigned, but it is now known as the Santa Fe XL.

If you’re also considering a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL, there are a few these differences from a used 2015 model that you'll want to keep in mind. A 2017 refresh included interior and exterior design updates, as well as the introduction of features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning.

The regular two-row 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with an impressive list of standard features, including pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. It also comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment display screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Read about the new Hyundai Santa Fe »

There are a few new midsize SUVs that you could buy for what you might pay for a used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe. The 2019 Dodge Journey is the least expensive, but we don’t recommend it. Instead, you may want to consider the well-rounded 2019 Hyundai Tucson, a compact SUV. If you're not set on a three-row SUV, the Tucson is an intriguing alternative. It starts at $23,200 and comes standard with several active safety features, an infotainment system, and smartphone integration.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the Hyundai Santa Fe Is Best?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is part of a generation that began with the 2013 model year. There were few notable changes over the first several years of this generation, so you’ll be able to save more money and get a fairly similar SUV from an earlier model year. For 2014, rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring became available throughout the lineup, and the 2015 Santa Fe received retuned steering and suspension components, as well as a newly available hands-free liftgate.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Santa Fe »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Santa Fe reliability »

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one recall for the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe. A secondary hood latch may malfunction, causing the hood to unexpectedly open while driving and increase the risk of a crash. Be sure that a Hyundai dealer has addressed this issue before buying a used 2015 Santa Fe.

See more information on Hyundai Santa Fe safety recalls »

Which Used Hyundai Santa Fe Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in four trims: Sport, Sport 2.0T, GLS, and Limited. Santa Fe Sport and Sport 2.0T models are two-row SUVs with five seats, while regular Santa Fe models (GLS and Limited) are three-row SUVs that hold seven. Sport and Sport 2.0T each have their own four-cylinder engine, while GLS and Limited models come with a V6.

When the Santa Fe was new, nearly all features were available in almost every trim. That means you can find certain lower-end models with the features you may want – like leather seats, a rearview camera, or a touch-screen system – without having to spring for a higher trim.

See 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe trims and specs »

What Does Hyundai's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Hyundai offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Certified pre-owned Hyundai vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as the remainder of the five-year/60,000-mile comprehensive warranty. Hyundai CPO vehicles must pass a 173-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement may be available, so read Hyundai’s warranty page carefully.

Hyundai has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers, according to our analysis. Only Kia, Buick, Mitsubishi, and Smart have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Santa Fe?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport an overall rating of five out of five stars. The SUV earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport the highest score of Good in four crash tests. Both models received the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test.

The 2015 Santa Fe doesn't have any standard driver assistance features. However, amenities like a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert can be found in certain models throughout the lineup.

See Santa Fe safety scores »

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe or 2015 Kia Sorento?

The 2015 Kia Sorento shares the Santa Fe’s above-average reliability rating, but its average list price are thousands of dollars lower than the Hyundai. However, the Santa Fe is the superior choice of these Hyundai-Kia corporate cousins. The Sorento has unimpressive safety scores for the class, and its underpowered base engine leaves it with dull performance. Both of these SUVs are available in two- or three-row versions, but you’ll get more cargo space with the Santa Fe. The Hyundai’s roomier seating should seal the deal between these two.

Which Is Better: 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe or 2015 Mazda CX-9?

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 has arguably the most dynamic performance in the midsize SUV class, with car-like handling and a standard 273-horsepower V6 engine. However, this SUV’s poor safety score and below-average reliability rating are its undoing, resulting in its low ranking. The CX-9 has standard seating for seven, and its average list prices are comparable to the Santa Fe's. The Mazda's interior has lots of hard plastics and a frustrating infotainment system, in contrast to the Santa Fe’s upscale cabin and user-friendly features. Don’t be fooled by this Mazda’s playful spirit – go with the more practical and well-rounded Santa Fe.

Compare the Santa Fe, Sorento, and CX-9 »

2015 Santa Fe Performance

How Does the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Drive?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 190 horsepower. It scoots the SUV around briskly and provides decent passing power, and a standard six-speed automatic transmission delivers refined shifts. For even zippier performance, step up to the Sport 2.0T model and its 264-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The three-row Santa Fe has a 290-horsepower V6 engine paired with the same six-speed automatic. Both the turbo-four and V6 have authoritative acceleration and more passing power than the Sport's base engine.

The Santa Fe has athletic driving dynamics. Its steering is accurate, and its body stays composed in tight turns. Its suspension doesn’t soak up bumps as well as other leading midsize SUVs, though. The ride can feel rather harsh when traveling over rough roads. Front-wheel drive is standard in all models, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Get Good Gas Mileage?

The two-row Santa Fe Sport with its base engine and FWD returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. With the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, expect 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The V6-powered, three-row Santa Fe gets an estimated 18/25 mpg city/highway. Models with AWD typically lose 1 or 2 mpg in their estimates.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Hyundai Santa Fe can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Read more about Santa Fe performance »

2015 Santa Fe Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Santa Fe Seat?

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Sport 2.0T are two-row SUVs with seating for five. The Santa Fe GLS and Limited are three-row SUVs. GLS models seat seven, while Limited models have second-row captain’s chairs and seating for six. The Santa Fe offers great forward visibility, ample head- and legroom in its first and second rows, and comfortable seats. The third row is slim and best reserved for kids and teens, which is a fairly common complaint for midsize SUVs. The second-row seats recline and slide to better accommodate passengers and provide easier third-row access.

Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats are standard. Seating upgrades include leather upholstery; power-adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats; and heated rear seats. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a heated steering wheel, and second-row window sunshades are also available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Hyundai Santa Fe's rear seats have two complete sets of LATCH connections, as well as a tether anchor for the second-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. You might confuse other hardware for the tether anchors on the back of the outboard seats, and the lower anchors for the driver's side seat are set too deep in the seat.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

The 2015 Santa Fe models come standard with satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, a 10-speaker premium stereo, a 12-speaker Infinity premium stereo, a 4.3-inch touch-screen display, and an 8-inch touch screen with navigation. Both touch screens are user-friendly and have straightforward menus. The dashboard is elegantly styled and benefits from well-placed buttons and controls.

See 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe specs »

Read more about Santa Fe interior »

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Dimensions

Hyundai Santa Fe Cargo Space

The two-row Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has 35.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its back seat, and 71.5 cubic feet with the second row folded down. Those dimensions are above average for a midsize SUV.

The three-row Santa Fe offers 13.5 cubic feet of space behind its third row, and 40.9 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold down all the back seats to open up 80 cubic feet of space.

A hands-free power liftgate is available.

2015 Santa Fe Length and Weight

The Hyundai Santa Fe is 16.1 feet long, and the Santa Fe Sport is 15.4 feet long. The regular Santa Fe's curb weight ranges from 3,904 pounds to 4,085 pounds, and the Santa Fe Sport weighs between 3,459 pounds and 3,706 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Built?

Hyundai built the 2015 Santa Fe in Georgia.

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