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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe ranks in the top third of the midsize SUV class. It touts a roomy interior, refined handling, and low projected ownership costs. On top of that, the Santa Fe has a great safety score and a solid list of available safety features.

Pros & Cons

  • Potent V6 and turbo four-cylinder engines
  • Comfortable first and second rows
  • User-friendly tech features
  • Underpowered base engine in Santa Fe Sport model

New for 2017

  • Refreshed exterior styling
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available
  • New advanced safety features available

Rankings & Research

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe's #9 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Hyundai Santa Fe has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 49 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

Is the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe a Good Used SUV?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a good used midsize SUV. It pleases with handsome styling inside and out, carlike driving dynamics, potent engine options, and comfortable seating for up to seven people (five in Sport models). The Santa Fe also rates well for crash safety and has some of the lowest projected ownership costs in the class. That said, this segment is packed with great vehicles, so you’ll want to consider all options. The Toyota Highlander – a top rival – comes standard with lots of advanced safety features. The Chevrolet Traverse offers superior seating and cargo space, and the Mazda CX-9 stands out with athletic handling and a luxe interior.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 49 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 Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe?

You can expect to pay between $16,000 and $33,600 for a used 2017 Santa Fe. These figures are based on over 3,200 listings for the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe on our site. The average price is $21,100. Prices will vary depending on each vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Cost to Own?

The Santa Fe’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,800 – or about $4,750 per year. That’s lower than average for the midsize SUV class.

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

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport starts at $24,950, and the 3-row Santa Fe SE starts at $30,850. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Santa Fe, especially if you want a base model with few options. You won’t miss out on much by sticking with a used 2017 model, either. Changes for 2018 are limited to slight trim-level adjustments. In the end, these changes just aren’t enough to differentiate the 2018 model from the very similar 2017 model.

Read about the new Hyundai Santa Fe »

However, there are still worthy options if you're considering a new SUV over a used Santa Fe. The 2018 Hyundai Tucson (starting at $22,550) is a five-seat compact SUV. It trades the larger cargo area of the Santa Fe Sport for higher fuel economy, but it otherwise matches its sibling with roomy seating space, pleasant driving dynamics, the same great tech features, and many of the same advanced safety features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Hyundai Santa Fe Is Best?

The Hyundai Santa Fe’s third generation spans the 2013 to 2018 model years. These models share the same engines, transmission, and overall dimensions, making them all fine options for used SUV shoppers. The key difference comes down to tech features. A number of advanced features debuted for the 2017 model year that were previously unavailable, including forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. You can save money by shopping for older models, but you’ll miss out on these features.

An all-new Santa Fe arrives for the 2019 model year, and it adds sportier exterior styling, a fresh interior design, and an available turbodiesel engine.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Santa Fe »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2017 Santa Fe has a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is above average across the market.

Read more about Santa Fe reliability »

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are seven recalls total for the 2017 Santa Fe lineup. They involve safety concerns with the vehicle’s hood latch, driver seat belt, and tire pressure monitoring system. There are also recalls on the 3-row Santa Fe over the same hood latch issue, as well as faults with the trailer brake lights, the belt buckle chime, and the V6 engine’s crankshaft. If the used model you are considering is affected by these recalls, make sure the issues have been addressed before you buy.

See more information on Hyundai Santa Fe safety recalls »

Which Used Hyundai Santa Fe Model Is Right for Me?

Hyundai offers the 2017 Santa Fe in two body styles. The 2-row Santa Fe Sport is available in base, 2.0T, and 2.0T Ultimate trims. The 3-row Santa Fe is offered in SE and SE Ultimate trims (seven-seat layout), as well as Limited and Limited Ultimate trims (six-seat layout).

The base model Santa Fe Sport comes standard with a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, keyless entry, and alloy wheels. The Popular Equipment package adds a larger touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and fog lights. The Premium package adds blind spot monitoring, a hands-free tailgate, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The Tech package adds a navigation system, a 360-degree-view camera, parking sensors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a panoramic sunroof.

The Sport 2.0T trim adds a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and comes equipped with the Popular Equipment and Premium packages. The Sport 2.0T Ultimate trim bundles the Popular, Premium, and Tech packages.

The Santa Fe SE is equipped with all of the base model’s features, plus a V6 engine and the Popular package. The Santa Fe Limited adds second-row captain’s chairs and the Premium package. Both the SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate trims contain the Popular, Premium, and Tech packages.

See 2017 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the two-row Santa Fe Sport a 2017 Top Safety Pick. The three-row Santa Fe earned an even better designation of Top Safety Pick+. Both received the second-lowest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test, but they earned the highest score of Good in all other areas tested.

Models outfitted with forward collision warning earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention. Both two- and three-row models received the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. However, properly equipped three-row models earned the highest rating of Good.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Santa Fe Sport a perfect five-star rating for front and side impact safety, as well as four stars for rollover crash safety. The 3-row Santa Fe was not tested by the NHTSA.

All 2017 Santa Fe and Sport models come with a rearview camera. Parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a 360-degree-view camera are available. Notably, only the Ultimate trims are optional with forward collision warning with brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and adaptive pivoting headlights.

See Santa Fe safety scores »

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe or 2017 Toyota Highlander?

It’s hard to go wrong with either the Santa Fe or the 2017 Toyota Highlander. Both SUVs have quality cabin materials, ample cargo space, and muscular V6 engine options. Both also rate well in crash safety and predicted reliability. The Highlander has better family-friendly features, like an in-car intercom and a rear-seat DVD player. It also comes standard with many advanced safety features. You’d have to spring for the top Santa Fe Ultimate model to find similar equipment. On the other hand, the Santa Fe has a roomier third row, as well as support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Used Santa Fe models are also typically much less expensive than used Highlanders.

Which Is Better: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe or 2017 Honda Pilot?

The 2017 Honda Pilot is another great option; in fact, we named it the 2017 Best 3-Row SUV for Families. The Pilot offers more cargo space than the Santa Fe, and its third row can seat adults in reasonable comfort. However, the Hyundai has a better safety score and an easier-to-use infotainment system. Choosing the right SUV for you comes down to your preferences.

Compare the Santa Fe, Highlander, and Pilot »

2017 Santa Fe Performance

How Does the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Drive?

The Santa Fe Sport comes standard with a 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The Sport 2.0T model has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. The three-row Santa Fe is only available with a 290-horsepower V6 engine. A smooth six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive (AWD) is available.

While the Santa Fe Sport’s 185-horsepower engine scoots the SUV around with adequate gusto, the 2.0T is worth the upgrade. This engine, as well as the Santa Fe's V6, deliver zippy acceleration in town and more confident passing power on the highway.

Regardless of the engine, the Santa Fe has refined driving dynamics. The SUV remains stable in tight turns, its steering is responsive, and the brakes offer fine stopping power. The suspension soaks up most bumps and dips without fuss, though models equipped with the larger 19-inch wheels have a bumpier ride quality on rough pavement. If you can, opt for a model with the smaller 17- or 18-inch wheels.

Does the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Santa Fe Sport gets EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway (20/26 mpg city/highway with AWD). These numbers are average by class standards. The Sport 2.0T model yields a similar 20/28 mpg city/highway (19/26 mpg with AWD). The Santa Fe V6 dips fuel economy further to 18/25 mpg (18/24 mpg with AWD), but these numbers are still adequate for the midsize SUV class.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Capacity

The Santa Fe Sport is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. The Santa Fe SE and Limited can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Read more about Santa Fe performance »

2017 Santa Fe Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Santa Fe Seat?

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 2-row SUV with seating for five. The Santa Fe SE and Limited are 3-row SUVs. SE models seat seven; Limited models have second-row captain’s chairs and seating for six. The Santa Fe offers good forward visibility, generous head- and legroom in its first and second rows, and comfortable seats. The third row is best reserved for kids and smaller teens, as it’s slim on legroom and has a slightly awkward low seating position. The second-row seats recline and slide to better accommodate passengers and provide easier third-row access. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated, ventilated, and leather seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats. The lower anchors are easy to access, but other hardware can be confused for the tether anchors. In both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

The Santa Fe comes standard with a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth. Available features include a navigation system, a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Blue Link telematics. Blue Link allows owners to remotely lock/unlock their vehicles, set limits for teen drivers, and call for help in an emergency. Hyundai’s touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use, and it’s complemented by simple buttons and knobs for the audio and climate controls. The dashboard is nicely styled, and it wears mostly high-quality materials. That said, there are some hard and cheap-looking plastics mixed in.

See 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe specs »

Read more about Santa Fe interior »

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Dimensions

Hyundai Santa Fe Cargo Space

The Santa Fe Sport has 35.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 71.5 cubic feet of space with the seats folded. The 3-row Santa Fe has 13.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, but a roomier 40.9 cubic feet with its third row folded and 80 cubic feet with its third and second rows folded.

2017 Santa Fe Length and Weight

The Santa Fe Sport is 15.4 feet long, and the 3-row Santa Fe is 16.1 feet long. Curb weight ranges from 3,624 to 4,198 pounds, depending on the body style and drivetrain.

Where Was the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Built?

The Santa Fe was built at factories in West Point, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama.

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