Review: 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe

Our overall assessment is that the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe is a great new option for those looking in the midsized SUV segment.

Taking a cue from the blockbuster sales of sister company Kia’s Telluride, Hyundai has redesigned the Santa Fe to be boxier and more dynamic in appearance. Some may not like this new look, but we think it’s pretty strong and are glad to see the Santa Fe get boldly redesigned.

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe is all-new as the fifth generation of the crossover-SUV. One of the Korean automaker’s most popular models, the Santa Fe now has a standard third row, slightly more interior space, a better standard engine, and includes the return of the hybrid model.

Hyundai did not hold back when redesigning this new Santa Fe. Not one to wait around and find out anyway, the change from the previously more svelte and rounded Santa Fe to this boxier, more “modern overlanding” look is a lot of change. And we like it. A lot.

Drivetrains, Pricing, and Fuel Economy

Now standard in the 2024 Santa Fe is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 277 horsepower. This runs to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 12.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (the latter wireless) are also standard. A power liftgate, noise-reducing side windows, and LED headlamps are also standard equipment. Along with a full suite of advanced safety technologies and adaptive cruise control. All-wheel drive is an option at all trim levels.

That’s a pretty solid list of equipment for a base model SUV like this. Pricing for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at about $36,000 for the base model (with delivery) and about $39,000 for the hybrid. Most buyers, after adding options, will likely be in the $40,000 to $44,000 range respectively.

For that added cost, buyers can jump to the second-up SEL trim point and get roof rails, heated front seating, dual-zone climate, a larger driver instrument cluster to match the large infotainment screen, and a wireless charging pad. The roof rails add a lot to the Santa Fe’s looks and the other items are comfort and convenience things that most people will like having. Those looking for a more off-road look can go to the XRT, which ups towing to 4,500 pounds and adds a little ground clearance with all-terrain tires. Among other things.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is not a truly off-road vehicle, but crossovers like this are usually more capable than most would give them credit for. We found this one to be about average for getting off the pavement; capable of most dirt roads (whatever their maintenance), provided they did not require a lot of ground clearance. Getting to the lake or the cabin is probably doable in the Santa Fe most of the time. Just don’t expect any rock climbing or mud bogging out of it.

Fuel economy in the 2024 Santa Fe is good as well. The front-wheel drive model is EPA-rated at 29 mpg on the highway while the all-wheel drive model loses only one point at 28. The XRT drops to 26 mpg, thanks to those A/T tires and suspension lift. The Santa Fe Hybrid model leaps the highway economy to 36 mpg in FWD and 34 in AWD.

Our Time With the 2024 Santa Fe

Our real-world driving of the new Santa Fe involved a week of daily driving plus highway efficiency testing. Ours was the standard gasoline model with AWD. Our highway MPG returns were 27.5 mpg overall after a 42-mile loop at high altitude. That bodes well for most Santa Fe drivers expecting to hit those EPA numbers.

The third row in the new Santa Fe is occasional use rather than full-time use, as it negates almost all of the cargo room and isn’t very roomy. Buyers in this segment can’t expect much more than that from their small to midsized SUV. Hyundai has the larger Palisade for those needing a more permanent seven-seat option.

Comfort and drive quality in the new Santa Fe is really good. The driver will have no issues figuring out which button or switch does what. The shifter, however, has moved to the lower right on the steering column. This takes a little time to get used to, but worse, it can be in the way. More than once I bumped the shifter into neutral while reaching over to turn the volume or climate knobs. Not a fan of that setup.

Moving the shifter, however, did free up a lot of console space which, in our Santa Fe test model, meant two wireless charging pads. In other models, it means more storage space at the front-center of the console. So that’s a plus.

Our overall assessment is that the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe is a great new option for those looking in the midsized SUV segment. It’s a great family hauler that drives well and delivers on comfort. As with most Hyundai models, it’s more premium than might be expected for the price point and is versatile and functional in every expected way.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at