Considering a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe? Buy a 2017 Model and Pocket The Difference


The Hyundai Santa Fe has been around for over fifteen years now, a long-standing model of Hyundai and clearly very popular.

The last restyle and update of this mid-size crossover was back in 2013, and some critics would say that Hyundai didn’t go far enough, although the 2016 model did get significant upgrades.

But will the new 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe model be different? Rumor suggests that it is still only likely to get a facelift, with a complete redesign being scheduled for 2019, it seems that Hyundai will be offering more of the same for 2018.

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe has been spotted testing out on the public highway, although of course it has been heavily-camouflaged. Aside from a few minor differences, nothing much seems to have changed.

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Is Coming Soon!


1. Coming Soon
2. $40,000+ Fully Loaded
3. Composite?
4. Great Technology
5. Interior
6. Up Against

We think the third generation of this crossover will be released to the Asian market first; China and South Korea primarily, with the U.S. following on shortly from that. We expect to see the debut of the 2018 Santa Fe around June – July, with a full nationwide roll-out around August 2017. It’s very doubtful that we’ll see it before then, some have even said as late as October of this year.

$40,000+ Fully-loaded

There are going to be a few variants of the Santa Fe such as Sport, Grand and of course, a base model. Prices are said to be similar to the current model, which would mean the base model coming in at $31,695 and the fully loaded Limited Ultimate coming in at just over the $42,000 mark, $42,395 to be exact, although what isn’t clear is whether that includes the destination fee of $895.

Better Gas Mileage

Perhaps the biggest change will be under the hood; although Hyundai say that there will be a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gas engine (only available in the Santa Fe Sport – the baby brother of the regular Santa Fe), Hyundai will be reworking the 3.3 liter V6 to give better gas mileage, but even that won’t be much different – possibly just a slightly different mapping process on the ECU.

Economy should be in the region of 21/27/24 MPG (city, highway and combined) for the front-wheel drive model and 20/26/22 MPG for the all-wheel drive version. The only transmission available is the 6-speed automatic. The towing capacity remains a hefty 5,000 lbs.

There has been a rumor about a hybrid Santa Fe, but this is purely based on the fact that the vehicle could accommodate a hybrid system if Hyundai decided to fit one, so we don’t think that there is much grounding to that rumor.


The Santa Fe will also be a little lighter, thanks to the use of aluminum and (possibly) composite bodywork, not only does that show Hyundai aren’t afraid of innovation, but it should also help the crossover hit around 27 MPG on the highway.

The rest of the restyle is centered around the headlights, front grille, exhaust system and rear of the vehicle; Hyundai did a fair bit of improvement for 2016, so they aren’t planning anything significant now until the 2019 Model Year is due. There really won’t be that much to differentiate between the 2017 and 2018 models – if you’re looking to purchase a Santa Fe, you’d be better off getting in there just as the dealers are discounting the 2017 model in time for the 2018 version to come along.

Although the Santa Fe has won the IIHS Top Safety Pick+, you’re only going to get that safety rating with the fully-loaded Limited Ultimate, fitted with the Tech Package (at a further $2,100) – it’s that package that supplies the automatic emergency braking required for the pick.

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Great Technology

Other tech listed, either as options or fitted (depending on the trim level picked) includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning (although no steering assist), rear view camera (across all the models), steering linked headlights and a multi-camera system for a birds-eye view of the vehicle.

Active Cornering Control is also listed, this (in theory) brakes the inside rear-wheel under hard cornering and sends any additional power to the outside rear-wheel.

The Interior of Hyundai Santa Fe 2018

Inside the cabin, you’ll find the usual technology that we’ve come accustomed to; climate control, multifunction steering wheel, navigation, Bluetooth, USB and hands-free calling but we’ll also see a satellite radio and the BlueLink touchscreen infotainment system.

Seats are supportive, but remain comfortable and as you’d expect, fully adjustable. Base models will be trimmed in cloth, but of course, if you tick the right options, you can upgrade that to a quality leather.

Up Against

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe will compete against the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Chevy Traverse, Mazda CX-9 and the Ford Explorer.

Of course, they’re all good vehicles, for similar pricing, so it really does come down to how you feel about each brand, or what vehicle suits you best.
Editor's rating
4.5 overall
  • Safety4.6
  • Performance4.5
  • Design4.5
  • Features4.6
  • Fuel economy4.5

Updated 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe will not bring the evolution to SUV market, but will definitely keep all features loved by customers.

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