Hyundai Santa Fe XL goes big for buyers

hHyundai's brand new big suv
2019 Hyundai Sante Fe XL Unlimited

Hyundai has one of the most complete line of vehicles a consumer can choose from. Sporty car, comfy sedan or crossover SUV – the company offers a great choice in all of these categories. You can now add the Santa Fe XL to that list.

The Santa Fe XL is a three-row version of the Santa Fe, both of which are new for 2019. This vehicle offers a ton of tech, convenience features and room for those looking for the latest and greatest in SUV.

The Santa Fe XL rides on a 110.2-inch wheelbase. It is 74.2 inches wide and is 193 inches long. That wheelbase and length help give the Santa Fe better cargo capacity and passenger room than Mazda’s stately CX-9 and Toyota’s Highlander, vehicles which Hyundai views as direct competition.

Hyundai has made the Sante Fe XL bolder and more brawny looking without sacrificing its appeal to women who will surely be the biggest buyer of the vehicle. It comes off as handsome, but not intimidating. It certainly looks at home with the rest of the Hyundai family.

lots of leather and wood inside
Interior is spacious and modern in execution

The interior is classy with a great deal of expensive looking materials used. It’s a very airy and open cabin, especially with the shade on the panoramic sunroof open. The two-tone dash has smooth and textured coverings and what looks like real wood inlays on the side. The front and middle Captain’s chairs are really comfortable while the rear bench isn’t bad. There is ample leg room between the first two rows while third seat passenger room is good.

The Santa Fe XL comes with lots of standard equipment which includes a 3.3-liter direct injection gasoline V6 that makes 290 horsepower with 252 pounds-feet of torque. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that has selectable drive modes.

Power To Spare

The engine is smooth and strong and is only available in the XL. Even the sport gets a smaller, turbo charged engine. This V6 is exactly what the XL needs. Punch it and you get enough power to pass on the highway. It hums along nicely as you speed down then highway but also gives you peace of mind in urban traffic. The six speed transmission shifts crisply and unobtrusively.

The SUV’s ride quality is very good. The four-wheel independent suspension is great at soaking up bumps and road imperfections. It also helps the vehicle to offer good handling despite its size. You do get better handling if you go for the shorter wheelbase Santa Fe, but the XL isn’t a slouch. It’s more enjoyable to drive than some of  the competition.

The Santa Fe XL Unlimited also comes with leather seats, auto headlamps, LED daytime running lights, electroluminescent gauge cluster, handsfree lift gate, proximity key with pushbutton start, keyless entry, panoramic sunroof, quantum logic surround sound, heated-ventilated seats, heated power mirrors with turn signal indicators, dual auto climate controls and eight-inch touch screen. That comes at a price of $39,550.

Optional equipment  includes smart cruise, lane departure warning, high intensity headlamp, dynamic bending light and carpeted floor mats.

The as tested price of my Santa Fe XL Unlimited was $42,780. Some of the optional equipment is standard on other vehicles but there is plenty standard stuff that is optional on other brands. It’s an interesting mix but it works. The Santa Fe still stands out as a bargain, which is what Hyundai is known. It’s also a great vehicle no matter the price which is also becoming a Hyundai hallmark.