The interior of the Hyundai Santa Fe has an upmarket ambiance, even in base specification with cloth seats. It has the latest in connected technology and massive amounts of space for all passengers. In terms of quality, Hyundai has made huge strides in the last decade. The quality levels went from slightly below European rivals to matching them at a more affordable price. If there's one criticism, it might be the smattering of buttons on the center console. The reduction in buttons have resulted in more usable storage space than in years gone by, but there are still way more buttons than some other modern minimalist designs, although most people might actually welcome this. Top models come with luxuries like ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a Harman Kardon sound system.
The Santa Fe used to be offered as a seven-seater with a third row, but Hyundai dropped the option, and now it's only available with five seats. Since the two seats in the third row were essentially worthless, we see this as a great move. This vehicle works much better as a five-seater with a massive trunk. Headroom all around is more than adequate for even taller folk, even with the panoramic roof. The legroom is very generous with 44.1 inches in the front and 41.7 inches in the rear, and six-footers will feel relatively comfortable seated there. The driver has to make do with a seat that feels positioned a bit too high in relation to the steering wheel, and the roof pillars at the back partially obstruct the view out. Overall, this is still a very practical family vehicle.
|Hyundai Santa Fe Trims||SE||SEL||XRT||Hybrid Blue||Hybrid SEL Premium||Limited||Hybrid Limited||Plug in Hybrid SEL Convenience||Calligraphy||Plug in Hybrid Limited|
|Headroom Front Seat||41.2 in.||41.2 in.||41.2 in.||41.2 in.||41.2 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.||41.2 in.||39.5 in.||39.5 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||39 in.||39 in.||39 in.||39 in.||39 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.||39 in.||37.8 in.||37.8 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.||44.1 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||40.8 in.||40.8 in.||41.7 in.||40.8 in.||39.5 in.||41.7 in.||39.5 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.||58.3 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.||57.5 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.||56.3 in.|
SE and SEL models are only available with black, beige, and gray interior color schemes and cloth upholstery. Once again, it's worth mentioning that you can't match all of the upholstery options mentioned above with all the available exterior colors. The Limited has a leather interior in the same colors, while the Calligraphy model lets you choose between black and beige quilted premium Nappa leather. The Calligraphy also has a nice eco-suede microfiber headliner. The new XRT only comes with a black interior. As for the hybrid, the base Blue gets a black interior with cloth upholstery, while the SEL Premium and Limited get leather, with either black or beige interiors on offer. The PHEV gets a choice of black or beige interiors on both SEL Convenience and Limited trims, but the former has cloth upholstery and the latter has leather.
The Santa Fe was designed with hybridization in mind from the start, so the battery pack has no impact on the trunk space. With all five seats in place, the Santa Fe has 36.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Once you fold the 60/40 split rear seats flat, the available space increases to 72.1 cubes. Upper trim levels have a power-release folding function for the second row.
Interior storage is better thanks to the changes made to the center console in recent years. Now that it's less cluttered, there's an additional storage space below the floating console. In the center console, there are two cupholders - one concealed and one open - and a slot for your phone to be wirelessly charged for models equipped with this feature. The storage compartment underneath the center armrest is usefully deep, and the door pockets are big enough for large water bottles. Rear passengers get two cupholders hidden in the middle rear seatback.
The SE model comes standard with a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, manual air-conditioning, a multifunction steering wheel, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a rearview camera, and a 4.2-inch digital display in the instrument cluster. The SEL trim adds an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging, and keyless entry with a push-button start. The XRT is just an off-road appearance package added to the SEL, with an all-black interior and H-Tex upholstery. The Limited trim adds multiple luxury features like an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a surround-view monitor, a heated steering wheel, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The top-spec Calligraphy gets a head-up display, quilted Nappa leather upholstery, and expanded interior accent lighting. Every Santa Fe comes with adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-keep and -following assist, and driver-attention warning. With a few differences here and there, the three hybrid trims closely match the trims of the ICE models. However, there is no Calligraphy trim offered in hybrid guise. The PHEV has only two trims, namely SEL Convenience, which has what the normal SEL has plus several extra features, and the Limited.
SE, Blue (hybrid), and SEL Convenience (PHEV) models are equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, front/rear USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity, while all other trims get a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen which adds navigation with live traffic updates. The SEL and up, and all hybrids and PHEVs, have HD Radio. The eight-inch system is mated to a basic six-speaker sound system. At the same time, the more extensive interface is connected to a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system with Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology in the top two trims, with this audio system optional as part of the Premium package on the SEL and not available on the XRT. It's worth pointing out that while the bigger touchscreen also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it's wired, not wireless as is the case with the more basic system.