Pros: The stylish 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe XL stands out from the regular, short-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport with a 60/40-split third-row seat that boosts seating capacity to seven while increasing versatility. Equipped with a powerful V6, it offers spirited acceleration and tows up to 5,000 lbs.
Cons: The V6's fuel economy is somewhat disappointing. One could say the same thing about cargo room behind the third-row seat. Steering lacks feedback, while the big sideview mirrors affect forward visibility.
Price and Fuel Economy: The base FWD model costs $30,449. Every other trim benefits from AWD, including the Premium at $35,399. Next up is the Luxury, which retails from $40,199. Finally, the top-of-the-line Santa Fe XL Limited, available in 6- and 7-passenger configurations, starts at $43,549.
As for fuel consumption, the Santa Fe XL FWD averages 11.3L/100km, while AWD carries a mere 0.2L/100km penalty at the pump. The heavier Limited model posts a combined rating of 12.5L/100km.
Improvements and Changes: No major changes; only slight pricing adjustments for 2016.
Powertrain: The lone engine choice is a 3.3L V6 with gasoline direct injection, and AWD is available. Output is rated at 290 horsepower, while maximum torque amounts to 252 lb-ft. It's all handled by a 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual mode. By the way, AWD models feature Active Cornering Control.
Cargo Capacity: The trunk can hold 383 litres of gear. By folding the second and third rows of seats, the cargo area expands to 2,265 litres.
Safety: As a proud recipient of a 5-star crash rating, the Santa Fe XL comes standard with seven airbags (including a driver's knee airbag), stability and traction control, as well as hill-start assist and downhill brake control. A blind spot detection system with rear cross traffic alert is available.
Direct Competitors: Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander.