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A grey 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is shown from the front going down a dirt road after leaving a used Hyundai dealership near you.

Fall in Love With the Hyundai Santa Fe: Your Used Santa Fe Buyer’s Guide

Did you know that Hyundai is a pioneer in the SUV market? Hyundai made headlines with the debut of the Santa Fe in 2000. As the automaker’s first SUV, the Santa Fe set a new standard for the brand and in the segment. It proved an SUV could be rugged and sophisticated, practical and innovative, capable and efficient. It was everything drivers imagined an SUV should be and still is. Essentially, it’s proven that Hyundai is acutely aware of what drivers want and need in a vehicle.

Today, the Santa Fe continues a 20-year legacy in the Hyundai lineup and is a great reason to shop for a used Hyundai dealership in your area. The first-generation Santa Fe, built from 2000 to 2006, is what Hyundai calls the “original best seller” and paved the way for the more powerful, spacious, and advanced second-generation Santa Fe built from 2006 to 2012. However, while these models are impressive, the best finds on the used lot are third and fourth-generation models built since 2017. These Santa Fes are laden with innovative features that add incredible value to Hyundai’s most popular SUV.

Design: Modern and Rugged Sophistication

As you start your search for a used Santa Fe, you’ll notice the SUV’s striking exterior design is a balance of rugged sophistication. Hyundai accomplishes this by frequently updating the Santa Fe’s exterior, ensuring it stays relevant in an ever-changing market. For example, you’ll find 2017, 2019, and 2021 models introduce new design updates that progress the Santa Fe into a more modern aesthetic.

On the 2017 Santa Fe, these updates include a bold front and rear fascia, a brushed front grille, LED headlights, and dual exhaust outlets. The Santa Fe’s LED lighting carries over to the 2019 and 2021 redesigns. For 2019, the Santa Fe boasts a broader stance, an athletic body with bold lines, and diamond-cut 48 cm wheels. More subtle elements enhance the 2021 Santa Fe’s design with power-folding side mirrors and puddle lamps, front and rear skid plates, an updated muffler, and a sleek front grille that begs attention for all the right reasons.

A blue 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is shown from the side while parked in dirt.

Powertrains: Plenty of Power at Your Disposal

The Santa Fe defies the belief that an SUV can’t be responsive or fun to drive. Its multi-engine lineup proves otherwise, making the Santa Fe an exceptional performer at any speed. This nod to performance began in 2017 when Hyundai equipped the Santa Fe with a new standard feature known as Drive Mode Select. The technology fits the Santa Fe with Sport, Eco, and Normal performance modes, allowing you to customize the SUV’s performance to your driving needs.

These customizable drive modes paired exceptionally well with the Santa Fe‘s multi-engine lineup. The 2.4L four-cylinder engine is the SUV’s standard powerplant and delivers 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. However, if you’re looking for more power, look for a Santa Fe with the 2.0L turbo under its hood. This engine churns out 240 horsepower (2017-2019) or 235 horsepower (2020-present) and 260 lb-ft of torque for quick acceleration and agile handling, whether cruising at highway speeds or navigating rush-hour traffic in town.

2017 and 2018 Santa Fe models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. While the transmission is plenty capable, Hyundai made a significant improvement in 2019 by introducing the newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission. Designed in-house, the new transmission delivers a wider power range for a more engaging experience behind the wheel without sacrificing efficiency. This balance makes 2019 and newer models more attractive to drivers looking for an enhanced driving experience.

Connectivity: Stay Connected at Every Turn

Staying connected isn’t a worry when driving the Santa Fe because Hyundai ensures you have all the tools you need at your fingertips. The 2017 Santa Fe is an excellent example of this and comes standard with a 12.70-cm colour display audio system or a 20.32-cm touchscreen navigation system with Android Auto capability. If you’re looking for newer technology, you’ll want to start your search for a 2018 Santa Fe since Hyundai outfits the SUV with a 17.78-cm display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM. Of course, newer models like the 2019 Santa Fe have even more to offer after Hyundai redesigned and repositioned the display, adding features like wireless smartphone charging for greater convenience.

Safety: Confidence Behind the Wheel

Hyundai prioritizes your safety, giving you confidence wherever the road takes you. You’ll find every Santa Fe, whether you purchase a 2017 or a newer 2020 model, offers a variety of safety and driver-assist features that enhance your visibility. For example, the 2017 Santa Fe comes with either a standard Rearview Camera or a Multi-View Camera System, Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start technology, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, High Beam Assist, and Lane Departure Warning.

In 2018, Hyundai extended the Santa Fe’s safety suite to include standard technology like Vehicle Stability Management with Electronic Stability Control, a Traction Control System, Downhill Brake Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, and Brake Assist. In addition, the automaker also introduced the Hyundai Blue Link Connected Car System, which includes Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, maintenance reminders, on-demand diagnostics, and roadside assistance.

Hyundai made significant changes to the Santa Fe’s safety and driver-assist technology for 2019 and 2020. The 2019 Santa Fe introduced Hyundai’s Smart Sense suite, equipping the SUV with High Beam Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, a Driver Attention Warning, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, and a rearview camera. Some top-tier models also include Parking Distance Warning Reverse and a Surround View Monitor.

The 2020 Santa Fe offers the latest in Hyundai’s safety technology, starting with the Blue Link connected car system that gives you remote control over the vehicle and provides vehicle diagnostics and roadside assistance via an app on your smartphone. The Santa Fe’s primary safety features carry over from the 2019 model and add new standard technology like the Blind-View Monitor and Rear Occupant Alert.

The interior of a 2022 Santa Fe is shown from the drivers seat.

Why Choose Hyundai, Why Choose Santa Fe?

The Santa Fe is a remarkable SUV that sets new benchmarks in the segment while simultaneously building Hyundai’s blossoming reputation in the industry. As Hyundai’s introductory SUV, the Santa Fe is replete with innovative technology, stunning design details, and a suite of conveniences and features that prove Hyundai knows what drivers want and deserve in an SUV. In short, the Santa Fe is the SUV you didn’t think you needed until now.

Even more impressive is that you’ll enjoy everything the Santa Fe offers regardless of whether you’re behind the wheel of a 2017 or 2021 model. Hyundai’s commitment to constantly evolving the SUV and adapting its technology to match the needs and demands of drivers guarantees every Santa Fe is an exceptional value. So, which model will you choose? There’s only one way to find out, and that starts by getting behind the wheel for a test drive of Hyundai’s best-selling SUV. We here at River City Hyundai welcome you to come down and experience the Santa Fe for yourself. We’re confident you’ll be able to find a used model with all the features you’re looking for!