SUV Review: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Limited

Not normally given to hyperbole, Hyundai Auto Canada is nonetheless stretching the definition of the word “extensive” in announcing the changes made to the largest model in its lineup, the mid-sized Santa Fe XL sport-ute. And, talk about getting a jump on the year, said refreshed XL is being released as a 2017 model.

It’s not that I’m making light of the popular three-row SUV; it’s just that these revisions are really subtle — at least to someone not intimately connected with the South Korean automaker. Of course, another way of looking at it is that Hyundai is confident it got the essentials right when it initially launched the XL for the 2014 model year, and the 2017 version’s “fluidic sculpture” styling merely needs a tweak here and there to be competitive with its rivals. Speaking of which, these would include other three-row models such as the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia.

For those with keen eyesight, exterior changes to the biggest Santa Fe — there’s also the smaller, five-passenger Sport version — include new headlights, grille, taillights, bumpers, wheel design and standard LED daytime running lights (with aerodynamic vents that improve airflow by shuttling air around the front wheels). Inside, there’s a new centre stack (that looks a lot like the old centre stack) with a standard five-inch LCD touchscreen, plus an “extensive” list of new features. Read more...

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11 Feb 2017

By Brian Harper