|Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV can fit seven and comes with a boatload of features.|
Both its Santa Fe and Accent lines aim to please for singles, students and families.
Being a lifestyle writer, I happen to review cars for a few magazines as well. Well there are a few standouts that may answer the inquiries of my many friends, family and overall readers of this site. They ask me what cars really impress me, are the most luxurious, the best on gas, and overall have the best value for what they’re intending to spend.
I enjoy those conversations and during many of them, will do my best to recommend whatever will ease their search. Well over the past few months, Hyundai's automobiles have been very consistent in terms of quality, solid design, and overall offering the most bang for the buck. Thinking about school about to let out, kids heading to college, and anyone looking for a new car they can afford, the all-new 2018 Accent Limited sedan and the 2018 Santa Fe Limited SUV successfully deliver. Of course, Hyundai can go upscale as well and you will see what I mean with my review of the mind-blowing 2018 Genesis G90 Ultimate luxury sedan in my upcoming June edition of Driver’s Notebook for Lifestyle Publications. But for now, let’s focus on the aforementioned Hyundai duo that presents the most value in a practical world.
Photos courtesy of Hyundai.
The all-new 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited
The all-new Hyundai Accent is one of the best bangs for the buck I have yet to review. The plethora of amenities graciously packed in this subcompact sedan really wowed me. I was very surprised to see the three trims—the SE listed at $14,995 MSRP; SEL ($17,295); and my review model, the top-of-the-line Limited ($18,895)—having so many standard features. The latter comes with everything including the 17-inch alloy wheels; a 7-inch touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay; leather-wrapped steering wheel; power sunroof; fog lights; heated front seats; and the feature everyone should demand—the proximity key with push-button start—to name a few.
Regarding power, all three have the same 130-hp, 1.6L 4-cylinder engine. The combined city and highway gas mileage for the SEL and Limited is a very reasonable 32 miles per gallon, while the SE is (oddly) one combined mile lower. With all of these perks, along with Hyundai providing arguably the best warranty programs in the automotive industry, the Accent in any trim becomes a serious consideration.
(Note there used to be a hatchback version, but this upgraded sedan’s roomy trunk works just fine.)
Fuel Economy: 28 city/ 38 highway/ 32 combined
Base Price: $19,905 fully equipped as reviewed.
2018 Santa Fe Limited Ultimate
If you have a large family or plan on toting folks around regularly, Hyundai comes correct with the 2018 Santa Fe in three trims capable of accommodating up to seven passengers with a third-row option. They remain consistent with their reputation of providing a healthy dose of features seen here that come standard in the SE (starting at $30,850; SE Ultimate ($38,850); and my review model which is the most lavish of the bunch, the Santa Fe Limited Ultimate ($39,550). Prices differentiate in each trim with the addition of the all-wheel-drive option, and I strongly recommend the $2,100 Tech Package to build driving confidence in the safety department. It includes Smart Cruise Control with stop/start; Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Warning; Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Holder; and various lighting settings.I also appreciate the balance of a smooth ride, yet a powerful 290-hp 3.3L GDI DOHC 24-valve V6 engine complemented with impressively nimble handling to spike the excitement of the driving experience. There is also a smaller, five-passenger Sport version in three trims as well. Go here for more info.
All in all, after considering the high safety accolades, handsome design, strong engine, its seemingly endless list of amenities that come standard, and reasonable tag, I recommended this Santa Fe Limited Ultimate to my cousin who just added a baby boy to his family. The verdict? He says if he is going to be a family man, he might as well have fun doing it. Hey, works for me!
Visit www.hyundaiusa.com for all the information on both models and the rest of their fleet.
Happy driving! Do it responsibly.