Safety galore

Hyundai also packs the Santa Fe with lots of safety features, such as six air bags, electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring and brake assist, which will apply maximum brake force if it detects an emergency.

All in all, the Santa Fe isn't a bad vehicle. But Hyundai has raised the bar on itself, and when you get into this vehicle, there's very little that makes you say, "Wow, I really want one of these."

Hyundai doesn't even feel like the value vehicle in this segment, which is ground the carmaker often holds over the competition. It takes $23,000 to get a base model with an automatic transmission, and the top-of-the-line model cost more than $30,000.

With so much attention being paid to compact crossovers, the expectation has become that every vehicle needs to be the very best in the bunch.

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