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Hyundai Santa FE In Snow: How Good Is It? [ We Answered ]

Hyundai Santa FE In Snow: How Good Is It? [ We Answered ]

Hyundai’s Santa Fe is the brand’s midsize crossover SUV. It’s a practical midsize SUV with no fancy bells and whistles.

But it has a powerful and reliable drivetrain, consisting of a 3.3-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The engine delivers enough thrust to move this 3,500-pound vehicle with little trouble.

The biggest question though is Santa Fe good in snow?

Is a Hyundai Santa Fe good in snow?

Yes, Santa Fe’s all-wheel-drive system, available as an option, features a range of active safety and traction control features designed to help you navigate slippery road conditions. The 2.0L engine is quite powerful and won’t struggle with poor road conditions, such as snow.

Unlike the traditional all-wheel-drive systems, Santa Fe’s system doesn’t suffer from limited traction or poor power delivery.

Santa Fe has the power to move the vehicle in low-traction conditions effectively. It also incorporates a set of traction control features designed to improve handling on wet, snowy, and other slippery road surfaces.

How Well Does Hyundai Santa Fe Handle Snow?

The Hyundai Santa Fe’s standard traction and stability control system (ESC) is tuned to stop the rear wheels from spinning in deep snow.

It’s a good thing when you’re trying to climb a steep, slippery hill, but not when you need to turn sharply in deep snow.

If you’re driving a Santa Fe with the base traction control system, you might want to add the snow setting, which allows wheelspin. (The upgraded ESC system already includes this feature.)

The system will pulse the brakes and apply the throttle to prevent the rear wheels from spinning. However, one of the side effects of this intervention is that it reduces the responsiveness of the throttle.

Since you lose so much control of the throttle, you need to be very careful when driving through deep snow to reapply the throttle slowly and gently to avoid spinning.

The Santa Fe is comfortable and handles well. It is quiet and has a good ride.

Interestingly, it can also tow a trailer, which is rare for a crossover.

Does Hyundai Santa Fe Have Snow Tires?

Santa Fe is a good vehicle to use on snow.

The traction control that is electronically controlled helps a lot in maintaining the car on the road.

Santa Fe doesn’t however have special winter tires. But the SUV allows the mounting of third-party winter tires.

All you have to do is visit a tire dealer shop and ask for a winter tire fix and you will greatly improve your safety on the road.

Winter tires have a completely different rubber compound than summer tires, and they’re crucial in the snowiest parts of the country.  In fact, in the northern states, you’re required to have winter tires or snow chains on your car if the weather says you need them.

You can check with your dealership who will advise on the best winter tires to use on your car and avoid wrong tire mounting that can be dangerous for you and other road users.

What Are the Snow Features Hyundai Santa Fe Have?

There are 4 features; All-wheel drive (AWD), Hill-start, Ground clearance, and Hyundai downhill brake control (DBC).

All Wheel Drive

The AWD system is excellent and well equipped for driving in snow.

It’s an incredible system that engages all four wheels from a stop, dialing up traction and keeping the front wheels from slipping.

The AWD also has a great self-locking mechanism, which in the event of a skid, prevents the wheels from spinning and powering the vehicle forward.

In addition, the system also anticipates slippery conditions and automatically engages the rear differential to help the car stay in a straight line, as well as keeping the wheels turning when necessary to aid traction.

Hill-start Assist

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a hill-start assist to help you when the vehicle starts moving. This is a system that stops the vehicle from rolling backward when you lift your foot from stepping on the gas pedal.

Hill-start assist keeps your Santa Fe on a standstill on the sloppy ground, even with the brakes not applied.

On snow, it keeps the tires grounded to the firm snow.

Ground Clearance

Most winter hardy cars come in with about 6-8 inches of ground clearance.

It’s sufficient for most winter vehicles and might even be more than you need if you live in regions that don’t experience much snow build-up.

Often these vehicles do good with 4 to 5 inches of snow and just simply do not make it out if they hit more than this amount of snow. If the snow depth increases, so does your risk of getting stuck.

Santa Fe has a massive ground clearance of 8.2″

The clearance allows for movement even in some of the snowiest areas as the snow won’t get lodged in the body when driving. The ground clearance of Santa Fe is one of the main reasons it shines over its competitors on snow.

Downhill Brake Control

According to Hyundai, DBC Brake Control is a state-of-the-art driver-assist system that can brake the vehicle for you when road conditions are slippery.

The DBC system automatically slows the vehicle down and applies the brakes when sensors detect imminent danger to help you stay relaxed and focused on the road.

Why Santa Fe?

As with any other Santa Fe model, the S model has a bunch of standard safety features—such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and safety assist lane change assist.

It also has an optional suite of active safety features, including pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control.


In summary, Hyundai Santa Fe is a trusted vehicle to be driven in snowy conditions. The vehicle has active safety features that assist in driving on slippery terrain.

The Santa Fe has hill assist control (HAC), which limits the vehicle’s speed to 3 mph or 5 mph when on slopes.

Santa Fe’s un-hold control (UCH), automatically holds a chosen spot when turning at low speeds.

On the other hand, the vehicle also has hill start assist control (HSAC), which prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when starting on a slope.

In addition, the Hyundai Santa Fe has tow hooks, cargo hooks that fold out of the rear back bumper, side mirrors with turn indicators, and a tire pressure monitoring system. These features make this SUV a perfect winter car.