With the ever-increasing market for crossover SUVs, manufacturers have pumped up their lineups with a variety of sizes. Now, in addition to compact, midsize and full-size models, there are 'tweeners like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Baby brother to the larger seven-passenger Santa Fe (which is covered in a separate review), the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport essentially fills the gap between the truly compact Tucson and the midsize Santa Fe.
Despite competing in a crowded segment, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport makes a strong showing. Under the sharp-looking sheet metal is a roomy, quiet cabin stocked with a generous amount of standard features. Cargo capacity is ample, while one can opt for a turbocharged engine to add an extra kick to this crossover's already commendable driving dynamics. Topping it all off is Hyundai's generous warranty coverage.
Current Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
The Santa Fe Sport is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. The larger Santa Fe, with which it shares part of its name and general cabin design, is covered in a separate review. There are two trim levels: base and 2.0 Turbo (2.0T).
Base trim highlights include 17-inch wheels, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system and an audio system with iPod integration. The Sport 2.0T features a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, power and heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a blind-spot monitoring system. Other than the wheels and engine, those items are optional on the base model. Additional options include xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a navigation system and upgraded audio systems.
The base Hyundai Santa Fe Sport comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic. The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that increases output to 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
In reviews, we've found the Santa Fe Sport to be a comfortable road trip ally. The cabin is furnished with quality materials, user-friendly controls and comfortable seats front and rear. On the road, this Hyundai provides a compliant, quiet ride around town and on highways along with a light, sporty demeanor on curvy mountain roads. Minor gripes include a tendency for the car to wander slightly on the highway (necessitating frequent small corrections by the driver) and limited rearward visibility that makes the available rearview camera a must. Performance from the base engine is adequate, while the turbocharged mill's added punch gets this crossover up to speed with authority. Fuel economy isn't quite as thrifty as most rivals, however.
Used Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Models
Introduced for 2013, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has remained essentially unchanged apart from minor equipment additions.