2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious, stylish and quiet interior
  • lots of features for the money
  • lengthy warranty.
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • poor rearward visibility
  • firm ride quality.
Other years
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for Sale
List Price Range
$11,276 - $20,488

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its generous equipment roster, top safety ratings and lengthy warranty, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a desirable pick among affordable crossover SUVs.

Vehicle overview

In a departure from industry norms, Hyundai split its Santa Fe crossover SUV into two different models a few years ago. The regular Santa Fe provides consumers with three rows of seating and a standard V6 engine, thereby appealing to larger families, while the smaller Santa Fe Sport takes care of those with no need for a third row and its attendant bulk. With a 4-inch shorter wheelbase than the regular Santa Fe, the 2016 Sport aims for a just-right balance between too big and too small.

Hyundai's 2016 Santa Fe Sport brings to the design table a stylistic edge not nearly as evident in the longer and larger Santa Fe.

Most shoppers will be very satisfied with the Santa Fe Sport's packaging and footprint. In its lower trim levels, the Sport's base price is not too far removed from the pricing of popular small crossovers from Honda (CR-V) and Toyota (RAV4). And yet it's a little bigger than those models, and four adults will find the interior genuinely spacious and well appointed, while a third adult in the rear is within the realm of possibility — something not easily considered with the CR-V or RAV4.

The Santa Fe Sport can be had with one of two engines: a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 190 horsepower or, in the 2.0T, a turbocharged four-cylinder supplying 265 hp. Both engines are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For both Sport variants, the list of standard features is long, while option packages allow you to move the Santa Fe Sport (especially in 2.0T guise) into an almost near-luxury specification.

Neither engine choice is particularly efficient, though, which might be of concern for some shoppers. The 2.0T with all-wheel drive, for example, delivers but 21 mpg in the EPA's combined cycle estimate. If you desire more efficiency under the hood, both Ford's Escape and redesigned Edge represent viable alternatives, as does Hyundai's smaller Tucson, which is also redesigned this year. Other top picks worth considering might be the sporty Mazda CX-5 and rugged Jeep Cherokee. But if you're searching for a roomy and well-appointed crossover SUV, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is definitely worth a look.

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport models

The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is available in two trim levels: base and 2.0T.
Standard features for the base model include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, LED headlight accents, tinted rear windows, heated side mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

Optional is the Popular Equipment package, which adds automatic headlights, foglights, roof rack side rails, a windshield wiper de-icer, heated front seats, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system and an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar support).

The Premium package requires the Popular Equipment package and includes keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power front passenger seat, sliding 60/40-split rear seats (with remote folding latches in the cargo area), dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded gauges, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, manual rear window sunshades and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Technology package requires the Premium package and adds rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Dimension audio system.

The Santa Fe Sport has a clean, contemporary-looking interior. The big 8-inch touchscreen is optional on the base and 2.0T trim levels.

The 2.0T trim level comes with most of the contents of the Popular Equipment and Premium Equipment packages, along with a more powerful turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels and the hands-free power liftgate. Optional on 2.0T models is the Ultimate package, which includes most of the contents of the Technology package and adds 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights and a 12-speaker Infinity surround-sound audio system.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is unchanged.

Performance & mpg

Powering the base 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 hp 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 EPA's estimated fuel economy for the 2.4 is 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg combined (19 city/25 highway) with all-wheel drive.
These are below-average results for the small crossover SUV segment.

The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T upgrades to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 265 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy drops only slightly to 22 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) with all-wheel drive. Note that the front-wheel-drive 2.0T Ultimate gets a 26 mpg highway rating with its unique 19-inch wheels, though the all-wheel-drive 2.0T Ultimate is unaffected.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive Santa Fe Sport 2.0T accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is a bit slower than is typical for a small crossover with an upgraded engine and AWD. A front-drive 2.0T model we tested was quicker at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph.


Standard safety features for the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints, a hill-holder feature and hill descent control.

A rearview camera and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert are optional on the base model and standard on the 2.0T.

Also optional on the base trim and standard on the 2.0T is Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, which offers roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and electronic parameters for parents with teenage drivers (including speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits).

In government crash testing, the Santa Fe Sport earned a perfect five-star rating overall, with five stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Santa Fe Sport its top score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash test but a second-worst "Marginal" score in the small-overlap frontal-offset test. In the side-impact, roof-strength and seat/head restraint design (whiplash protection) tests, the Santa Fe Sport earned a "Good" rating.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is slightly longer than average.


In the typical tasks that go along with daily errands, the Sport stands out most in regards to noise. It's definitely one of the quieter affordably priced crossovers available. We've been less impressed by the Sport's firm ride quality, though. Smaller highway pavement ripples cause a bouncy effect, translating to vibrations entering the cabin, and big bumps can unsettle the vehicle. On smooth roads, though, the Sport fares better, and it feels secure going around turns.

Though it has "Sport" in its name, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport isn't notably sporty to drive.

Although the 2.0T's timed acceleration to 60 (8.1 seconds) won't win any pink slips, off the drag strip you'll enjoy its relative refinement and abundant torque. And while gearchanges from Hyundai's six-speed automatic can be a little slow at times, its shifts are so smooth it takes careful attention to notice. You'll find the Sport's base 2.4-liter four fully competitive with the power plants in the CR-V and RAV4, but if you have the budget flexibility we would recommend opting for two liters of turbocharged performance.


The Santa Fe Sport boasts one of the nicer cabins you'll find in an affordable crossover. Here you'll find materials quality well above average, in combination with a nicely integrated contemporary styled design. Switches are both well-organized and legible, and we found the touchscreen menus and functionality to be as intuitive as you might hope.

The Santa Fe Sport's front seats are supportive for long drives, and rear seat passengers will enjoy a sense of spaciousness missing in most competitive compact crossovers, especially when a third rear seat passenger is added. That additional interior volume is also reflected in cargo capacity. The Santa Fe Sport offers a generous 35.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats. And when those seats are folded, you (and your stuff) will enjoy more than 71 cubic feet, fully competitive with the CR-V and RAV4 segment leaders.

The only disconnect in the real world of stop-and-go is the Sport's limited rearward visibility. This is a function (or dysfunction) of the wide rear pillar and almost slit-like side and rear windows.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Better economy than edmunds
Philip Ghyzel,04/01/2016
4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Vehicle is as described by edmunds experts, but fuel economy is better. Using selectable economy mode, which is fine for all normal driving conditions, I get 27 to 28 mpg combined with AWD and 2.4 liter engine. I try to drive efficiently. Vehicle gives feedback in instantaneous and average fuel economy as you drive. Quiet, spacious, great features, great quality ratings. So far Santa Fe Sport exceeds expectations. Continue to be completely satisfied after 1.5 years and 16000 miles. So satisfied that we now own 2. My daughter took this one off to school, so we got my wife a new 2017. Very easy to drive. I prefer the non turbocharged engine due to less frequent oil change requirement.
My "to self" perfect retirement gift.
jim b,06/11/2016
4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Many Many pluses. comfort, handling, conveniences, fuel economy for a SUV is outstanding, low noise, controls, all around vision, storage, stylish looks, tracking. cons? =fold and lock rear seats do not go completely flat; cruise control is good under 72 mph, otherwise it will downshift a lot in moderate terrain due to the small engine; Temp +/- buttons poorly illuminated and very hard to read and adjust while driving. Heated wipers are useless while driving and become a pain in the b*** while driving - it causes the blades to ice up quickly and the visibility becomes dangerous making it necessary to stop and manually remove the ice when it is snowing. Get the turbo or larger horsepower engine for a lot of 80 mph and/or towing. My other Hyundai purchase have exceeded 150,000 miles minimal maint. costs and no major repairs, but I don't drive them 'hard' either.
Wanted a luxury car for under $35,000
2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I reviewed every SUV in this class and decided on the Hyundai Santa Fe based on safety and upgrades. I've never owned a 4 cyl car and took the advise to go with the Turbo, glad I did. I feel confident passing and merging onto hwy with the turbo. Fuel has been good, 28 to 30 mpg. My only complaint is the front passenger seat does not go up and down, so if I'm sitting as the passenger, I can barely see over the hood.
Most likely our next purchase
Bill Reid,04/16/2016
2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
If your budget does not allow for a Porsche Macan or even a Range Rover Evoque, this is probably the SUV you want. In the Southwest there are so many places to go, but most lie off of two lane highways. Having the confidence to pass that slow moving RV or that long semi means a less stressful ride to your destination. Plus the interior is surprisingly luxurious and the sound level, though not as quite as more expensive SUV's, is acceptable. Throw in the 100,000 mile warranty and you're looking at a lot of value for the cash expended.

Features & Specs

20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
190 hp @ 6300 rpm
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
190 hp @ 6300 rpm
18 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
265 hp @ 6000 rpm
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
265 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover15.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Overview

The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is offered in the following submodels: Santa Fe Sport SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and 2.0T 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Base is priced between $11,276 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 16321 and133622 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T is priced between $16,790 and$20,488 with odometer readings between 34121 and89239 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sports are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for sale near. There are currently 19 used and CPO 2016 Santa Fe Sports listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,276 and mileage as low as 16321 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

Can't find a used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sports you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for sale - 2 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,159.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $21,358.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $18,394.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $25,408.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Santa Fe Sport lease specials