Are you shopping for a versatile crossover SUV on a budget? The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport might be worth checking out. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
JOSH SADLIER This is Edmunds editor, Josh Sadlier, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. The Santa Fe Sport often gets overlooked when people are talking about the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, but we don't think that's fair. There's a lot going for the Santa Fe Sport. Starts with the optional turbocharged engine under the hood. By the numbers, acceleration isn't overwhelming, but there's certainly more torque at low engine speeds than you get in naturally aspirated rivals. On the downside, fuel economy isn't that great, even with the base engine, and the turbo engine doesn't do better, so that's a pill you're going to have to swallow if you go with the Santa Fe Sport. But as you can see, the Santa Fe Sports got plenty of style. It certainly stands out from the pack in this relatively conservative segment. It might even be worth considering alongside mid-size competitors like the Ford Edge. Step inside the Santa Fe Sport, and you'll find a pretty roomy back seat, at least compared to other compact crossovers. Decent legroom, plenty of headroom, nothing to complain about back here. Up front, the control layout's starting to look a little dated-- the Santa Fe Sport isn't the newest vehicle in this class-- but everything's pretty straightforward, and that touchscreen is really easy to use. One note of caution, though, about the base trim level. It's not that well-equipped, so, particularly because Hyundai's known for value, we'd advise stepping up to one of the middle trim levels. The bottom line with the Santa Fe Sport is that it's a stylish alternative to the status quo. Optional turbo engine adds a little spice. It's worth a test drive. For more Edmunds expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
Updated this year, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport remains an enticing choice for consumers shopping for a small crossover SUV. The attractively styled, five-passenger Sport offers a wide range of comfort, convenience and safety features. And like its larger three-row sibling, the Santa Fe, it comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Exterior changes for 2017 include a sportier front end with a redesigned grille and headlights, and in back you'll find new taillights and dual exhaust tips. Inside, a larger 5-inch infotainment display is now standard, and a 7-inch screen with Android Auto smartphone app integration is available. The 2017 Santa Fe Sport also features new options for advanced driver safety aids, including forward collision warning with emergency automatic braking.
Power for the base Sport comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Although performance with that powerplant is on par with much of the competition, drivers looking for more lively acceleration might want to consider the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that comes on the higher trim levels. It puts out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. Fuel economy is underwhelming, though. A front-wheel-drive Santa Fe Sport with the base 2.4-liter engine gets 24 mpg combined (21 city/27 highway), which is off the pace set by many rivals crossovers. Choosing all-wheel drive and the turbocharged engine drops the rating to 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway).
On the road, Hyundai's compact crossover is enjoyable to drive, though its suspension is tuned a bit more firmly than the norm, and that results in above-average jostling over rough pavement or washboard dirt roads. The Santa Fe Sport's interior is surprisingly roomy, though. Fit and finish is excellent, and high-quality materials, combined with comfortable front seats and an extra-roomy second row, add to the impression of a more expensive vehicle.
The base Santa Fe Sport come fairly well equipped right out of the box, but the more fully outfitted Sport 2.0T adds the turbocharged engine and considerably more comfort and convenience items, and the top-of-the-line Sport 2.0T Ultimate piles on a host of luxury and tech features. Key premium features you might want include heated leather seats, a 360-degree camera system, a premium 12-speaker sound system and a hands-free liftgate. Whatever your preference, though, let Edmunds help you find just the right 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport to meet your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.