2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review
Pros & Cons
- Generous rear-passenger and cargo space
- Can equip it with a lot of convenience features
- Firm yet comfortable seats
- Below-average fuel economy for a small crossover SUV
- Ride quality can be uncomfortably stiff on rough pavement
- Thick roof pillars hamper rearward visibility
- Sound-system quality is subpar
List Price Range
$16,000 - $31,990
Used Santa Fe Sport for SaleSee all for sale
Which Santa Fe Sport does Edmunds recommend?
If it were our money, we'd go with the base Sport model. Its non-turbocharged four-cylinder isn't as peppy as the 2.0T's turbocharged unit, but it's also far less expensive. We think this year's Value package is a good deal since it bundles plenty of desirable features (such as heated front seats, a touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality) and doesn't add too much to the sticker price. That said, if you're also thinking of adding the Premium Equipment package, you might as well step up to the 2.0T; it includes that package, and the fuel economy drop is meager.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The Santa Fe Sport lags behind class leaders in terms of performance. The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine feels brisk, but it isn't as quick as competitors' upgraded mills. Vague steering and handling that doesn't inspire confidence also fall short.
The seats are comfortable if firm and offer strong heating and ventilation. The ride is also a bit firm but well-controlled. Around town the interior is quiet, though engine drone and wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds. Climate control works well but doesn't have the best interface.
There's lots of room for passengers, and the cabin feels airy and solidly screwed together, but otherwise does little to impress. Chintzy interior materials, an awkward driving position, and mediocre visibility don't live up to our tester's price tag or stack up well against competitors.
The trunk is spacious and easy to access, with good underfloor storage. Usability suffers a bit due to the raked roof and seats that don't fold perfectly flat. There's plenty of space for small items in the cabin. Still, class leaders offer more, and more clever, storage.
We appreciate the easy-to-use infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the full suite of driver aids. On the other hand, some features are inaccessible while in motion, and the voice control system is frustrating and has limited functionality.
|Overall||3.5 / 5|
Most helpful consumer reviews
2.0T Ultimate 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
After 3 months of research, test driving 12 different compact or mid-size SUVs, and considerations of value, pricing, safety, features, comfort, driving ride, and technology onboard...I purchased a 2018 Pearl White Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (2-liter 240 hp Turbo) Ultimate SUV with a gray leather interior. In 2017, our daughter purchased a Black Santa Fe Sport with Beige interior that is essentially the same as mine in terms of features/options - with the exception of her's having the base 2.4L (185hp) engine. Following my reading of more than 15 trade magazine reviews, as well as personal experiences with this vehicle - we all agreed on the following: Terrific value for the money; Solid construction; Feature-rich; Tech-rich; The 2.0L Turbo engine is worth the moderate extra cost; The interior is well done, roomy, and comfortable; Dollar-for-dollar - the best bang for the buck in its mid-size SUV class. Candidly...when doing all of the pre-purchase homework...I took the approach of "consider all the other similar vehicles that are better", and determine which of those would be 1 of my 2 finalist considerations. After all the research and numerous test drives of other players, the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate won the contest hands down. I must mention that I did miss my trade-in of a Mercedes E320, but the joyful ride of the Santa Fe Sport is might close of a pleasant driving experience. Mike drop.
4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
This is my 3rd Hyundai and the 1st one to truly disappoint me. I bought the car new, drove it to work and back almost exclusively on the highway and after 10 months and 11, 653 miles, the engine blew. Yep. Completely quit me. The good news is that the car told me it was having problems and all I had to do was press a button and there was a technician on the line as I drove along who was checking the messages coming from the engine. Unfortunately, he was unable to diagnose any problems and suggested I get to a dealership as quickly as possible. I was 300+ miles from home when it happened so he found the closest dealership and I was headed that way when the car jumped, stuttered and acted like it had lost most of its power, so I pulled over. The technician then told me to contact customer support and they would have my vehicle towed to the nearest dealership. All of this was way beyond my expectations and I was so thankful to have them making arrangements since I was so far from home and by myself. Unfortunately, that's where the good ends. Since that time, the engine was diagnosed as a failed engine and needs replaced. After 2 months (yes, you read that right) at the dealership, there is still no ETA of when an engine will be available to replace the one that quit. The engine in mine is the 2.4L and it apparently has a history of failure. When I called down to the dealership today, they said there are THREE of them on the lot like mine waiting on an engine and the dealership can't get any information from the manufacturer as to when an engine will arrive for any of them. I truly loved my Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and was planning to drive it for several years but now I'm looking at having to replace it. To top it all off, the customer service from the national level has been sporadic, inconsistent and frustrating. One person approved a rental and another did not approve a rental, then a 3rd person approved a rental but only after I had been without any car or compensation for 45 days. At this point I'm thankful for my state's Lemon Laws because Hyundai now must purchase my car back from me. However, even that is taking more time than it should while I'm still without a vehicle. It's too bad because I would have purchased a Tucson as a replacement but now I doubt I'll ever own another Hyundai based on this experience. Purchase with caution.
2.0T Ultimate 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Bought this vehicle to replace my wife's 2010 Santa Fe. Have driven it for two weeks now. We upgraded to the AWD and Sport 2.0T Ultimate turbo engine with the tech package. I am truly surprised at what a pleasure it is to drive this handsome car. When traveling the highway, all I need to do is basically make sure I have the radio on the correct XM station and that the temperature in the car is set for my likes. Other than that, let the tech package take over. What I mean is that with the Smart Cruise Control package, the car keeps me about five car lengths behind the car in front of me. If I'm traveling a four lane highway, and the car in front of me is going slower than the speed I've set, all I need to do is pull out to pass. And, when I do pull out to pass, the blind spot warning will let me know if there is another car present and whether it's safe to do so or not. Also the lane departure warning let's me know if I'm straying from my own lane. Oh, and if that slower person in front of me slows down while I'm in Smart Cruise Control, my car automatically slows down. I tested it once and upon coming to a red light, I let the the Smart Cruise Control take my car to a FULL STOP based on what the car in front of me did. I frequently travel a dark, hilly, and winding road. No problem with the tech package as this car has Dynamic Bending Light, Auto Leveling Headlights and High Beam Assist. All of which means as I take those turns, the headlights shine the corners. If I'm going uphill, the lights shine up the hill and I no longer need to worry about the high beam as the car automatically turns it on or off as needed. The car also comes equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian warning. I haven't used either of those features and hope to never use them! Our car is Mineral Gray with black interior. I find accelerating a breeze as the car shifts smoothly through the gears to settle where it needs to be. The back seats come with heated seats. A large moon roof is impressive. I am totally in love with this car. One knock is that I find it difficult to find a place to rest my left elbow while driving. The normal place where I would rest it is where the window and door meet. This location seems a little too high for my comfort. Oh, the car comes with a three year subscription to My Hyundai which allows remote lock/unlock and starting. I can also tell the car how long to run and set it to whatever temp I want. A great plus for cold New England winters and (somewhat) hot summer days. Oh, those are all done FROM MY CELL PHONE!!! I am not very impressed with Android Auto, but that could be because I haven't played too much with it to this point. The noise inside this car is a great reduction from our 2010 Santa Fe. I would definitely recommend this car if you're in the market.
4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The 2018 Santa Fe Sport maintains the same interior and exterior configuration without any great differences. The technology was increased and the safety features are much more helpful, especially the all around cameras. The 2019 model dropped the sport title, changed the exterior grill, and small rear windows were enlarged and the exterior now appears more boxy. The interior navigation panel was raised and seems to block some of the exterior view. They also removed the CD player and added apple/android charging station. We chose the 2018 over the 2019 because we did not like the changes.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Santa Fe Sport models:
- Blind Spot Detection System
- Illuminates a light on the side mirrors when a vehicle enters the Santa Fe Sport's blind spot. Can also identify approaching cars.
- Multi-view Camera System
- Provides a 360-degree, bird's-eye view of the Santa Fe Sport to aid in parking maneuvers.
- Smart Cruise Control
- Maintains a set distance between the Santa Fe Sport and the car in front while using cruise control.