This 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport video review reveals how it stacks up with other compact and midsize crossover SUVs. Fuel economy, interior space and technology features are discussed, along with what it's like to drive.
Let's say your spouse wants the family to get an SUV that's big and practical. But you don't want some dull "mom-mobile." You probably want something stylish and maybe fun to drive. Well, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport could be a perfect compromise.
It's important to note the Sport bit, because it indicates the smaller, five-passenger model that is likely to be cross-shopped against compact crossovers and five-passenger midsize SUVs. The regular Santa Fe seats seven and lines up with larger three-row crossovers.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport starts off at about $24,000, but this one cost around $36,000, making it one of the most expensive compact SUVs. You certainly don't need to pay that much since the amount of leather-wrapped, heated and high-tech stuff in our test car rivals some $50,000 luxury models.
This might be considered a compact SUV, but it's actually pretty big. There's plenty of legroom in the back, and if you need more, the rear seat slides and reclines. Its 72-cubic-foot cargo capacity puts it among the class leaders.
The rest of the cabin is impressive as well. The materials are solid for its price range, but it's the design that really sticks out.
Hyundai also does a good job with its electronic features. Whether you get the most basic stereo unit or this navigation touchscreen, it's going to be easy to use.
The government gave the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport a five star overall crash rating, while the Insurance Institute named it a Top Safety Pick.
The standard engine on the base Sport is a 190-horsepower four-cylinder that returns 26 mpg combined with front wheel drive and 23 with optional all-wheel drive. This 2.0T trim gets a 264-hp turbocharged-4 and it's definitely the engine to get. Not only is it a lot quicker, but its EPA-estimated fuel economy only drops by 1 mpg.
Regardless of engine, though, expect surprisingly sharp handling and a ride that's composed on all but choppy pavement.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is one of our top-recommended compact SUVs along with the utilitarian CR-V and sporty Escape. The Chevy Equinox and Toyota RAV4 are also worth a look. We recommend driving them all, but we think this Hyundai does the best job of splitting the distance between sensible and emotional.