Is Hyundai’s 2-Row Midsize SUV Right for You?
You’ve probably heard of the Hyundai Santa Fe, but you may not know that there are actually two Santa Fe models.
The larger Santa Fe is a family-friendly 3-row midsize SUV that starts at $30,800.
Hyundai also makes the smaller, 2-row Santa Fe Sport, which challenges rival crossovers in the mid-$20,000 price range without sacrificing comfort and technology. The Santa Fe Sport starts at $25,350, more than $5,000 less than its larger cousin.
The Sport seats five passengers and is available in three trims with three available packages. Keep reading for a closer look at the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and its performance, cargo space, and fuel economy, among other key attributes.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is available in three trims: base, 2.0T, and 2.0T Ultimate.
The base trim starts at $25,350, which is below average for the class and more than $5,000 less than the Santa Fe’s starting price of $30,800. The 2.0T trim and 2.0T Ultimate trim start at $31,700 and $36,500, respectively.
Adding all-wheel drive to any of the three trims costs an additional $1,750. Buyers who are interested in additional safety and technology features can purchase packages ranging from $1,500 to $3,650.
The 2017 Santa Fe Sport seats five passengers across its two rows, compared with the larger Santa Fe that can seat six or seven people in three rows, depending upon how the rear is configured. Seating in both crossovers feels comfortable and supportive.
The Sport comes standard with a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel so that the driver can adjust its position to increase comfort and performance. The 2.0T trim swaps the base model’s stain-resistant cloth upholstery for leather. It also adds a leather-wrapped shifting knob and steering wheel, as well as heated front seats. The top-of-the-line 2.0T Ultimate trim includes ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, driver memory settings, and a panoramic sunroof.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport comes standard with Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, a six-speaker sound system, and a 5-inch display.
Upper trims come with a 7- or 8-inch touch screen. Android Auto compatibility is new for the 2017 model year.
The 2.0T trim comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch display screen, HD radio, and Hyundai’s Blue Link system.
The top-of-the-line 2.0T Ultimate model adds navigation, a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system, and an 8-inch touch screen.
All three Sport trims are offered with a range of add-ons to customize the vehicle’s comfort, infotainment, and safety offerings.
The Popular Equipment package, Premium package, and Tech package range from $1,500 to $3,650. The $1,500 Popular Equipment package adds the Hyundai Blue Link Connected Car System and a power driver seat with four-way lumbar support. Blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist come with the $3,550 Premium package, and the $3,650 Tech package adds rear parking sensors and an Infinity premium audio system with surround sound.
A $1,550 Tech package for the top-tier 2.0T Ultimate trim includes high beam assist, an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, and smart cruise control with an automatic stop/start function.
Cargo and Storage
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport features 71.5 cubic feet of space behind the first row, which is average for the segment and large enough to fit a queen-size mattress. The cargo hold behind the second row measures 35.4 cubic feet.
A rear bench seat that splits 40/20/40 to allow more configurations of available cargo space is standard. The crossover also comes with an option for an automatic hands-free power liftgate that opens the trunk when you stand behind it with the fob in your purse or pocket.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport shares its 3.5 out of five reliability rating with the 3-row Santa Fe, meaning it has slightly above-average reliability for its class.
All Santa Fe Sport models are equipped with a rearview camera. Buyers can also opt for advanced driver assistance features such as blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a multi-angle camera.
The Sport earned a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) for crash protection, as well as a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The five-passenger midsize SUV has been described as the most attractive crossover in Hyundai’s quiver, which includes the larger Santa Fe and the smaller Tucson. Its 2017 redesign gifted the Santa Fe Sport with better looks and a curvier, more athletic body.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport delivers 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with the standard four-cylinder engine, which is average for a 2-row midsize SUV. The Sport’s upgraded turbocharged engine achieves 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. Fuel economy drops a mile or two per gallon for all-wheel drive models.
In comparison, the larger Santa Fe SUV is less fuel efficient, delivering 18 mpg around town and 25 mpg on the highway.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has three trims: base, 2.0T, and 2.0T Ultimate.
The base model is equipped with a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Reviewers note that the base engine can feel underpowered, but buyers can upgrade to a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Higher trims come standard with the turbocharged engine. Any of the three trims can be outfitted with all-wheel drive.
Shoppers should note that the 3-row Santa Fe gets a 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower
The Santa Fe Sport’s handling can feel sluggish when carrying a heavy load, but its smaller size makes it feel more dynamic than the 3-row Santa Fe. Active cornering control on all-wheel drive models allows for stronger grip, especially around corners. The drive mode select system with settings for normal, eco, and sport lets drivers customize the crossover’s steering and throttle response for different road conditions.