Don't let the “Sport” part of the name of the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD not confuse you, it’s just a way of distinguishing the new 2-row crossover from the other larger vehicle also named Santa Fe.
1.) Exterior design: Remodeled front fascia with brand new grille and headlamps; silver trimming for the rocker panels; new exhaust tips and taillights; latest 17-, 18-, 19-inch wheel designs; as well as optional new LED daytime-running lights.
2.) Interior design: New 7.0-, 8.0-inch touchscreens whose functions are augmented using traditional knobs and switches; a power height-adjustable passenger seat; Infinity audio system; as well as Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics upgrade.
3.) Safety features: 360-degree camera system; standard rearview camera; adaptive cruise control capable of detecting pedestrians and applying automated emergency braking; lane-departure warning; as well as adaptive headlamps.
4.) A relaxed sporty car: The new Santa Fe’s handling is an astonishingly strong suit, courtesy of its above-average roll stiffness. In addition, while its skid-pad road-holding comes in at a so-so 0.75g, the above-average electrically-assisted power steering also helps convey some tactile information to its driver.
5.) Calmness: Although your ride may get a bit rough if you’re driving over patchwork pavement or a dirt road, you’ll normally have it smooth with the Santa Fe Sport. In fact, the car is exceptionally quiet and calm in most of its normal operating conditions.
6) Tepid acceleration: The car takes 7.6 seconds to hit 60mph (finishing a quarter mile in 15.9 seconds) which is a whole second slower than the 2015 Santa Fe model. The 2015 model was also faster through the quarter mile.
7.) Performance: Although similarly designed and equipped (at 4063 lbs. for the 2017 model and 4021 lbs. for the 2015 one), this 42-lb. variation isn’t sufficient to explain the noticed disparity in performance between the two Santa Fe cars. 2015 had a 264-horsepower performance output while 2017 has 240 horsepower. This decrease in power is a tiny EPA city fuel-economy uptick i.e. 19 mpg, 1 mpg higher than it was earlier.
8.) Operating modes: while it’s a bit difficult to love the car’s 6-speed automatic transmission, it’s important to note its 3 operating modes; Normal, Eco and Sport. These function to alter throttle mapping as well as shift points. No paddle shifters also.
9.) Pricing and value: $40,000+ may seem a bit high at first, but if you look at the cost of the cars that the new Santa Fe Sport is competing with. However, the 2017 Hyundai is a relaxed sporty car that more or less warrants the pricetag.