IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

Whether in 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport or 7-passenger Santa Fe form, Hyundai’s midsize SUV delivers a quiet, comfortable, nicely appointed cabin and the all-around versatility that SUV buyers need.

BUT…

Several desirable options are available only in pricey packages, and the Santa Fe’s 3rd-row seat space is a bit tight.

WORTH NOTING:

Upscale available features for the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport include a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated 2nd-row seats.

WHAT IS IT?

The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are Hyundai’s midsize SUVs. The Santa Fe offers three rows of seats for six- or seven-passenger capacity. The shorter Santa Fe Sport has two rows and seats five. The Santa Fe Sport offers a choice of two 4-cylinder engines: a 190-horsepower 2.4-liter or a peppy turbocharged 2.0-liter with 264 hp. The Santa Fe’s lone engine is a strong 290-hp 3.3-liter V6. All are available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Available features include a blind-spot warning system, rear park assist, hill start assist, and a “smart” rear liftgate that opens automatically if you stand within three feet of the vehicle with the key fob for more than three seconds.

WHAT’S NEW?

The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport both undergo a refresh for 2017 that includes a new front and rear fasciae, restyled headlights and taillights, and newly available LED running lights and fog lights. A host of new features are available, including a multi-view rearview camera, adaptive cruise control with full stop/start functionality, lane-departure warning, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams. The Santa Fe Sport’s engines both see a drop in horsepower (5 hp for the base 2.4, and 25 for the turbo 2.0), but fuel economy is improved.

FUEL ECONOMY

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the base-engine Santa Fe Sport is 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 20/26 with all-wheel drive. With the Santa Fe Sport’s turbo four, those numbers are 20/28 and 19/26, respectively. The Santa Fe’s V6 is rated at 18/25 with FWD and 18/24 with AWD. Both Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport offer Ultimate trim levels with EPA ratings that are 1-2 mpg less. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel drive Santa Fe Limited averaged 21.1 mpg in 60-percent highway driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

The Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are nicely executed midsize SUVs that are designed for the way most buyers actually use their midsize SUVs. The cabins are classy and spacious, and Hyundai does dashboard layouts well, offering an array of up-to-the-minute connectivity features while keeping things simple and easy to use. Despite a ride that isn’t as absorbent as some rivals, both Santa Fes are dynamically satisfying overall. Top-end models can get a bit expensive, but are still reasonably priced for the power, space, capability, and polish they offer. The raft of newly available technology and safety features for 2017 make the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport even stronger competitors in their class.

BASE PRICE RANGE $25,350 – $41,150
BODY STYLES 4-Door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES 185-Hp, 2.4-Liter 4-Cyl.; 240-Hp, Turbocharged 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.; 290-Hp, 3.3-Liter V6
DRIVE WHEELS Front Or All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 17-28 MPG

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