Overview

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 6

Overview (Final Score: B-)

The term of ‘sport' is a misunderstood word in the automotive world. For most, sport means a vehicle has been tweaked in terms of the suspension and engine to deliver a more thrilling ride. But it also means a different body style. For example, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport represents that this is the five-seater version of the Santa Fe Crossover. We can go on with various examples, but we'll stop here.

For 2017, Hyundai has given the Santa Fe lineup a fair number of updates to keep them fresh in light of new and updated vehicles. We spent some time with the Sport version to see if they make a difference.

What We Love About the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport


  • Offers a lot of equipment for the money

  • Very roomy interior

  • Fuel economy sees an improvement


What We Didn't Love About the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport


  • Lukewarm acceleration from optional turbo engine

  • Ride suffers somewhat when equipped with 19-inch wheels

  • Wished they did a little bit more for interior design in the refresh


2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 2

Exterior View (8/10)

At first glance, you might be wondering what changes Hyundai actually did to the Santa Fe Sport's exterior. It looks the same as last year's model. But as you get closer, the small changes begin to reveal themselves. Hyundai primarily focused on the Sport's front end in the 2017 refresh. It now features a new grille and reshaped headlights with a set of optional LED daytime running lights. Other changes to the exterior include new wheel designs (ranging from 17 to 19-inches), taillights, and a set silver rocker panels. The little changes keep the Santa Fe Sport looking sharp as ever, even if it might be hard to tell the difference.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 9

Interior Comfort, Quality and Ease of Use (8/10)

Hyundai hasn't messed with the Santa Fe Sport's interior in this refresh which is both good and bad. We'll begin with the bad. It would have been nice if Hyundai had updated the dash. Not because of poor materials or an illogical layout of the controls, the Sport does quite well in both areas. But the design of the center stack and dark colors is dating the interior fast.

One item that we're glad Hyundai hasn't messed with is the Santa Fe Sport's roomy interior. The back seat offers an abundance of head and legroom for even tall adults. Quite the feat when you take into account our Ultimate tester featured a panoramic sunroof. Passengers in the back seat will also have the ability to recline, increasing the comfort level. Up front, the seats provide a good level of comfort and support in the class. In terms of cargo space, the Santa Fe Sport offers 35.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up. Pull the latches in the back to fold the rear seats, and cargo space increases to 71.5 cubic feet. This puts the Santa Fe Sport between the Nissan Murano (32.1, 67 cubic feet) and Ford Edge (39.2, 73.4 cubic feet).

Technology (9/10)

Depending on the trim, the Santa Fe Sport offers touchscreen systems ranging from 5 to 8-inches. Our tester featured the 8-inch system. Hyundai's infotainment system is one of the easiest to use thanks to a very straightforward interface, quick responses, and a set of buttons underneath to take you to various parts of the system. For the 2017 model, Hyundai added Android Auto integration. Apple CarPlay is available but you'll need to head over to Hyundai's website to get the necessary update for the system.

All Santa Fe Sports get Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system as standard. Blue Link provides a number of services such automatic emergency notification in the event of a crash, emergency assistance, schedule a service appointment, remote lock/unlock from a smartphone, and much more. The first year of Hyundai Blue Link is complimentary when you buy a Santa Fe Sport. Afterward, the various packages start at $99 per year.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 4

Fuel Economy (8/10)

The EPA rates the Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate with all-wheel drive at 19 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. Our week with the Santa Fe Sport saw an average of 21 mpg.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (9/10)

Reliability details on the 2017 Santa Fe Sport are still being gathered by those who track it. But if the older models can tell us anything, the 2017 Santa Fe Sport should be quite reliable. Both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports say the 2013 through 2016 Santa Fe Sport is above average in reliability. The Santa Fe Sport also does well in initial quality with J.D Power giving it top marks.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 11

Safety (8/10)

Standard safety equipment for the Santa Fe Sport includes a full complement of airbags, traction and stability control, and backup camera. The backup camera is a crucial feature as the thick rear pillars of the Santa Fe Sport making backing up quite difficult. This also means passing safely is difficult due to a larger blind spot. The good news is there a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic that comes standard on the 2.0T models and optional on the 2.4. Rear parking sensors and a multi-view camera system that gives you a 360-degree view around the vehicle is standard on the 2.0T Ultimate and optional on the 2.4. If you want adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning, you'll need to step up to the 2.0T Ultimate and opt for the tech package.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association gave the Santa Fe Sport an overall rating of five stars. Over at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Sport has the group's highest honor of ‘Top Safety Pick+".

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 8

Performance (7/10)

The base Santa Fe Sport features a 2.4L four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Sport 2.0T models get a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet. Those with keen eyes will note the turbo 2.0L has lost some power from the 2016 model (265 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque). Hyundai says the decrease in power is to improve fuel economy and overall drivability. The first reason does hold water as fuel economy has increased by one mpg across the board. The second reason doesn't quite hold up as the Sport 2.0T takes a few moments longer to leave a stop and get up to speed when compared to the 2016 model. We also found the turbo rush to be very noticeable above 2,000 rpm. This would be ok if we were in a sports car, not so much in a crossover.

No matter which engine you pick, it will come paired with the same six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is somewhat slow with gear changes, making passing somewhat of a chore. At least the transmission provides very smooth gear changes. Front-wheel comes standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.

Even though Sport is in its name, that doesn't mean the Santa Fe Sport is fun to drive. While the suspension does limit body roll, the steering doesn't have weight or feel that some drivers want. There is a ‘Sport' button that will sharpen the throttle response and stiffen up the steering, but it doesn't make it as fun to drive like a Ford Edge. On smooth roads, the Santa Fe Sport delivers a smooth and quiet ride. That changes on rougher surfaces as the suspension will transmit bumps and other imperfections into the cabin. Stepping down from our tester's 19-inch wheels to something smaller would alleviate some of this problem.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 5

Pricing and Value (9/10)

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport kicks off at $25,350 for the base 2.4 front-wheel drive model and climbs to $39,145 for the 2.0T Ultimate with all-wheel drive. Our Ultimate AWD tester came with the tech package and a set of carpet floor mats, bringing our final price to $40,820 with destination. This may seem pricey, but it is margin when compared to the competition. Most competitors will have you pay extra for some of the features found on our tester such as a sunroof, power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, and navigation.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate 7

Total Score and Competitive Comparison (66/80, 82.5%)

The Ford Edge was recently redesigned in 2015 and presents a strong case as an alternative to the Santa Fe Sport. It features sharper styling, a larger space for carrying cargo, wide range of engines, and impressive handling. The Nissan Murano offers one of the classiest cabins the class along with one smoothest rides for a crossover. If you want an oddball choice, don't discount the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offers buyers a lot of positives such as excellent value for the money, good looks, high safety scores, and a roomy back seat. But this refresh has also brought some problems, mainly the 2.0T engine not feeling as powerful as it once was and the ride feeling somewhat rough on bumpy roads. If overall value is your prime consideration, give the Santa Fe Sport a look. Otherwise, look at the competition first as they have been recently redesigned and offer a slightly more compelling package.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
2.4L 2.4L Auto AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 27100
2.0T 2.0T Auto AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 33450
2.0T Ultimate 2.0T Ultimate Auto AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 38250
SUV - FWD
2.4L 2.4L Auto 4 Cylinder FWD 25350
2.0T 2.0T Auto 4 Cylinder FWD 31700
2.0T Ultimate 2.0T Ultimate Auto 4 Cylinder FWD 36500

Comparison of 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport with Similar Cars

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport MSRP Invoice
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport $25,350 $24,370
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2017 Nissan Rogue $23,820 $22,552 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport VS 2017 Nissan Rogue
2017 Honda CR-V $24,045 $22,584 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport VS 2017 Honda CR-V
2017 Toyota RAV4 $24,410 $22,823 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport VS 2017 Toyota RAV4
2017 Jeep Wrangler $23,995 $23,651 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport VS 2017 Jeep Wrangler
2017 Kia Sorento $25,600 $24,705 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport VS 2017 Kia Sorento

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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