2018 Santa Fe Sport New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a crossover SUV smaller than the midsize Santa Fe but larger than the compact Tucson.
Introduced as a 2014 model, Santa Fe Sport benefitted from a major freshening for 2017, with new front and rear styling, a better ride, and a cabin sprucing. There are no major changes for 2018.
Rivals include the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Equinox.
The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, making 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, less than some rivals. With its six-speed automatic transmission, it gets 21/27/24 miles per gallon, less than some rivals. The all-wheel drive gets two less, or 22 mpg combined.
The upgrade engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo making 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed automatic uses gears more appropriate for the quick takeoffs. It gets one less mile per gallon.
Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available for every Santa Fe Sport. With the 2.0 turbo engine, it can tow 3500 pounds (the regular Santa Fe, with its V6 engine, can tow 5000 pounds).
The crash-test scores are excellent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Sport five stars, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the top scores for its crash tests, including the challenging small-overlap collision, which simulates hitting a pole or tree. Rearview camera is standard. Equipped with optional forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, the Sport rates Top Safety Pick Plus from the IIHS.
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport ($24,950) comes with the 2.4-liter engine, fabric upholstery, cruise control, remote keyless entry, daytime running lights, LED-accented projector headlights, cargo cover, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Seven airbags are standard, including a driver's knee airbag. The AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD player has auxiliary and USB ports, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and six speakers.
Santa Fe Sport 2.0T ($31,350) with the 2.0-liter turbo gets heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control; keyless ignition; hands-free liftgate; blind-spot monitors; 7.0-inch touchscreen; Hyundai's Blue Link telematics; 18-inch wheels; and trailer wiring.
Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate ($35,650) adds a panoramic sunroof, 8.0-inch touchscreen, premium sound system, heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, 19-inch wheels, and a surround-view camera. An optional Technology package includes lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking.
All-wheel drive ($1,550) is available on all models. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.).