The comfort level was about as good as I’ve seen in this segment, both in front and back. Leg room is impressive, and even on long road trips none of the five max passengers should feel uncomfortable in the Santa Fe Sport.
The lack of the third row helps create the Impressive storage space in the Santa Fe Sport, which is among best the class in this area.
Other creature comforts featured on the Santa Fe Sport are: Manual rear side window shades; Heated and ventilated front seats; Heated rear seats; Heated steering wheel; Folding rear seats with recline function; and dual auto temp control with clean air ionizer.
While the base Santa Fe Sport features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine offering 185 hp and 178 lb.-ft. of torque, the trim level I tested was a step up from that.
It offered a 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine; 6-speed automatic transmission with 240 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. While there is a price bump to get the higher power numbers, you’ll definitely feel the difference on the roadways.
Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is offered on all trim levels.
To put it succinctly, you’ll find little to dislike in the Santa Fe Sport’s ride quality, especially with the 2.0 turbo four engine.
It’s quick, it’s smooth, and it’s quiet. Head-to-head against the Rogue/CR-V/RAV4 and others in the segment, it’s right near the top in terms of overall experience.
You also have a drive mode select you can use (eco, sport, normal), depending on the conditions you’re driving in.
Those looking to keep their family safe will be happy to hear that the Santa Fe offers excellent safety ratings (nearly 5 stars all around).
The optional Ultimate Tech Package features helpful aides like Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start; Auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection; Lane Departure Warning; Dynamic Bending Light and more.
Coming standard are: Vehicle stability management with traction control; front, side and knee airbags; tire pressure monitoring and blind spot detection.
I had no issues with the capable 8-inch infotainment system, which offered navigation plus compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, in addition to AM/FM/satellite radio/CD options for entertainment. One helpful feature is the multiple views the camera offers.
An Infinity premium audio with surround sound is offered, plus Hyundai’s Blue Link connected services.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the AWD version of the Santa Fe Sport are 19 city/24 highway/21 combined … I averaged 22.4 mpg.
This is a weak point for the Santa Fe Sport, which trails behind competitors in overall fuel mileage.
The Santa Fe Sport I tested was priced near the max, coming in over $39,000; Those opting for the base version can take one home for close to $22K … so there is a wide range and this can be either a very affordable vehicle or a pricey one depending how you spec it.
On the plus side you do get a 5-year, 60K new vehicle warranty; a 100K, 10-year powertrain warranty and a 5-year unlimited mile roadside assistance.
In the always competitive midsize SUV category, Hyundai continues to be a top contender with their high-quality Santa Fe three-row option and Santa Fe Sport two-row options. If you’re a fan of the two-row variety and want to skip the third row, the Santa Fe Sport is up with the best in class, and starts out at an impressively low price.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.