While most manufacturers peddling mid-size crossovers with both five- and seven-seat interiors market said vehicles as two different models under unique nameplates, Hyundai chooses to capitalize on its well-known Santa Fe name for both. In Hyundai's case, the seven-seat model sticks the XL suffix on its name, while the five-seat version you're reading about here is designated Santa Fe Sport.
There might be something to that: while the Santa Fe XL uses a grown-up V6, the Sport favours turbocharging to appeal to buyers who want more juice than the base engine, a 2.4L four-cylinder, cranks out. Those specs are 190 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque from the 2.4, and 240 hp and 260 lb-ft in the 2.0L turbo mill. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission; 2.4L models get front-wheel drive as standard and can be optioned with AWD, but 2.0L turbo models come with standard AWD.
No doubt the turbo makes the Sport feel more lively than its XL sibling, but while this is a thoroughly pleasant vehicle the drive, it's not actually sporty. Rather, it's simply quite comfortable and a smooth performer that makes a strong case for itself alongside competitors like the Ford Edge, Dodge Journey, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. And that, despite being one of the older designs in its class and due for a refresh for 2017.
Fuel consumption ratings, per Natural Resources Canada, are 11.7/8.7 (city/highway) with the 2.4L engine and front-wheel drive; 12.5/9.3 with AWD; and 12.9/9.7 with the 2.0L engine and AWD.
But the Santa Fe's most attractive features might be its pricing -- which ranges from $27,599 to $40,549 -- and list of standard kit, which, on the base 2.4L model, includes 17-inch wheels, driver-selectable steering, air conditioning, six-speaker stereo, windshield wiper de-icer, Bluetooth, heated side mirrors, cruise control, tilt-and-telescopic steering column and six-way manual driver's seat with lumbar.
2.4 Premium adds automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic temperature control with Clear Air Ionizer, 12-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, rear side window sunshade blinds, and rear parking assist. AWD is available as an option.
2.4 Luxury adds standard all-wheel drive, four-way power passenger seat, 4.3-inch colour touch-screen audio display, rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, proximity key with push-button start, hands-free power tailgate, leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring system, driver’s memory seat, mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, and sliding 2nd row seating.
2.0T Premium adds (to 2.4 Premium) standard all-wheel drive, dual exhaust, proximity key with push-button start, and supervision cluster with TFT LCD screen.
2.0T SE adds 19-inch alloy wheels, 4.3-inch colour touch-screen audio display, rearview camera, deluxe door scuff plates, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, hands-free power tailgate, leather upholstery, mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, panoramic sunroof, and sliding 2nd row seats.
2.0T Limited adds LED tail lights, blind-spot monitoring system, garage door opener, 550-watt 10-speaker Infinity audio system, four-way power passenger seat, HID headlights, navigation with 8.0-inch display, and cooled front seats.