• Car Review

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 22, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Excellent safety ratings for the segment.
  • Ultra-smooth transmission.
  • Great powertrain warranty length.

Cons:

  • Underpowered base engine.
  • Somewhat dated interior.
  • Limited infotainment options.

Would we buy one? Maybe.

Vehicle Type: Five-passenger midsize crossover SUV.

Price Range: Base pricing of $25,350-$32,500, including destination and before options.

Powertrain: A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque is the base powertrain.

Also available is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that creates 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard on all trims; all-wheel-drive is optional.

Competitors: Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Kia Sorento, Buick Enclave, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, Subaru Outback, Buick Envision, Mitsubishi Outlander, Lexus RX, and Ford Edge.

More Photos

See more 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Photos.


Overall Score: 8.1/10

Safety Features: 8/10

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The Santa Fe Sport does well in crash-safety tests, and it is on par with industry leaders, continually improving safety features in new model years. A rearview camera and airbags come standard. Advanced safety packages include automatic headlights for better visibility, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation, lane change assistance, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning.

The NHTSA gave the 2017 Santa Fe Sport five out of five stars in crash tests, while The IIHS awarded the Santa Fe Sport its 'Top Safety Pick' designation.


Value: 8/10

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The Santa Fe Sport is a respectable offering in the compact segment with three trim levels and affordable options. There are three trim levels: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4L, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0L Turbo, and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0t Ultimate.

The base 2.4L starts at $25,350 MSRP. The next tiered trim Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0L Turbo starts at $31,700 MSRP. And finally, the 2.0L Turbo Ultimate starts at $32,500. All prices include a destination charge.

The 2.0L Turbo Ultimate is fun, and with the AWD configuration, it hugs the road for a sure-footed ride. However, we would stick with the nicely priced entry-level 2.4L trim. It has enough pep and performance, with an agreeable sticker price, to make it our pick.


Tech Features: 7/10

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For 2017, infotainment is a little underwhelming for the Santa Fe Sport. There are enough multimedia to keep most people satisfied, but improvements could be made.

A five-inch LCD screen is the base infotainment system, with seven- or eight-inch Hyundai Blue Link touchscreens available as an upgrade. Upper trims add features like Android Auto, Bluetooth, a hands-free power liftgate, an audio system with satellite radio, automatic climate control, daytime running lights, keyless entry, and a navigation system.


Practicality: 8/10

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Hyundai continues to make improvements to interior organization, seating, and cargo. The Santa Fe Sport does not offer too many luxury trappings, instead favoring a more pared-down cabin with easy-to-access knobs and touchscreens. The tightly paneled cabin affords a reasonably quiet ride as well.

The Santa Fe Sport has two-row seating. If rear seats are a buying factor for you, the midsize Chevrolet Traverse offers more seating space and maybe worth a look.

The Santa Fe Sport's cargo space is average for its segment, with 35 cubic feet. It expands to 72 cubic feet with the seats down, but rivals like the Honda Pilot offer more space overall and may be preferable if cargo is a selling point for you.


Styling & Design: 9/10

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Finding another small crossover SUV in a segment flooded with so many similar choices is not hard to do. However, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offers features and enticements typical of the category while still adding its style mark.

The Santa Fe Sport's curves are nicely smoothed out, making it flow in its design, while some rivals like the Toyota RAV4 have a bit more blockish and blunt exterior attitude. 17- or 19-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, and a panoramic sunroof are available options.

The inside may not compete with the more upscale competition in the segment, but the Santa Fe Sport holds its own.


Driving Experience: 8/10

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Hyundai kept its performance on average with the segment for the 2017 Santa Fe Sport. The more robust turbocharged 2.0-liter engine enhances performance.

With the more powerful 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder kicking out an impressive 240 horsepower, the Santa Fe Sport has enough power and acceleration for daily commutes and weekend adventures. The 6-speed automatic makes its way through shifting quickly without lag thanks to the Shiftronic technology. The smooth suspension is also of note for its comfortable ride.

Even so, handling is a little better in competitors. Some more performance-oriented SUVs make worthy considerations for performance-minded new car seekers too.


Fuel Efficiency: 9/10

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Hyundai was mindful of fuel economy with the 2017 Santa Fe Sport boasting good fuel efficiency in the segment. It beats some rivals' gas mileage.

Depending on the engine and drivetrain configuration, fuel economy varies.

For the 185 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder base powertrain, EPA estimated gas mileage is 21/27/24 MPG city/hwy/combined with the FWD drivetrain configuration. The AWD version drops a mile in city and highway, respectively. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine gets 20/28/23 MPG city/hwy/combined, losing one and two miles for city and highway, respectively, with the AWD configuration.


More Photos

See more 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Photos.