As the smaller of the two Hyundai Santa Fe offerings, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is the five-passenger version of the Santa Fe that several years ago replaced the now-defunct Veracruz. The Santa Fe Sport is classified as a small crossover sport utility vehicle, but each year since its debut it seems to get bigger and worthy of a medium-sized designation.

Although not a new generation, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has refreshed styling inside and outside as well numerous updates: a height adjustment for the power passenger seat, a larger five-inch standard display and an available seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Offered in base, 2.0T and 2.0T Ultimate trims, my test vehicle was the top-line Ultimate. It’s upgraded with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic, which is my instance was matched to front-wheel drive.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has been refreshed inside and outside. Image © James Raia/2016.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has been refreshed inside and outside. Image © James Raia/2016.

Hyundai is known for its generous offering of standard features, which holds true in the Santa Fe Sport. In addition to the healthy list on the two lesser-equipped models, the 2.0T Ultimate adds 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, 360-degree parking camera system, driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: More features

There’s also an eight-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a 12-speaker Infinity premium sound system. My vehicle also had the optional Tech package, which included: adaptive headlights with automatic high beam control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and an electronic parking brake with auto hold.

While the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport isn’t particularly sporty, it nonetheless offers a keen ride with a little extra turbo boost. Handling and maneuverability are smooth and the suspension is firm.

The Santa Fe Sport advances down the road with quiet confidence. It’s not a strong off-road candidate, rather it’s a versatile SUV with substantial cargo room and good chunk of utilitarianism. But it’s also refined with quality interior materials and strong scores for overall comfort and support.

Likes:

Lengthy standard features list.
Good overall cargo and passenger space.
Superior navigation system.
Best warranty in the industry.

Dislikes:

Disappointing gas mileage averages.
Acceleration mediocre.

Facts & Figures: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe (Sport)

Acceleration: 0-60 mph: 8.7 seconds.
Airbags: 7.
Fuel economy: 20 mpg (city), 27 mpg (highway), 23 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 240.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $36,500.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com.
Price As Tested: $39,060.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Strong warranty

What Others Say:

None of Hyundai’s changes for the 2017 Santa Fe seem destined to disrupt the rig’s fundamentally sound formula of offering a ton of standard features in an attractive, comfortable package. The only difference is that now buyers will have more choices to consider. —  caranddriver.com.

“Shopping for a versatile crossover SUV on a budget? With its generous equipment roster, top safety ratings and lengthy warranty, we think the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a desirable pick among affordable crossover SUVs.” — edmunds.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Efficient, comfortable, spacious, quiet. That’s the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. It’s not as popular as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4, but it should be.”

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