The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a two-row midsize SUV with available all-wheel drive. It provides room for five, supplies generous storage space, delivers a long list of sought-after amenities and offers two engine choices.
Now in its fifth model year, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is available in three trim levels: base, 2.0T and 2.0T Ultimate.
For 2017, the Santa Fe Sport benefits from a fresh exterior update, including revised front and rear fascias and new headlight and taillight designs. The Santa Fe Sport also gets new wheel designs, and LED fog lights and daytime running lights are now available.
Within the cabin, the center stack has been redesigned, and a 7-inch touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now available. Other newly added options include a height-adjustable power passenger seat in the first row and an Infinity premium audio system.
Drive Mode Select and a rearview camera are now standard across the model line. Hyundai has also expanded the Santa Fe Sport’s list of available safety features, adding a multi-view camera system, lane departure warning, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, dynamic bending lights, high beam assist and adaptive cruise control.
Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language has been around for several years, and current models advance the latest interpretation. The style suits the 2017 Santa Fe Sport well, delivering a bold and a pleasing look up front. Dramatic LED lighting accents are found within the headlamp assemblies.
Front to back, the 2017 Santa Fe Sport offers distinct body sculpting, pronounced character lines, a rising beltline and a sloping roof line. The available dark-grey wheels amplify this SUV’s athletic persona. Wraparound combination lamps and available dual exhaust tips complete this SUV’s sporty expression.
All 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport models come with heated sideview mirrors, projector headlights with LED accents, a body-colored rear spoiler, automatic headlights and rear privacy glass. Options include roof rails, side-mirror turn-signal indicators, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and a panoramic sunroof.
A very welcome feature is the available hands-free smart liftgate, which opens automatically as you approach with your key fob.
The Santa Fe Sport seats five with supportive bucket seats up front and a split-folding bench seat in the second row.
Slip behind the steering wheel of the 2017 Santa Fe Sport and you’re treated to a deluxe experience, and even standard models have a high-end feel. Our 2.0T Ultimate edition heightened that sophistication with its leather interior, panoramic sunroof and heated steering wheel.
This model seats all passengers in comfort. The front seats are supportive, and rear seats are similarly accommodating, offering excellent head- and legroom. Leg carve-outs in the front seatbacks are a thoughtful touch and provide extra room for taller passengers. The second row’s middle seat is stiffer and sits higher, but otherwise it is wholly sufficient for adult passengers.
The Santa Fe Sport’s dashboard is clean and uncomplicated, supplying a sculpted layout comprised of soft-touch materials, leather and wood trim. The instrument panel is marked by a pair of cone-shaped recesses for the tachometer and the speedometer. All remaining driver information is digitally displayed in the center of the panel.
Top to bottom, the center console is ordered by a CD player and a large color display, followed by switches and knobs for managing the audio and climate control systems. At the base of the stack is an open compartment for your smartphone with connection points present. A pair of cup holders, an armrest and a deep storage area with a removable tray live adjacent to the front seat.
The standard storage area behind the second-row seat measures 35.4 cubic feet, and there is 71.5 cubic feet of space with the second row folded. An under-floor storage compartment is a handy addition, allowing you to hide valuable items from prying eyes.
Standard interior features for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport include a 40/20/40 split-folding second-row bench seat, four 12-volt power outlets and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Options include dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way power-adjustable lumbar support, heated front seats, heated second-row seats and ventilated front seats.
Hyundai supplies a pair of four-cylinder engines for the 2017 Santa Fe Sport. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque is standard. There’s also a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine available, which offers 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Our Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate test model came equipped with the turbo engine, which supplies generous amounts of power, although some lag was noted when pressing hard on the accelerator. Once the turbo spools up, it moves this two-ton midsize SUV with ease. The Santa Fe Sport’s transmission shifts seamlessly up and down the gear range and does so quietly in the background.
When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Sport certainly lives up to its name. This SUV benefits from refined steering. With Sport mode selected, the drive becomes more engaging, especially when tackling twisting roads. Braking is firm with little fade of note. The EPA rates the base Santa Fe Sport at 21/27 mpg city/highway. All-wheel-drive models like our 2.0T Ultimate get 19/24 mpg. We averaged about 22 mpg in our test Santa Fe Sport with mostly highway driving.
Hyundai has built a reputation for supplying premium amenities as standard equipment. The 2017 Santa Fe Sport upholds that tradition.
The base Santa Fe Sport includes features such as remote keyless entry with alarm, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 compatibility and a 5-inch display. Available features include HD radio, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a gauge cluster with a color LCD display.
Hyundai’s available Blue Link infotainment system includes safety and diagnostic features, such as remote start with climate control, stolen vehicle recovery and remote door lock and unlock.
A navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen is available, and it works as touted, delivering clear and accurate turn-by-turn directions each time. The real-time updates were especially helpful as traffic problems were immediately identified along the route with fresh route options offered. However, it’s available only with the Ultimate Tech package.
The 2.0T Ultimate trim supplies an audio-system upgrade, bringing in a 12-speaker Infinity system. It provides a satisfying listening experience throughout the cabin, matching the quality levels provided in pricier vehicles.
All Hyundai Santa Fe Sport models are equipped with a rearview camera, hill-start assist, traction control, electronic stability control and a full suite of air bags, including a driver’s knee air bag. The SUV is available with driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Other optional safety features include high beam assist, dynamic bending lights and a multi-view camera system.
The Santa Fe Sport earned a perfect five stars overall for its performance in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Santa Fe Sport a Good rating in all crashworthiness categories, and the SUV earned a Superior rating for its available front crash prevention technology. The Santa Fe Sport was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ designation by the IIHS in 2016.
The base 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport starts at $25,350, not including a destination fee of $895. Midrange 2.0T models start at $31,700, and the top-of-the-line 2.0T Ultimate trim starts at $36,500. We’d recommend the 2.0T trim, since it includes useful features such as blind spot detection, lane change assist, heated seats and a hands-free liftgate at a reasonable price point.
Hyundai is one of only a few manufacturers offering a midsize, two-row SUV. Most competing models offer three rows. Models such as the Nissan Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Edge should be compared.
Working strongly in the Santa Fe Sport’s favor are its premium amenities, excellent build quality and industry-leading warranties. Add in its modern styling, available technologies and excellent storage capacity, and the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport reveals itself as the type of vehicle today’s families demand.