Hyundai has a twofold entry into the compact SUV/crossover category producing the three-rows of seating Santa Fe and the 8.5-inch shorter Santa Fe Sport with five-passenger seating. We recently had a chance to renew our acquaintance with the Santa Fe Sport.
Design has been a high priority of Hyundai for several years and their entire 14 vehicle lineup is looking very good with distinctive, fresh designs.
One of the things we always notice about a car is the sound the doors make when they close. A good solid ?thud? like we heard from the Santa Fe, makes us think ?quality? and it certainly looks and feels like a well-built SUV. The same goes for the way the switches and controls operate and sound, they should feel positive, work smoothly and not feel cheap or plastic-like and the Santa Fe passed with flying colors.
Having a choice, our personal preference would be the Sport 2.0T. Its engine is a turbocharged 264 horsepower 2.0-liter GDI (gas direct injection) Theta II engine. Both engines respond nicely, but the extra power for passing or merging into traffic of the turbocharged engine is a big plus in our book. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.5 seconds. There?s a little fuel economy penalty for the extra power, but it?s still good for a mid-size CUV – 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Sometimes four-cylinder engines can be a bit rough or shaky, but both of these are smooth and quiet at all speeds. Both models come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission.