The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, once a trim level of the Santa Fe midsize SUV, has won a large following and become a distinct model on its own. Its comfort, power, and style make it an overall better buy than the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Two Versions of a Sporty, Successful Design
The Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are similar in most respects and there are few overt differences, the mark of a well-conceived overall design. If you’re looking for a midsize SUV that’s a little more compact, the Santa Fe Sport would probably be a better option than the Santa Fe with its three rows and seating for seven, as opposed to the Sports’ five passenger capacity. These are both sporty, stylish-looking SUVs that deliver reliable performance and come with an excellent safety record. You’ll also get an outstanding service warranty, among the best in the industry. You won’t be disappointed with either, though if a more compact, slightly more efficient SUV is to your taste, you can’t go wrong with the Santa Fe Sport.
Trim levels for these two models are similar, as you might expect. The Santa Fe Sport’s 2.0T Ultimate and the Santa Fe’s Limited Ultimate are both upper-level versions that come with a wealth of features. These are good options if you appreciate comfort and convenience –both come with leather interiors, heated mirrors, all-wheel drive, and auxiliary audio input with external media control. The Santa Fe Sport offers a 4-way power automatic passenger seat and cruise and audio controls are within easy reach (on the steering wheel). Vehicles come standard with heated front seats, always a welcome feature in cold-weather climates.
Plenty of Space and Options
The Santa Fe Sport and the Santa Fe both offer plenty of head and legroom, though the Santa Fe is slightly bigger and can comfortably accommodate seven people. The Santa Fe Sport, which includes split rear split seats, can fit five passengers and, though a tad smaller, offers other benefits, such as slightly better fuel efficiency (19 mpg city/24 mpg highway, compared to the Santa Fe’s 17/22). The Santa Fe Sport’s drivetrain and engine package are impressive for a midsize SUV, featuring two engine options (a 2.4-liter and a 2.0-liter turbo that generates 240 hp). The Sport, like the Santa Fe, comes with front-wheel drive though all-wheel drive is offered as an upgrade. The Santa Fe’s one engine is a peppy one, a 3.3-liter V-6 delivering up to 240 hp.
The Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe are outstanding offerings that would make any midsize SUV fan happy. If you’re into a slightly smaller version that produces plenty of pickup and fuel efficiency, we would recommend the Sport (the Santa Fe has three rows of seating compared to the Sport’s two). Whatever you decide, you’ll also be happy to know that Hyundai offers one of the industry’s best warranty packages, including 24 month or 24,000 miles free maintenance.
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