Intent on remaining solid competitors in the midsize and compact crossover/SUV segments, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and its 2017 Santa Fe Sport sibling boast a wide selection of upgrades that add more visual punch and enhanced standard and optional features. Both of these new Hyundai haulers continue to be offered in front-drive or AWD configurations and are due in showrooms here shortly.

Exterior changes to the 3-row Santa Fe and 2-row Santa Fe Sport are most evident on the front and rear fascias. A revised grille with a brush-look insert and new headlamps add more distinction up front and are balanced by a tidier rear bumper design set off with new taillamps and a twin-paired dual exhaust. Recast rocker panels with silver accents and revised 17-/18-/19-inch alloy wheels enhances the profile while new available LED DRLs and LED foglamps (Santa Fe only) round out the remix.

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll

Inside, the cabins of the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have new model-dependent trim/feature touches along with a redesigned center stack. A new 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto is standard on the Santa Fe and can be had in place of the basic 5-inch color display audio system on the Santa Fe Sport. The senior Santa Fe also offers a new Navigation package with an 8.0-inch screen and next-gen BlueLink telematics, the latter being a Sport option. Buyers of either vehicle also can opt for an upgraded Infinity Logic7 Premium audio package with new Surround Sound and Clafi-Fi Music Restoration Technology.

Premium active/passive safety touches

New available safety tech includes a Multi-View Camera System, Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start function, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Bending Lights and High Beam Assist plus an electronic parking brake system with auto-hold. The 2017 Santa Fe Sport has earned a NHTSA 5-Star safety rating which Hyundai expects the Santa Fe to match. Both also are projected to receive Top Safety Pick+ designations from the IIHS.

While all 2017 Santa Fe variants carry over with the existing 290-horsepower/3.3-liter V6, the new Santa Fe Sport gets modified versions of the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbo four which now make 185 and 240 horses, respectively, down from 190 and 265 in 2016. The upside here is that EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings rise by at least one mpg in most variants. All engines in the Santa Fe family continue to be backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission, but it now adds Drive Mode Select with the Eco/Normal/Sport settings.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

Pricing for the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe lineups is up by several hundred dollars on average. The Santa Fe SE now opens at $31,659 with the SE Ultimate starting at $39,595, the FE Limited commences at $35,845 and the FE Limited Ultimate commands $40,295. Those requiring fewer seats can slip into a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4 for $26,245. Opting for a Sport 2.0T requires $32,595 with the Sport 2.0T Ultimate bumping that sticker to $37,395. Adding all-wheel drive increases all of the above by $1,750.

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