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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport embodies what's become a classic Hyundai formula: offer a premium-feeling vehicle, with distinctive styling and upscale features, for the price that fits a more modest budget. With seating for five, two different 4-cylinder engines, front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD), plus a lot of clever features, the Santa Fe Sport compact SUV offers a lot to shoppers. The suspension and steering setups get revised for a better sense of control, and a new power liftgate opens automatically if you just stand near it with the key in your pocket. It's a lot of crossover SUV, worth a look from anybody checking out vehicles ranging from the Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox to the Ford Edge and Kia Sorento.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2015 Santa Fe Sport is a great choice if you're looking for a comfortable, stylish and efficient compact SUV. Packed with features and with an affordable price, the Santa Fe Sport should be on any crossover-SUV shopper's list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Santa Fe Sport is bigger than many compact SUVs, but it's still on the small side for those who need extra cargo space or who need three rows. Its towing capabilities aren't particularly distinguished, either.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Santa Fe Sport gets a mildly revised grille, but more important are changes to the suspension and steering aimed at improving drivability. Also new is the cool new power hatch, which opens if you stand next to it for a few seconds with the key in your pocket.

Driving the Santa Fe Sport
Driving Impressions

Crossover SUVs like the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport are generally not thought of as being particularly entertaining to drive. However, this Hyundai SUV is an exception. There's more to...

... it than just the available 264-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, too. The stiff structure means the suspension can be set up for both good cornering grip and a comfortable ride. If you opt for the all-wheel-drive models, the Active Cornering Control AWD system utilizes torque vectoring and torque braking to improve stability while cornering, maintaining traction at the most desired wheels. The lively chassis means that even if you order the standard 190-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, you'll still be entertained behind the wheel. Add in some major efforts at reducing interior noise levels, and Hyundai's Santa Fe Sport is one of the most refined, nicest-driving compact SUVs on the market.

2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
It wasn't too long ago that a 264-horsepower 4-cylinder would be paired with a rear-wheel-drive sports car. Here, it's just fine hauling the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport around with ease. Matched with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic, the combination delivers plenty of power for any driving eventuality.

HANDS-FREE SMART LIFTGATE WITH AUTO OPEN
A mouthful of a name, but a simple device: Stand near the power rear hatch with the key in your pocket, and after a few seconds the hatch will open. No button to push, no foot to wave under the bumper, just standing there is all it takes.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Details
Interior

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport proves that you don't have to sacrifice user friendliness to have a contemporary interior design. All the controls inside are easy to reach and understand, and everything is constructed with care and high-quality materials. It's also practical, with stain-resistant Yes Essentials fabric or available leather, and a rear bench seat that folds in a 40/20/40 split and is also available with 5.2 inches of fore-and-aft travel and a recline function as part of an option package. Behind the seats is a good-sized cargo space, making the Santa Fe Sport exceptionally flexible.

Exterior

Hyundai gave the 2015 Santa Fe Sport a subtle 2-tone treatment to the grille, emphasizing the "Sport" part of the name, and the crossover SUV also gets daytime running lights standard. Otherwise, the same exterior as last year carries over, and that's fine with us. We like the sharply styled design, with impressive details merging with aerodynamic efficiency that include hidden underbody fairings. Standard equipment on the Sport are 17-inch alloy wheels with 235-65R17 tires, while the Sport 2.0T has 18-inch alloys with 235/60R18 tires as standard and 19-inch alloys with 235/55R19 tires optionally available.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport adds daytime running lights, a driver's-side blind-spot mirror and auto up/down passenger window to the standard-equipment list. Also standard are air conditioning, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering column, steering-wheel-mounted controls, remote keyless entry, an audio system that includes HD radio, USB and auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth and Blue Link. Turbocharged 2.0T models get a lot more equipment standard, including most of the base model's Popular Equipment Package, adding roof rails, fog lights, heated mirrors, power driver's seat, heated front seats, push-button start/stop and more. Safety features include stability and traction control, and plenty of airbags.

Optional Equipment

The base 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offers the Popular Equipment Package mentioned above, plus a Premium Package that adds leather, blind-spot detection, dual-zone automatic temperature control and other features. The Tech Package includes the panoramic sunroof, rear park assist, navigation with 8-inch touch screen, Dimension premium audio, memory for driver's seat and mirrors, heated seats, and this year, the new power tailgate. The only package for Santa Fe Sport 2.0T models is an Ultimate Package, which adds 19-inch wheels and tires, HID xenon headlights, LED taillights, the power tailgate, Infinity sound system, and more.

Under the Hood

You have two engine options for the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Standard is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 190 horsepower; if that's not enough, the 264-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the Sport 2.0T should satisfy you. Both engines benefit from modern technology direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing for the optimum in efficiency and power. The only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic with a Shiftronic manual shift gate, for those who wish to shift for themselves, and is available in either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), delivering responsive and impressive performance and fuel economy.

2.4-liter inline-4
190 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (FWD), 19/25 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
264 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)

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