The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0t Sport highlights a growing trend with Hyundai. Every year and model generation, the cars just get better and better. Build quality is quite good, and materials are quite good for this segment. Value for money, this vehicle has tons of features for the money. Where the Hyundai seems to let me down is the Sport badge.
The Hyundai Santa Fe drives well and is well appointed, however the sport model really doesn’t feel very, well, sporty. The suspension is a bit too stiff and somehow still doesn’t control body roll, and the steering is very vague. The 2.0t engine is typically strong, but programming in this really makes it feel very light on low end torque, which is odd considering how peppy it is normally. Same goes for higher RPMs, the engine just doesn’t feel like it wants to be there. The transmission programming is adequate, and is sport mode shifts are firm and quick, and the transmission is usually in the right gear, though it sometimes hunts a bit on the highway.
The infotainment system is a little clunky and difficult to operate at times, but the bluetooth functionality works well and the stereo sounds good. Music streaming and phone duties were handled without issue, but the touchscreen could be better utilized. AC controls are easy to use, and the gauges are legible and easy to read.
The Santa Fe has lots of bells and whistles for around $31,000, like keyless entry and start, backup camera, leather seating for 5, a turbocharged engine, and good cargo space. It’s a great value for those looking for features, but the sport model really doesn’t live up to it’s name. If you’re looking for a fun, sporty SUV, this isn’t it, but if you’re looking for a well equipped and value oriented midsize SUV, the Santa Fe is a great choice.