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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T Review By John Heilig

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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


MODEL: 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 265 hp @ 6,000 rpm/269 ft.-lb. @ 1,750-3,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 184.6 x 74.0 x 66.1 in.
TIRES: P235/60R18
CARGO: 35.4/71.5 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway/16.3 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 17.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,706 lbs.
STICKER: $38,350 (includes $875 delivery, $4,475 options (Ultimate Package))

BOTTOM LINE: The Hyundai Santa Fe is a very nice “standard SUV.” It verges on the luxury with a full menu of amenities, good power and handling.

Look around you. Unless you live in a secluded area of the world, most of the vehicles around you will be sport utilities of some stripe, either compact, mid-size or standard. And EVERY manufacturer has at least one entry in the segment.

Hyundai’s Standard SUV is the Santa Fe. Our test vehicle this week is the Santa Fe Sport. The Sport is a slightly smaller version of the Santa Fe, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four versus a 3.3-liter V6. Much in the same was a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is smaller than the Outlander.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four delivers good power at 265 horsepower and 269 ln.-ft. of torque. We had very good acceleration and the power is there when you need it. In addition, the 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth. You can also shift it sequentially with the shifter.

Ride quality is very good. Front seats are comfortable with some side support. In addition, they are heated and cooled. We didn’t check the heated side of the equation, but the cooling fan did help in some pretty healthy heat. The center console/arm rest has two levels and is well located for side support and comfort.

Rear seats are also heated and can slide back and forth to increase leg room. The rear side windows have manual privacy shades, which make my granddaughters very happy. I don’t know if they like the privacy or simply playing with the shades. On the other end of the spectrum, the huge sun roof extends all the way to the back seats. The rear seats also fold flat to expand cargo capacity.

The heated steering wheel has a nice feel with four spoked for a variety of hand positions (10 & 2, 5 & 7, 6). On long trips I like to vary my hand position, but I usually return to 10 & 2.

We enjoyed the good audio system with the standard assortment of choices. The infotainment screen is clear. The navigation system is easy to program. It’s intuitive, the way you would address an envelope. However, it doesn’t always choose the best routes when I program in an address that I go to often. There are two buttons on the center stack for infotainment and HVAC.

At the base of the center stack is a huge cubby with 12-volt, AUX and USB plugs, as well as access from both sides through “holes” in the side framing.

Cargo capacity is very good with multiple tie-downs to secure loose cargo. In addition, there is a small cargo area below the floor that proved to be ideal for grocery bags. A 12-volt outlet in the cargo area helps power lights or other accessories.

I said earlier that the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport verges on luxury. Well, “luxury” may be a bit excessive, but the Santa Fe is very nice and is far ahead of some SUVs that truly call themselves luxury. The Santa Fe Sport has everything you could want, and everything is within the driver’s reach. The Santa Fe Sport is a good, solid vehicle, fully capable of handling just about anything you’d want to throw at it.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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