Keeping up with the Joneses

Hyundai is slightly lacking when it comes to its crossover and SUV roster, which puts a lot of pressure on the Santa Fe to scoop up as many sales as possible in this increasingly popular segment. As such, Hyundai is wisely ramping up production, adding the two-row Santa Fe Sport to its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. More inventory is good, but just as important is an edge against the competition. In order to keep the Santa Fe as fresh as possible, Hyundai just announced a new mid-cycle update for the crossover at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. On the docket this time around is a new look, new interior equipment, and new technology for safety and convenience.

The Santa Fe first debuted in 2001 as the automaker’s first-ever SUV, and a second generation followed five years later. The model’s current third generation debuted in 2012, and given the widespread circulation of spy shots that preceded the update announcement, there was little question as to what Hyundai had planned for Chicago.

While the update may appear rather mild at first blush, Hyundai says it changed almost 350 individual parts on the Santa Fe Sport – roughly a quarter of the car. Read on to see exactly what that means.

Update 05/18/2016: The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has received a Top Safety Pick+ Award from the IIHS after undergoing routine crash testing. Check out the Safety section below for more details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe.

  • 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    185
  • Displacement:
    2.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    25350
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10

Exterior

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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The Santa Fe is offered as two individual models – the two-row, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport, and the three-row, seven-passenger Santa Fe. Both bring unique styling, most noticeable up front, with the three-row Santa Fe bearing upright fog lights and five slats in the grille, and the two-row Santa Fe Sport using horizontal fog lights and three slats in the grille.

Both bring unique styling, most noticeable up front, with the three-row Santa Fe bearing upright fog lights and five slats in the grille

The 2017 refresh also brings a slight tweak to the rear fascia design, plus new taillights and dual exhaust outlet.

On the sides, you’ll find new rocker panel trim, integrated silver accents, and exterior side-view mirrors with a standard heating function. Wheel designs are new as well, with 17-, 18-, and 19-inch alloys.

The redesigned headlights now get LEDs for the daytime running lights, while the three-row Santa Fe is offered with available LED fog lights. An automatic on/off function for the headlights is standard.

Finally, there are two new hues when it comes to paint options, including Nightfall Blue for the Santa Fe Sport, and Storm Blue for the Santa Fe.

Interior

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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Interior
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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution
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Inside, Hyundai updated the center stack with new button placement, which complements a full suite of infotainment options.

Both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are compatible with Android Auto, offering smartphone integration for Google Maps

First up is a standard 5.0-inch color LCD screen for audio control on the Santa Fe Sport. There’s also a new 7.0-inch touchscreen, which comes standard on the three-row Santa Fe and is available for the Sport. An 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation is also available.

Both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are compatible with Android Auto, offering smartphone integration for Google Maps, streaming audio, voice-controlled web search, and over 40 different apps. Smartphones running Android 5.0, Lollipop and higher are compatible.

Better tunes comes courtesy of an available Infinity premium sound system, with 12 speakers, plus QuantumLogic Surround sound technology and Clari-Fi Music restoration technology.

Standard features include a remote keyless entry system with alarm, steering-wheel mounted controls for the sound system and cruise control, and Bluetooth hands-free phone integration.

Additional options include a power passenger seat with height adjustment and a panoramic sunroof. The three-row Santa Fe gets an available third-row USB outlet. Step up to leather upholstery and you’ll also get woodgrain trim with a matte finish. Finally the Santa Fe Limited gets new second-row cupholders.

Drivetrain

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Santa Fe Sport is offered with two different engine packages.

The Santa Fe Sport is offered with two different engine packages. The first is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 185 horsepower, while the second is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 240 horsepower. Both use direct injection and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing.

Interestingly, those peak output figures are actually a downgrade over the outgoing model, with the 2.4-liter powerplant down 5 ponies from a previous 190 horsepower, and the 2.0-liter down 24 ponies from a previous 264 horsepower. The tradeoff is a fatter low-end and slightly higher mpg figures, but still, I can’t help but question the “Sport” nomenclature used here.

Santa Fe Sport mpg city/highway/combined
2.4L FWD 21/27/24
2.4L AWD 20/26/22
2.0T FWD 20/28/23
2.0T AWD 19/26/22
2.0T Ultimate FWD 20/27/23
2.0T Ultimate AWD 19/24/21

Meanwhile, the three-row Santa Fe marches on with a 3.3-liter Lambda II V-6, which produces 290 horsepower and nets 18 mpg city and 25 mph highway.

A six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic technology is standard across the range, and every model is offered with either FWD as standard or AWD as an available option.

Chassis And Handling

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai didn’t do much to the Santa Fe’s chassis and handling package, merely adding a new standard drive mode selector that lets drivers choose between Sport, Eco, or Normal. Hyundai didn’t elaborate too much on what exactly these drive modes alter, but did mention changes to the electric power steering system.

Additionally, AWD models get Active Cornering Control, which transfers torque to the rear and applies the brakes to the inside rear wheel for better rotation. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard across the range.

Safety And Convenience


Per usual for most mid-cycle refreshes these days, the Santa Fe benefits from a range of new safety and convenience features, making for a rather robust list of available and optional technology.

The Santa Fe benefits from a range of new safety and convenience features, making for a rather robust list of available and optional technology.

Standard features now include, a rear backup camera, blind-spot monitor, brake assist, hill-start assist, and downhill brake assist. Cold-weather-friendly AWD models also get a standard windshield wiper de-icer.

Optional equipment includes all the latest active and passive safety features, such as adaptive cruise control with start/stop functionality, lane departure warning, an electronic parking brake with auto-hold, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive headlights, and a multi-view camera system for enhanced around-vehicle visibility.

There’s also an available hands-free power liftgate, which doesn’t require any awkward foot shuffling to activate – just stand towards the rear of the vehicle with the key fob and the hatch will automatically open within a few seconds.

Hyundai’s next-generation Blue Link system comes standard on the Santa Fe, and is available on the Santa Fe Sport. Blue Link delivers “a full suite of connected safety and diagnostic features,” such as remote start, remote climate control, stolen vehicle recovery, and remote lock/unlock. On models equipped with navigation, there’s also Blue Link Guidance, which offers Destination Search by Google, plus point of interest web search, both of which make it easier to find where you’re going.

When the new Santa Fe undergoes crash testing, Hyundai says it expects a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA, as well as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ accolade.

Update 05/18/2016: The 2017 Santa Fe Sport has undergone IIHS crash testing and earned a “Good” rating across the board for moderate frontal overlap, small frontal overlap, side impact, head restraint, and roof strength tests. Furthermore, when the Santa Fe Sport is equipped with the optional automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection it earns a superior rating – exactly what it needed to be named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. David Zuby, the Chief Research Officer for IISH, said, “The Santa Fe Sport’s optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating. The Santa Fe Sport avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. The system also has a forward collision warning component that meets the NHTSA criteria.” So, as of the time of this writing, the Santa Fe Sport is among the safest cars on the road for the 2017 model year.

Prices

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The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is arriving at dealers now. The two-row Sport is offered in six different trim levels, starting at $25,350, while the three-row Santa Fe is offered in eight different trim levels, starting at $30,800.

Santa Fe Sport trim level MSRP
2.4L FWD $25,350
2.4L AWD $27,100
2.0T FWD $31,700
2.0T AWD $33,450
2.0T Ultimate FWD $36,500
2.0T Ultimate AWD $38,250
Santa Fe trim level MSRP
SE FWD $30,800
SE AWD $32,550
SE FWD Ultimate $38,700
SE AWD Ultimate $40,450
Limited FWD $34,950
Limited AWD $36,700
Limited FWD Ultimate $39,400
Limited AWD Ultimate $41,450

Competition

Ford Flex

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Some might call it a wagon, some might call it a crossover, but either way, this unique-looking blue oval product could definitely steal a few sales from Hyundai. The Flex offers a capacious cabin space, with seating for seven and tons of cargo room. The feature list is also on par with the Santa Fe. Two engines are offered – a standard 3.6-liter V-6, or a more powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6.

Read the full review here.

Nissan Murano

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Bringing unique styling and lots of equipment, the Murano is a worthy opponent to the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport. Output comes courtesy of a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, while a CVT routes it to the ground. Fuel economy figures are rated at 21 in the city and 28 on the highway. Pricing starts at just above $30,000 for a base model.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

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Regardless of future fuel prices, the SUV/crossover segment is still growing like a weed, and Hyundai did the smart thing to up production for the refreshed Santa Fe. And while some automakers choose to fill the gaps with an ever-expanding lineup, Hyundai is instead limiting its offerings while maintaining a wide variety of trim levels. Between the six different two-row Sport models and eight different three-row models, odds are customers will find something to suit their needs.

  • Leave it
    • * Less power on the Sport model
    • * A ton of competition from pretty much everywhere

Update History

Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Click the "Pictures" tab to see them.

Press Release

The award-winning Hyundai Santa Fe lineup continues to dramatically improve for the 2017 model year. The improvements span everything from fresh exterior design and LED lighting signatures to additional infotainment, convenience and safety technologies and new Drive Mode selection with Sport, Eco and Normal settings. For 2017, in order to meet increased market demand, production of the two-row Santa Fe Sport model will be added to the Montgomery, Alabama manufacturing facility, alongside the Sonata and Elantra sedan models. The 2017 Santa Fe is arriving at dealers now.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport Highlights

Exterior

Redesigned front fascia with brushed-appearance front grille and new headlight design
Enhanced rear fascia design with new taillights and new dual exhaust outlet design
New designs for 17-,18-, and 19-inch alloy wheels
New rocker panel trim design with integrated silver accents
New available LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
New available LED fog lights (three-row Santa Fe model only)

Powertrain

New standard Drive Mode Select (Sport, Eco and Normal modes)

Interior

Standard five-inch color LCD display audio system
New, standard seven-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto™ (Santa Fe 3-row)
Available on Santa Fe Sport
New, available eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with Android Auto™
Available Infinity® premium audio
New, with QuantumLogic® Surround and Clari-Fi™ Music Restoration Technology
Available next-generation Hyundai Blue Link® (standard on Santa Fe)
New, available third-row USB outlet (Santa Fe model only)
New, available power, height-adjustable passenger seat
New, second-row cupholders (Santa Fe Limited model)
New, matte-finish interior woodgrain (Santa Fe three-row model with Leather)
Redesigned center stack

Safety

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Standard Rearview Camera
New, available Multi-View Camera System
New, available Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start function
New, available Lane Departure Warning
New, available electronic parking brake system with auto-hold
New, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
New available Dynamic Bending Lights and High Beam Assist
NHTSA Five-star Safety Rating for Santa Fe Sport model
Expected Five-star Safety Rating for Santa Fe (three-row) model
Expected IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating based on preliminary internal tests

Color

New Nightfall Blue (Santa Fe Sport)
New Storm Blue (Santa Fe)

POWERTRAINS
All Santa Fe powertrains now offer new Drive Mode selection with Sport, Eco and Normal settings. The 2017 Santa Fe line-up continues to offer front- or all-wheel drive and seating options for five, six or seven passengers. The 2017 Santa Fe Sport is powered by an efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder direct-injected engine with 185 horsepower or the more powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. 2017 Santa Fe (three-row) uses the acclaimed 3.3-liter Lambda II V6 engine, with 290 horsepower. All Santa Fe engines utilize high-pressure direct injection and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all Santa Fe models. Active Cornering Control and a windshield wiper de-icer is also standard on AWD Santa Fe models.

For the 2017 Santa Fe Sport model alone, nearly 350 individual parts have been updated, representing about 25 percent of total Santa Fe Sport parts content.

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EPA-ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY
Santa Fe Sport EPA-estimated fuel economy has also been significantly improved across its model and trim line-up, with most models increasing by a full mile per gallon compared with the 2016 model year.

GENEROUS FEATURE CONTENT
Standard Santa Fe features include a Rearview Camera, automatic on/off headlights, remote keyless entry with alarm, bodycolor heated exterior power mirrors with driver’s blind spot mirror, LED headlight accents, daytime running lights, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free smartphone system. Premium features such as HID Xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, navigation and an updated 12-speaker Infinity Logic7® audio system which features QuantumLogic® Surround and Clari-Fi™ Music Restoration Technology are available. Also available is Hyundai’s innovative power Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open, which makes it even easier for owners to gain access to the cargo area whenever their hands are full. This system makes it easy for the driver to keep both feet comfortably on the ground by simply standing within a few feet of the rear bumper with the key fob in a purse or pocket for a few seconds.

NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK®
Even more, next-generation Hyundai Blue Link® (standard on Santa Fe and optional on Santa Fe Sport) provides a full suite of connected safety and diagnostic features, as well as features that are only possible with an embedded connected car system, such as Remote Start with Climate Control, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Remote Door Lock/Unlock. Navigation-equipped Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models also benefit from Blue Link Guidance, which provides Destination Search, powered by Google™, as well as POI Web Search and Download to help you get to your destinations via your connected car.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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ANDROID AUTO™ SUPPORT
Both Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are compatible with Android Auto for seamless and intuitive operation of the most commonly-used smartphone functions, including navigation with Google Maps™, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities and more than 40 approved smartphone apps. Android Auto is compatible with Android phones running Android 5.0, Lollipop or higher.

STEERING
Santa Fe models utilize an electric power steering system with a 32-bit microprocessor that delivers a refined steering feel. The steering system also offers driver-selectable steering modes based on the Drive Mode selection of Sport, Eco and Normal settings.

SAFETY
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Santa Fe lineup includes Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System, seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) with Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

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