The venerable Honda CR-V, now it its fourth generation, has been a solid performer for nearly two decades. The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, though relatively new, has become very popular with American consumers who seek a versatile yet economical crossover. Which is the better all-around choice?
What the Santa Fe Sport Gets Right
Sitting nearly two inches lower than in previous years, and 266 pounds lighter, the Santa Fe Sport is more crossover than SUV. Hyundai has deftly given the Sport an upgrade in the engine compartment with the option of a turbocharged 2-liter four coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. Even with the extra power, it achieves combined fuel efficiency of 25 mpg.
Inside, the Santa Fe Sport pleases passengers with plenty of rear-seat legroom and a view of the sky through an optional panoramic sunroof. Hauling cargo? The split rear seat folds to make room for up to 71 cubic feet of your stuff. The long wheelbase and 17-inch wheels make for a smooth ride even on less-than-perfect streets.
What the CR-V Gets Right
The CR-V drivetrain connects its proven 185-horespower four-cylinder to a new CVT for an impressive 29 mpg combined, ahead of many of its competitors. Overall, the ride is sedan-like, and drivers will enjoy the tight turning radius.
Buyers will be delighted at standard features that include USB, Bluetooth with audio streaming and a back-up camera. Cargo space is impressive: 71 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. A low deck makes it easy to load and unload.
Which is the Better Choice?
The Honda CR-V receives good marks in most categories, and the 2015 refresh features a modern exterior and stylish interior. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport provides a peppier drivetrain, better interior materials, simpler controls, and more cargo space.
Our Choice: Honda CR-V
While the Sante Fe is a very good car and excellent value for money, the new CR-V is simply a tick better.