The smaller of Hyundai's two Santa Fe crossovers, the Santa Fe Sport differs from its big brother with a peppy, turbocharged engine, a more manageable footprint, and most importantly, a lower price tag.

Best Value

The 2018 Santa Fe Sport ranges in price from $25,845 for the base trim with front-wheel-drive to $39,695 for an all-wheel-drive 2.0T Ultimate model equipped with the Ultimate Package. The base trim receives a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower, while 2.0T and 2.0T Ultimate models are equipped with a more powerful 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while no V6 is offered. Both engines are mated to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.

All Santa Fe Sports come with the usual power features (windows, locks, mirrors) plus a rear view camera, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, and a five-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth capability.

We'd skip the base model with the lower-output 2.4-liter engine as well as the 2.0T model as it lacks the option of advanced safety features. That leaves the 2.0T Ultimate with its leather interior, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and middle-row seats, heated and cooled front seats, smart key with pushbutton start, rear side window sunshades, hands-free liftgate, larger eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, Infinity sound system, multi-view camera, and rear parking sensors.

  • Model: 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate AWD
  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 240 hp / 260 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • MPG: 19 City / 24 Hwy
  • Options: Ultimate Package ($1,600, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, electronic parking brake, and dynamic bending, auto-leveling, HID headlights with automatic high beams)
  • Base Price: $36,545 (including an $895 destination fee)
  • As Tested: $38,145

Performance Pros

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Off-the-line acceleration builds quickly with the turbo four, which loses only a single mpg to the less powerful, normally-aspirated, 2.4-liter engine.

  • The 6-speed automatic shifts smoothly, while setting the steering to Sport mode adds some much-needed weight and helps the Santa Fe track more cleanly.

  • The Santa Fe Sport isn't a great dancer, but it feels agile enough for the class and rides well, too.

Performance Cons

  • On-center steering feel could be better.

  • The base 2.4-liter has difficulty handling the extra mass of the Santa Fe Sport.

  • A tow-worthy V6 isn't offered, while the all-wheel-drive system is skewed toward all-weather driving rather than off-road capability.

Interior Pros

  • Sheetmetal that strikes a nice balance between adventurous and unassuming encompasses an interior that, size-wise, betters many of its competitors with 108 cu ft of passenger space and 35.4 cu ft of cargo volume behind the back seats.
  • The front seats are supportive and well-bolstered
  • The back seats split, fold, and, in leather-equipped models, slide and recline on a 5.2-inch track - the better for road trip cat naps.

Interior Cons

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Headroom in sunroof-equipped models could be tight for taller riders, while the sliding second row is only offered with the leather interior.
  • While a rear view camera is standard across the lineup and adaptive cruise control is available starting with the 2.0T trim, advanced safety features including lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams are available only on the top-trim 2.0T Ultimate.

Our Favorite Thing

A comfortable ride and a pleasing interior with plenty of standard features are a big draw.

Our Least Favorite Thing

The Santa Fe Sport is hampered by a sluggish base engine, average fuel economy, and mediocre steering feedback.

Right For

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The Santa Fe Sport's combination of style, versatility, and feature content could be a big draw for value-conscious families.

Wrong For

Despite great crash test scores, the lack of advanced safety features across the lineup could prove to be a turn-off to safety conscious buyers.

The Bottom Line

Despite a dull base engine and mediocre fuel economy, the Santa Fe Sport's smooth ride, pleasing, spacious interior; and solid value proposition make it a strong choice in its class.