And the saga continues... | At the end of my test I was really saddened to see the keys of this Hyundai leave my possession.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has been around since 2000, but only gained my attention in the last year or so after the refresh that occurred back in 2013. To be blunt, I did not like the old styling of the Santa. The updated version from a visual stand point, gives me the feeling that the Santa Fe has finally started to reach its prime. The sleek styling, with aggressive features such as a spoiler on the hatch, a very aggressive yet refined face, and LED accenting make for a very attractive package overall. Paired with the subtle Canyon Copper paint job, our 2015 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Limited long-termer had me turning around to catch another glimpse after parking it each and every time.
I could never imagine that an SUV would evoke feelings of attraction but the Santa Fe has worked its magic on me. The Santa Fe Sport has me sold in the looks department, but what is it like to actually live with? Hyundai has made sure the Santa Fe gets all of the treatments you would expect from a SUV that’s priced just under $40,000. LED accenting at all four corners, sleek wheel arches, polished twin tip exhaust, and stylish 19 inch ‘Euroflange’ alloy wheels all give this Santa Fe Sport a sophisticated yet composed look that set it apart from its competition. The 19” wheels were wrapped in 235/55R/19 Hankook Winter I-Cept evo high performance winter tires, that we actually helped Hyundai pick out. Although I did not experience any snowfall during my testing period, I did experience some chilly days and the Hankooks are holding up well and performed marvellously.
Inside, the sportiness of the Santa Fe’s exterior is also noticeable, but a side of luxury does make its presence known. A supple black leather interior that features heated and cooled front seats (heated in the rear), a heated steering wheel for those cold mornings, and an Infinity CD/SiriusXM/MP3/Bluetooth audio system with a high-resolution 8” touchscreen. A massive panoramic moonroof is also standard on the Sport Limited. The Santa Fe Sport Limited also features an excellent navigation system that was very easy to use, extremely fast, and responded well to touch commands. It should be noted that the Santa Fe Sport Limited does feature a reverse camera, but the guidance lines do not move with inputs from the steering wheel, which can be a little awkward at first. Safety features also include active blind-spot detection which is good for a vehicle this size.
The Santa Fe Sport Limited features a 2.0L twin scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder engine dubbed the GDI Theta II. The mill pumps out a healthy 264 horsepower that can only be paired to a 6-speed automatic with ‘SHIFTRONIC’ manual mode. The power is fed to all four wheels thanks to the aforementioned AWD system. The Santa Fe Sport Limited is rated to tow up to 3,500 lbs and features an ECO mode that can help fuel efficiency. However, my fuel mileage was not all that pleasing—driving a split of 60% city driving and 40% highway, I averaged 13.5 L/100KM. Compare this number with an Acura MDX SH-AWD 3.5L V6 that can average ~11 L/100KM and you can start to debate whether this ECO mode does actually help or not. Thankfully, the Santa Fe Sport Limited does not require premium fuel. Yes, the Santa Fe is more than happy to eat up regular fuel without any engine knock whatsoever. My editor did mention that without premium fuel, you do lose a small amount of horsepower.
The Santa Fe also features a ‘smart tailgate system’ that can also be found on other Hyundai models. This system however takes it one step further. As you approach the rear with the key fob in your pocket, the tailgate lifts up automatically until fully opened to help you load your cargo. The Santa Fe Sport Limited offers a lot of versatility by being able to transition into different roles flawlessly. Helping a friend move? Fold the rear seats down and you have almost 2,100L of cargo volume. Need to go on a road trip? No problem, you can fit 5 people comfortably. It seems then, that the only downfall from this amazing package is the fuel economy.
The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Limited can be had at $39,649.00. At this price, it is well outside of my range being a young student. However, if I had a family of my own to drive around and wanted something a little sporty as well, the Santa Fe would be on my definite shopping list. At the end of my test, I was really saddened to see the keys of this Hyundai leave my possession. However, given we still have it for another two months, I’m sure we’ll meet again soon!
Long-Term Test Update Gallery