2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

by John Tallodi

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a crossover SUV that does battle against some very capable rivals in the more affordable sector of the market.

Is the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe a good SUV?

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
8.4
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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.4L
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,950
2.0T
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,350
2.0T Ultimate
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$35,650

See all Trims and Specs

Some of its drawcards are a generous warranty, high equipment levels, and refined road manners. For 2018, the Santa Fe Sport receives some additional standard equipment and a range of available safety features, but is the price of a car like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sports warranted? We believe it just might be.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Front View Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Rear View Hyundai

Interior

Much like the larger, regular Santa Fe, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport interior is well put together, and material quality is high throughout. Controls and buttons feel solid and the Sport feels a cut above most competitors in its class.

Room for occupants is also generous, although the lack of a 3rd row as in the standard iteration means space for a maximum of five. Still, there will be few complaints about a lack of head or legroom, and the available panoramic roof will help alleviate any claustrophobic feeling, especially for passengers in the rear. Cargo space is commendable too, but the shallow side windows and design of the rear make for a slightly more restricted view out than in competing models.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Infotainment System Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Rear Passenger Seats Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Full Luggage Space Hyundai

Exterior

In terms of dimensions, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has an overall length of 185 inches, stretched over a 106.3-inch wheelbase. Excluding the mirrors, it has a width of 74 inches, just a fraction narrower than it's regular Santa Fe counterpart which is generally more imposing in size. By comparison, though, the Santa Fe Sport is slightly larger than the Tucson. Its sleek dimensions are emphasized by a palette of elegant exterior colors, ranging from white through silver, to red and blue.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Front View 1 Hyundai

Driving

The Sport tag on this crossover is a bit of a misnomer as the hard ride does not translate into a particularly engaging feel from behind the wheel. It behaves well enough on smooth pavement but rough patches of road unsettle the ride and bumps and thumps do disturb the otherwise quiet cabin.

In most normal conditions though the Santa Fe Sport feels composed and while there is not much feedback from the controls it will not disappoint as long as you are not expecting too much from that Sport badge.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Front View In Motion Hyundai

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Performance

Two powertrain options exist in the range, depending on trim level. The base engine is a 2.4-liter inline-4, producing 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque.

Moving up to the Sport 2.0T variants ups these outputs to 240 hp and 260 lb-ft by means of a twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine. Both engines are available solely with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and while front-wheel-drive is standard, an all-wheel-drive setup is available. It's also rated for a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.

The 2.4-liter offers competitive performance compared to its rivals, although the 0-60 sprint still takes almost ten seconds. Fuel consumption is not much improved over the more powerful and torquey turbo unit so it may be worth paying a bit extra for the performance boost. The configuration with the most efficient gas mileage is the 2.4-liter FWD variant, with EPA estimates of 21/27/24 mpg over the least impressive Sport in Ultimate trim with AWD at 19/24/21 mpg.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Front View 2 Hyundai

2018 Santa Fe Sport SUV: Drive and Handling

The Sport tag on this crossover is a bit of a misnomer, as the hard ride does not translate into a particularly engaging feel from behind the wheel, although it carries good weight in hand. If you are used to Sport derivatives giving you thrills, you'd best look elsewhere. It behaves well enough on smooth pavement, but rough patches of road unsettle the ride and bumps and thumps do disturb the otherwise quiet cabin. So, while AWD can help in adverse weather conditions, we wouldn't venture off-road with the Sport.

In most normal conditions, though, the Santa Fe Sport feels composed, and while there is not much feedback from the controls, it will not disappoint as long as you are not expecting too much from that Sport badge.

Equipment and Features

The Santa Fe Sport is available in three trim levels: the base Sport comes with the 185-hp 2.4-liter engine and has 17-inch alloys, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth compatibility, six-speaker audio system with USB, five-inch touchscreen display, rearview camera, downhill brake control, and auto-headlights, as some of its standard specs.

Optional equipment, such as an upgraded seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, power driver seat, and roof racks are also available in the Value Package. The Premium Package includes leather upholstery, power passenger seat, hands-free liftgate, blind-spot detection and lane change assist, premium wood interior trim, and sliding second-row seat.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Infotainment System 1 Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Central Console Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Central Console 1 Hyundai

The Tech Package includes extras such as a panoramic sunroof, an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, multiview camera system, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, as well as an Infinity Premium audio system.

On the Sport 2.0T trim, you get the 240-hp turbocharged motor and all of the Sport's standard features as well as 18-inch wheels and most of the items in the two Premium and Value packages listed above.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Steering Wheel Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Gear Shifter Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 12V Charging Ports Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Central Console Navigation System Hyundai

At the top of the range, the Sport 2.0T Ultimate, as the name suggests, includes all of the Sport 2.0T's features and as well as the Tech Package and 19-inch wheels. The Ultimate Tech Package is reserved for this trim level and offers adaptive cruise control, electronic parking brake, and lane departure warning.

Santa Fe Sport Safety

A car such as this is designed to carry precious cargo, and the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport sports more safety tech than before. Both the leading authorities in the USA ran the 2018 Santa Fe Sport through its paces, with the IIHS awarding the new Santa Fe Sport crossover SUV a Top Safety Pick+ award for the 2018 year. In its review of the Santa Fe Sport, the NHTSA awarded five full stars for overall safety evaluations and side crash tests.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Verdict and Price

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offers a broad range of standard and available features, a spacious and well-built interior, and pleasant performance, all at a competitive price. Increased safety equipment and updated styling are new for this model year, making the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport an SUV offering excellent value. The cabin is well-insulated and only a hard and less than sporty ride mars an otherwise competent package. It goes on sale for $24,950 but top-spec models can set you back as much as $41,300 without options. These prices are MSRP and don't include licensing, taxes, or destination fees.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Side View Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Front View 3 Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Rear Right Side View Hyundai

Check other Hyundai Santa Fe Styles

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Popular Comparisons

See All 28 Comparisons
$24,950 - $37,200
Price Range (MSRP)
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport