- Two-row, five passenger version of the Santa Fe crossover
- Five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA, IIHS Top Safety Pick
- Two four-cylinder engine options (one naturally aspirated, one turbocharged)
Last year, Hyundai gave an overdue refresh to the Santa Fe and actually split the midsize crossover into two separate models: the Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Sport which is covered here.
The 2014 Santa Fe Sport is the smaller of the two models, with two rows of seating (up to five passengers) and a pair of four cylinder engines. The Santa Fe nameplate now refers to a three-row variant (up to seven passengers) that comes with a V-6 and is covered separately on this site. Santa Fe Sport models are 8.5-inches shorter than the Santa Fe, a move that we like from Hyundai; it doesn’t make sense to try to cram three-rows of seats onto a chassis meant for two rows, and vice versa. Maybe more importantly, the Santa Fe Sport is also significantly lighter (266 pounds at least) which improves fuel economy and driving dynamics.
The Santa Fe Sport features a vastly restyled exterior. The new look bears a striking similarity to what can be seen on the Genesis Coupe, with sharply angled headlamps and a hexagonal front grille. Behind that it’s all fluidic design with numerous creases running off the hood and down the sides of the Santa Fe Sport. 17-inch wheels are standard, while 19-inch wheels come with turbocharged models.
Under the hood, there is a pair of four-cylinder engine options. The base engine is a 190-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct-injection, while the upgraded engine is a 264-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the Sonata Turbo. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is drive-selectable steering which alters the steering response based on the conditions or driver preference. All-wheel drive with torque vectoring for greater traction is optional, and the Santa Fe Sport can tow up to 3,500 pounds with both engines.
Fuel economy ratings are competitive for the Santa Fe Sport’s class. The best fuel economy is achieved with the base engine, 22/33 mpg city/highway. Turbo models come in behind that with 21/31 mpg city/highway. Opting for all-wheel drive drops these figures slightly.
Inside, the cabin is filled with soft touch materials and higher trim levels even offer some faux wood trim pieces. The modern looking dash has overlapping layers that are becoming a Hyundai signature, and give the interior a sophisticated look. The standard features list is long; keyless entry, a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, air conditioning, USB/iPod port, Bluetooth connectivity, and Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system come on every model. There are also plenty of upscale options such as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system. The 2014 Santa Fe Sport also performed extremely well on crash tests, earning a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS.