2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, Sport Models Get Refresh
Tech, Safety Upgrades Highlight Changes
By now, Hyundai, as well as its Korean cousin Kia, needs no qualifiers for their models such as “for the price” or “almost as good as.” They may not be the screaming bargains they once were relative to other automakers. However, they remain compelling values offering a lot of features and content for the price. If there’s one shortcoming in Hyundai’s product strategy, it’s that the company was caught slightly off-guard by the runaway popularity of crossovers and SUVs. Hyundai is reportedly preparing two luxury crossovers for its newly launched Genesis brand, as well as a sub-Tucson B-segment model. In the meantime, its midsize standard-bearers, the two-row Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe crossovers, get a freshening for the 2017 model year.
As is the predominant pattern lately for the class, the big focus is on enhanced safety and updated tech content and integration. To that end, the headliners for the 2017 model year are Android Auto integration, the next generation of Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system, and a suite of available safety technologies such as smart cruise control with stop/start function, lane departure warning, a multi-view camera system, automatic emergency braking, and dynamic bending lights with high-beam assist. Engines and powertrains remain unchanged from 2016, with the Santa Fe Sport retaining its 2.4L GDI I-4 with 185 hp and the 2.0L GDI turbo making 240 hp. The long-wheelbase Santa Fe’s sole engine is a 3.3L GDI V-6 making 290 hp. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic and offered with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
Alloy wheels are new designs in 17, 18, and 19-inch sizes, and higher-trim models get LED daytime running lights. The popular hands-free smart liftgate returns as an option. Prices start at $26,245 including $895 destination for the front-drive Santa Fe Sport 2.4, with the top-trim Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate with all-wheel-drive going for $39,145. The larger Santa Fe Starts at $31,695 for the front-drive SE, topping out at $42,045 for the Santa Fe Limited AWD Ultimate. The 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models will be in dealerships early spring 2016.