2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport Preview
- Updated exterior styling
- Revised interior detailing
- Modified turbocharged engine for Santa Fe Sport
- Optional power height adjustment for front passenger’s seat
- New infotainment systems with Android Auto
- Next-generation Blue Link subscription services
- Upgraded Infinity premium audio system
- New collision-avoidance systems
- Undisclosed modifications for improved safety ratings
- On sale in February 2016
Here is the most important announcement regarding the refreshed 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport: “Expected Top Safety Pick+ rating based on preliminary internal tests.”
Debuting at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show and rolling into Hyundai showrooms as this is written, the revamped 2017 Santa Fe family has, evidently, been modified to resolve the single most significant reason consumers had to skip this model in the past, and that is its “Marginal” test result in the tough small overlap frontal-impact crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Of course, it remains to be seen if official IIHS results mirror Hyundai’s internal testing. But, if the Santa Fe earns that top rating, consumers are likely to find plenty of reasons to consider this appealing midsize crossover SUV.
For the sake of clarity, the Santa Fe is designed to carry up to 7 people in 3 rows of seats, while the smaller Santa Fe Sport holds 5 people in 2 rows of seats.
For the 2017 model year, both versions receive front and rear styling updates, new trim along the rocker panels, and fresh wheel designs. Nightfall Blue is new for the Santa Fe Sport, while the larger Santa Fe can be dipped in new Storm Blue paint.
Aside from minor changes to the infotainment system controls, new second-row cupholder designs for the Santa Fe, and a welcome change to matte-finish woodgrain trim for the Santa Fe Limited, Hyundai elects to carry forward this crossover SUV’s interior. Details about the new infotainment systems are discussed below.
Hyundai will offer the Santa Fe Sport in 2.4L and 2.0T model series, the latter available with an Ultimate option package. The larger Santa Fe is available in SE and Limited trim, each available with an Ultimate option package.
Xenon HID headlights, LED running lights, and LED fog lights (Santa Fe) are among the available upgrades, and versions with all-wheel drive (AWD) have a wiper de-icer system. Another important improvement for 2017, both members of the Santa Fe family can be fitted with a power front passenger’s seat-height adjuster. Additional options include a panoramic sunroof, power-operated hands-free rear liftgate, and a USB port for the Santa Fe’s third-row seat.
Under the Hood
Hyundai installs a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in the Santa Fe Sport 2.4L, pairing it with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front wheel-drive (FWD). For 2017, this engine makes a bit less horsepower and torque than it did in 2016, but the power is available at slightly lower rpm.
The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, one that generates 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,450 rpm and 3,500 rpm. Again, these figures are reduced compared with the 2016 model, but the power is available at lower rpm and the torque is spread over a greater portion of the rev range, which should negate the reductions. The 2.0T gets the same 6-speed automatic as the 2.4L, delivering power to the front wheels.
The larger Santa Fe continues with a 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and FWD. An AWD system with Active Cornering Control is optional for all 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sports, and Hyundai claims it has improved fuel economy in combined driving situations for nearly all versions of its midsize crossover SUV.
For 2017, every Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport is equipped with a standard Drive Mode Select system. The driver can choose between Eco, Normal, and Sport settings, which adjust powertrain response and electric steering feel accordingly.
A reversing camera is standard for the 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport. Options includes a multi-angle reversing camera, adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go functionality, forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive headlights that help the driver to see around dark corners at night.
Hyundai’s next-generation Blue Link subscription services technology is also available for the 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport. Blue Link provides access to automatic collision-notification service, as well as speed alert, curfew alert, and boundary alert features that are perfect for families with teenaged drivers in the household. After an initial free trial to Blue Link’s basic service package, a paid subscription is required to take advantage of these features.
New infotainment systems debut for the revamped 2017 Santa Fe family. Standard equipment for the Santa Fe Sport includes Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 5-in. static-display screen. Upgrades include two different touch-screen infotainment systems equipped with Android Auto smartphone-projection technology.
The larger Santa Fe includes a touch-screen infotainment system as standard equipment, the one equipped with a 7-in. display. The top-shelf choice supplies a bigger 8-in. display, navigation system, and a 12-speaker Infinity audio system with new QuantumLogic surround sound and Clari-Fi music-restoration technology.
Additionally, Blue Link supplies more than just safety-related services. Depending on the selected subscription package, owners can use a remote start system that also heats or cools the cabin in advance of driving, a stolen-vehicle recovery service, destination and point-of-interest search by Google, and more. Blue Link is also available for Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches.