2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
For a crossover SUV with the qualities of a smaller sedan or station wagon, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a great option. Coming in three different trim packages, the plethora of choices and features in this SUV means there is something for everyone. From families to off-road adventurers, the 2018 Santa Fe continues the line’s focus on fuel efficiency, high performance, and excellent cargo/towing capabilities.
The basic specs of the vehicle include the option of either a 2.4L or 2.0T turbocharged engine with 185 vs 240 horsepower respectively. Forward and all-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmissions are available on any trim. In combination with the transmission, several of the trims feature standard safety systems like blind spot detection, lane assist, parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.
On the inside, the Santa Fe comes with a five-passenger, 71.5 square foot carrying capacity in a roomy interior. The built-in infotainment system, push-button start, and heated seats/side mirrors all make driving the SUV easier and more comfortable. For people wanting a better off-roading experience, the higher trims also come with easy dashboard controls for the intelligent, automatic traction control system.
Most of the included and optional features in the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport are aimed at increasing safety and comfort for drivers and passengers alike. The SUV’s extensive series of front/passenger front and side airbags, in combination with strategically placed crumple zones, give the Santa Fe a great crash rating during frontal, side, and rollover tests.
Optional safety features (many of which come standard on the upper trims) increase driver awareness and reaction time before or during a potential crash. Hyundai’s Blind Spot Detection system triggers a light on either side mirror, alerting the driver to a vehicle near the SUV’s side. The Multi-view Camera system provides a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of the car’s surrounding area while parking so the driver can see potential dangers ahead of time. The lane change assistant and rear cross-traffic alerts both provide an audible and visual alert when the sensors pick up obstacles and vehicles around the SUV.
Automatic safety systems include an automatic emergency braking feature that will kick in when frontal cars or pedestrians are detected. The vehicle’s Traction Control System and four-wheel antilock blacking system prevents the all-wheel-drive option from locking up and skidding during tough driving conditions. Finally, the Smart Cruise Control automatically maintains a predesignated distance between the Santa Fe and cars in front while cruising at highway speeds.
Outside of safety, many of the optional features make the driving experience more comfortable and enjoyable. For example, the optional panoramic sunroof which extends to the front and back seats offers a larger-than-average view of the sky. Customization options include both front seats which feature power adjustment systems with adjustable lumbar and height support. For tech-minded individuals, the included infotainment system and touchscreen display are Bluetooth compatible for smartphone connectivity.
The exterior looks of the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport remain largely unchanged from previous versions of the current generation. All of the trims come with the same exterior features including high-performance headlights, taillights, and standard 17in alloy wheels for extra ground clearance. The inside has room for five passengers with rear folding seats for a cargo capacity of 71.5 square feet.
The base trim is the basic Santa Fe Sport that is aimed for the budget-conscious consumers in the Hyundai family. The base 2.4L four-cylinder engine is standard along with the forward wheel drive option. Despite the budget focus, the trim comes with several enhanced features such as a rearview camera, traction control for the 4×4 option, and basic infotainment system. The features are enough to provide a basic level of automation and convenience for drivers, but people wanting more will need to look at the higher trims.
The rest of the Santa Fe Sport range is rounded out with the Sport 2.0T and Sport 2.0T Ultimate trims. Both upgrade the engine to the 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder with a push-button start. With this upgrade, the towing capacity increases from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. Safety and convenience features are mostly shared between the two trims as well. Blind spot detection, lane change assist, and adaptive cruise control all come standard to assist the driver with automatic control and alarm notifications over the engine and brakes.
Convenience features for both trims include a plethora of interior upgrades. Heated leather seats, heated side mirrors, and a remote liftgate are all standard. The infotainment system is more advanced and is compatible with car assistant services like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sound system also receives an upgrade to HD compatibility and an integrated Sirius XM menu for those with an active subscription.
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport takes a different approach to its performance options compared to the competition. Unlike other SUVs that rely on a variety of V6 offerings, the Santa Fe’s engine lineup is exclusively focused on more economical four-cylinder options. The vehicle only comes with a six-speed automatic transmission for easy shifting.
Both engine options come with either forward or all-wheel drive which will affect the overall fuel efficiency, acceleration, and traction. Together, the different options allow buyers to find the right Santa Fe for their needs.
The base engine that comes standard on many of the trims is a 2.4L four-cylinder engine capable of 185 horsepower. With 176 pound-feet of torque, the basic option offers better fuel efficiency that averages around 20 city and 26 highway MPG. This engine makes it comparable to other crossover SUVs that offer a V4 option in terms of general fuel economy.
The upgraded option is a 2.0T turbocharged engine with four cylinders driving its 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The higher performance makes this engine more comparable with other V6 and turbocharged options. A respectable 3,500-pound max towing capacity makes this engine the better choice for pulling trailers or for general acceleration when getting up to highway speeds quickly. Gas mileage averages around 19/26 MPG (city/highway).
People wanting to maximize their fuel efficiency will be attracted to the forward wheel drive transmission. For off-roading or challenging driving conditions, the all-wheel option is a better choice for increased stability and traction. The system will automatically transfer power around to maximize control and grip. A manual mode is also available to split power between the front and rear axles.