After spending a wintery week in a $34,999 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4 Luxury AWD (now that’s a mouthful), I can see why just over 27,500 Canucks ponied up for this handsome five-passenger crossover in 2014. Respectable numbers indeed, although with the Ford Escape nearly doubling that figure, and the Santa Fe fifth in the small crossover standings (behind Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue) I’m sure there are plans afoot in the Hyundai war room.
Then again, if you classify the Santa Fe as a midsize crossover, it’s at the top of the heap, beating out second place Ford Edge.
This generation Georgia-built Santa Fe Sport has been with us since 2013, and for 2015 it sees a few tweaks – notably better steering feel and some suspension tuning to improve lateral stability. These are both areas where the Santa Fe needed some attention. The 2015 model also gets a new two-tone grill.
The Santa Fe Sport is available with two direct-injection engines – a 2.4L naturally aspirated four that makes 190 hp and 181 lb-ft, and a more robust 2.0L turbo unit kicking out 265 hp and 269 lb-ft from 1,750 rpm. Both get a six-speed auto. Pricing ranges from $26,899 for the base 2.4 front-drive model to the jazzed-up 2.0T Limited AWD at $39,649.
In Canada, take rate is about a 50/50 split between the 2.4 and 2.0T models.
One thing the Santa Fe has over its immediate competitors in the small crossover category is size. This translates to generous cargo space and a commodious back seat. In fact, second row passengers in this Luxury model have it pretty darned good. The seats are nicely contoured, heated, slide for and aft on a 5.2 inch track, and recline to an “Easy on the bumps, Jeeves” angle.
As we are used to a generous amount of kit from the folks at Hyundai, let’s see what else this top trim 2.4 Luxury AWD is packin’.
Keyless entry with pushbutton start, leather, rear park sensors, cruise, driver’s seat lumbar, heated steering wheel, USB, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, auto headlamps, huge sunroof, powered liftgate, rear-view camera, 17-inch alloys, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass, Homelink, trailer tow pre-wiring and memory for the driver’s seat and mirror position.