The Hyundai Santa Fe line represents both the mid-sized and full-sized entry in the crossover SUV market for the brand, being offered in both a five-passenger and three-row seven-passenger model. And for 2017, new design and features have been added to help boost its appeal in a very competitive market.
Hyundai always consistently updates their products, but none can be more important than their Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport which are two-thirds of their SUV lineup, but has seen a decrease in sales in the past year by over 30%.
For both models, they started with a fresh new face design that brings a new brushed metal finish grille, a new lower grille and fog light design, and new headlights across the board. In fact, you can now get LED daytime running lights and fog lights depending on the model you choose.
New wheel designs are added too spanning from 17-inch alloys all the way up to 19-inch. And down close along the bottom between them a new rocker panel trim now has a more elegant and upscale metallic accent strip going through it.
The rear of both models received a new LED tail lamp design as well, all to freshen up the look and bring the features list in line with what everyone else in the class is now offering. In all for the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, nearly 350 individual parts have been updated – about 25 percent.
Both models continue to be available with front or all-wheel drive. Santa Fe Sport is powered by a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and optional with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four with 240 horsepower. Stepping up to the larger three-row Santa Fe gets you the smooth and silky 3.3-liter V6 engine, that one with 290 horsepower.
While the engines themselves are the same selections you can get with the 2016 model, all receive a new Drive Mode selector which offers Sport, Eco and Normal settings. With this and some new software Hyundai says fuel economy across the board has risen by an average of 1 mpg.
Inside you’ll not only find that new drive mode selector but a revised interior with a new center-stack design. A number of new available features include larger touch-screen displays with Android Auto, but not yet Apple CarPlay.
Other new availables are a height adjustable passenger seat, second row cup holders and a fashionable new matte wood-grain finish on upper trim grades. The Santa Fe three-row models can option a USB plug at the rear too.
When it comes to safety, the IIHS raised the bar this year for their Top Safety Pick + honor, and Hyundai aims to earn it with driver assistance and crash prevention features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with full stop capability.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are available are your local dealerships now, starting at $25,350 for the Sport, and $30,800 for the three-row model.
We’ll bring you a more detailed review and test drive soon when we get out first opportunity behind the wheel.