Hyundai is a giant South Korean automobile manufacturer based in Seoul and it is the fourth largest such firm in the world. The company owns almost half of KIA Motor Company, as well, and has been in business for 45 years. In North America, Hyundai has designs on becoming the number three automaker by 2020.
This last week I had the pleasure of testing a new, 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate model courtesy of DriveShop, the local press vehicle media concern. The Santa Fe is a midsize crossover that has been around since 2001, and was on the forefront of the crossover boom that started at that time. Styling of the 3rd generation Santa Fe is a hallmark of this latest model, and chrome abounds on the car, including a big grill, door handles, and exhaust finisher. The vehicle was painted Nightfall blue metallic and featured premium exterior lower door trim. The all-wheel drive Santa Fe rides on attractive, 19”, ten-spoke dark gray alloy wheels.
Speaking of abundance, inside the Santa Fe was the Ultimate Technology package along with a panoramic sunroof. The package allow the occupants to enjoy dual-zone climate control, navigation/rearview camera, a 8” touch screen, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, premium 12 speaker Infinity QuantumLogic surround sound, heated seats (everywhere) and heated steering wheel. The car is also equipped with power locks/windows, tilt/telescope, USB/Ipod connections, Bluetooth capability, HID Xenon bending headlights, auto-open hands-free power tailgate, lane departure warning, overhead multi-view camera system for parking, and radar cruise control. This is an extremely luxurious vehicle – list price with all options and freight totaled $40,820.00.
A nice feature also found inside the Santa Fe is a mammoth rear cargo area with 35.4 cubic feet. That expands to 71.5 with the 3-piece split rear seat folded down. That’s right; the rear, sliding bench seat is a 40/20/40 so that two skiers can ride along with their equipment in the middle.
Power for the Santa Fe is supplied by a turbocharged 2.0 liter, 240 horsepower, 4 cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The EPA mileage ratings are 19/city and 24/highway (17.4 gallon tank), and acceleration is reportedly zero to sixty in 6.5 seconds. The ride of the Hyundai is compliant and the handling is SUV-superb.
Interestingly, the Santa Fe Sport features both Hillstart Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control, items I would have loved to have on my rental car the last time I visited San Francisco. Such amenities are indicative of the value associated with this Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate.