Ride & Drive: 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe

For those in the market for a crossover utility vehicle, the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is an absolute must for the test drive list.

In the CUV segment, the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have been among my segment leaders for the past several model years, providing exceptional ride and handling, versatility, a long list of features and, exceptional value.

The additional new features only enhance an already great vehicle.

For starters, consumers have their choice of the five-passenger, 106.3-inch wheelbase Santa Fe Sport, or the 110.2-inch wheelbase Santa Fe with three rows of seating for up to seven passengers. Both models are also available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations.

For the 2015 model year, the award-winning and popular-selling Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have been enhanced with more standard comfort and convenience equipment, as well as refinements to the steering and suspension systems.

New standard features include daytime running lights, a driver’s blind spot mirror and an auto up/down front passenger power window. There is also a new, power hands-free smart liftgate with auto open feature, which makes it easier for owners to gain access to the cargo area when their hands are full. All you have to do is stand within a few feet of the rear bumper and wait for the door to open.

This is in addition to the Santa Fe’s already long list of standard and available equipment.

With a base price starting below $25,000, the Santa Fe Sport provides consumers with the option of two available engines.

The base engine is a 2.4-liter I-4 generating 190 horsepower and has the ability to tow up to 2,000 pounds. Requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway for FWD (19 mpg, 25 mpg respectively for AWD).

Consumers also have the option of the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 delivering 264 horsepower with the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Also requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway for FWD (18 mpg, 24 mpg respectively for AWD).

In addition to providing a longer wheelbase and three rows of seating, the Santa Fe is powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine delivering 290 horsepower with the ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard safety features include a vehicle stability management system with electronic stability control and traction control system, seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, hill-start assist control with downhill brake control and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are top contenders in the CUV segment. Whether needing two or three rows of seating options — as well as exceptional cargo options — the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport delivers exceptional performance, an elegant interior, lots of features and a great value.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association. White is the editor and general manager of Waxahachie Newspapers. Contact Neal at neal.white@waxahachietx.com or follow him on Twitter at @wni_nwhite.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

MODEL:

2015 Hyunda Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport

5- 6-, or 7-seat CUV

Front-, or all- wheel drive

Trim packages:

Santa Fe Sport, Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, Santa Fe GLS, Santa Fe Limited

PRICE RANGE:

$25,000-$39,000

ENGINE:

Santa Fe Sport

2.4L I4 (190 hp/181 T)

2.0L T I4 (264 hp/269 T)

Santa Fe

3.3L V6 (290 hp/252 T)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

EPA: 20/19/18 mpg city, 27/27/25 mpg highway (2.4/2.0T/3.3 FWD)

FUEL: Regular unleaded

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 184.6/193.1 inches*

WHEELBASE: 106.3/110.2 inches*

WIDTH: 74/747.2 inches*

HEIGHT: 66.1/66.5 inches*

WEIGHT: 3459-4297 pounds

TRACK: 64.3/64.7

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 17.4/18.8 gallons*

TIRES: 17-, 18-, or 19 inches

CARGO: 35.4/71.5 cubic feet (behind second/first row, Santa Fe Sport).

Source

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