47960 2018 Santa Fe Sport

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe: The Value Bullseye

Hyundai is, as ever, onto something here. Hyundai’s purpose in this world is to make dependable, efficient cars, with a passing amount of style you can happily dispose of in a few years without any emotional qualms. While other automakers strive for lasting permanence and iconic status, Hyundai seems to be just fine with you disposing of their cars, just as long as you keep buying their cars.

This is especially evident in the cutthroat world of SUV sales.

Americana 101

Look, if you’re a young up-and-coming family in the U. S. of A. you’re going to get an SUV of some stripe or another. What are your other options? A minivan? Please. That’s some form of automotive death. Every time you start it, a little piece of your soul dies. A station wagon? What is this? 1967? Wagons (although very cool in my opinion, especially the ones that Mercedes-AMG makes with enough power to tear your house from its foundation) were killed by minivans. Wagons were seen as old and stodgy and, indeed, their own form of vehicular death. And so, they were more or less neutered in the market by the minivan (thank you Lee Iacocca). And then the minivan received the same fate at the hands of the SUV.

So, there you are: The prototype American family, 2017. You’ve got your couple of, well 2.3 kids, at least one dog and you want, no need an SUV. What do you do? Especially if you’re just starting out, that’s when your SUV need comes into a direct meeting with your “just starting out” income. What to do?

47962 2018 Santa Fe Sport
Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Problem Solvers

Enter Hyundai. When it comes to “hey, I’m just getting started at this,” Hyundai has you covered. You are, for good or ill, directly in the crosshairs of their marketing department. “Hey kiddo! Want a car? An SUV you say? Well step right over here and let me show you the new for 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe! It’s a great value!”

The entire Santa Fe lineup runs from $24,950 for the entry level FWD Santa Fe Sport, all the way up to $37,200 for the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate. Yes, that is a pretty broad range of possible prices, but overall it does skew toward the entry-level end of the buying spectrum. Right in the center of this range sits the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Value Package. For starters, the Value Package will run you between $26,850 and $28,400, depending on whether you want front or all-wheel drive. Since that’s only about $2,500 above the base model, that’s not asking for much more (Hyundai figures).

47950 2018 Santa Fe
Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Feature Overload

For starters, the Value Package gets you heated dual power side mirrors with turn signal indicators, power windows with front auto­-up/down, a proximity key with push-­button start, remote start via the Blue Link app, and a seven-inch display audio center with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM. There is also dual automatic temperature control (which is very nice when your better half likes it hotter or colder than you), a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, and heated front seats.

Of course, if you’d like, you could always move further up the content food chain and get more stuff. Hyundai benevolently refers to this “generous feature content.” For example, standard features for the Santa Fe include a rearview camera, automatic on/off headlights, remote keyless entry with alarm, and body color power side mirrors with driver’s blind spot mirror. Also standard are LED headlight accents, daytime running lights, steering wheel mounted audio, cruise control, and Bluetooth capability.

The premium feature upgrades will get you such goodies as HID Xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, navigation, and an updated 12-speaker Infinity Logic7 audio system – which features QuantumLogic Surround and Clari­Fi Music Restoration Technology, which is kind of beside the point because of 1: You’re in a bad acoustical environment to begin with, and 2: You’re a parent with 2.3 kids and probably a dog making an unbelievable racket at all times. The goodies list continues with the power Hands­Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open. This is one of those trick/lazy/really-nice-to-have features that will open the rear hatch if your hands are full.

47959 2018 Santa Fe Sport
Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Power & Performance

What’s under the hood, you ask? The Santa Fe Sport is motivated down the highway by a 2.4 liter four-cylinder direct injected engine, putting out 185 horsepower. Further up the option list comes the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder plant cranking out a healthy 240 horsepower. If you opt for the 2018 Santa Fe with three-row seating, you get the 3.3-liter Lambda II V6 engine, putting out 290 horsepower. All of Hyundai’s Santa Fe engines are running a high pressure direct injection fueling system (which is quite the engineering fashion these days) along with a Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing system (D-CVVT). There’s a six-­speed automatic transmission standard on all models.

We have included a pricing chart for the entire 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe lineup.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

SANTA FE SPORT 2.4 FWD $24,950
SANTA FE SPORT 2.4 AWD $26,500

*Destination charges $895

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Gallery

Photos & Source: Hyundai Motor America.