The Chicago Auto Show is typically not loaded with hot debuts as most automakers use it as a spot to show off special editions and mild tweaks. Apparently, Hyundai and Kia missed the memo, as they both dropped tons of new vehicles on us in the Windy City. Two such models from Hyundai are the refreshed 2017 Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Sport.
In terms of appearance, the 2017 Santa Fe siblings are not dramatically different from the 2016 models, but the changes are certainly noticeable and welcome. The front end gets a whole new look that includes a brushed-appearance grille, vertical fog lights with revised surrounds, a new lower air inlet design, and sleeker headlights. Around back, the automaker gives the 2017 model new, sportier taillights, a new bumper with updated reflectors, and a new dual-exit exhaust system. Other changes include new wheel designs, new-look rocker panels with silver accents, and available LED daytime running lights. Two new colors also debut with Nightfall Blue available with the Sport and Storm Blue available on the standard Santa Fe.
The interior of the Santa Fe was a great place to spend time in the 2016 model year, so it is no shock that there are only minor tweaks to the cabin in 2017. In here, Hyundai has added a new standard 5-inch LCD touchscreen on the Sport and a 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto on the three-row models, an available 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, available Quantum Logic Surround and Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology, available Hyundai Blue Link, an optional third-row USB port, an available power height-adjustable passenger seats, a redesigned center stack, and more.
Hyundai also loaded the 2017 Santa Fe up with all sorts of new safety bits, both optional and standard. The only new standard safety feature is a rearview camera. The optional safety items making their debut in 2017 include a multi-view camera, smart cruise control with start/stop function, lane-departure warning, electronic parking brake with brake hold, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and dynamic bending lights with high-beam assist.
Under the hood, the standard Santa Fe remains unchanged, as it features a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed auto transmission. The Santa Fe Sport, on the other hand, retains its 2.4- and 2.0-liter options, but they are retuned to deliver better fuel economy. The standard 2.4-liter engine drops 5 ponies to 185 horsepower but delivers 1 mpg more across the board except on the highway with front-wheel drive.
The optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine drops from 265 horsepower to 240 ponies in 2017. Hyundai makes up for this drop in power with an extra 1 mpg across the board on front-driven models while the 2.0T all-wheel-drive model gets an extra 1 mpg city and combined, and 2 mpg more on the highway (the Ultimate trim gets only 1 mpg extra in the city).
Pricing starts at $25,350 or the Sport and rises to $38,250 for the Sport 2.0T Ultimate with all-wheel drive. The Santa Fe starts from $30,800 for the base SE FWD while the Limited AWD Ultimate checks in at $41,150.
The 2017 Santa Fe is rolling into dealers now.