Rarely does having turbo equal decent gas mileage. But with the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Vehicle, having a turbo-charged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder is really no different in mpgs than a model without turbo.
The reason for this saving and the big horsepower bonus is the efficiencies designed and built into the vehicle.
As tested, the top-of-the-line Santa Fe Sport with the ultimate package was listed at $37,255 and is a bargain. The turbo kicks as if there’s an extra four cylinders and the 269 foot-pounds of torque are evenly applied to the road with the 6-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive, Shiftronic and Active Eco System. The Santa Fe gets up and goes but doesn’t take a lot of gas to get there. The EPA/DOT ranks the 2016 Santa Fe at 22 combined mpg (19 city/26 highway), which is quite nice and compares favorably to the rest of its class, the Ford Edge, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Traverse, and Toyota Highlander and RAV4.
Hyundai markets the Santa Fe as a SUV, but it’s really a crossover and rides like a sedan with plenty of room for five adults. The 3.3-liter, V-6 longer wheelbase model can seat seven in three rows of seats. Hyundai made major handling upgrades for the 2016 Santa Fe that include a better electric power steering system and suspension. They further sharpen the Santa Fe’s world-class ride and handling.
The 2016 Santa Fe Sport with ultimate package comes standard with remote keyless entry with alarm, LED headlight accents, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, an 8-inch color touchscreen audio display and navigation system to operate the AM/FM/CD player with satellite radio, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and 12 speakers. All Santa Fe’s include pushbutton start and a hands-free liftgate system, automatic climate control, and heated and cooled front seats. Also available is a panoramic sunroof.
The sunroof is composed of two separate pieces of glass and basically replaces the roof of the vehicle. That makes it a sun, moon, planets and other stars roof. The tinting of the glass, though, prevents sunburns to those who may be follically challenged.
The 19-inch wheels on the Sport model tested had low-profile tires and black alloy wheels that were classy yet eye-catching. With the wheel choice, no one will be going off road, but this is certainly a vehicle any soccer mom would love to drive. The turbo in the 4-cylinder will get Johnny to his game in no time and the 6-cylinder, normally aspirated model can pull a boat or trailer with ease.
The Santa Fe’s cargo area is comparable in its class. From the cargo hold — accessed by a power tailgate — the Santa Fe’s second-row seats can be lowered via a lever. There’s some shallow storage in a plastic bin beneath the cargo floor, too. The hands-free liftgate system is a nice feature and only requires the owner to stand near the rear of the vehicle with the proximity key for a few seconds before it opens up.
Overall, the 2016 Santa Fe is a good buy and competes well against all comers in its class.
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD
4-cylinder, Turbo-charged 2.0 Liter engine
26 mpg highway, 19 city = 22 mpg combined
Price as tested: $37,255