I test drive a lot of cars for UrbanBlissLife.com, and my family will usually chime in with their various opinions and observations on each one. Yet no vehicle in the 11-year history of this blog has ever received such positive accolades from my children as the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
My children LOVED the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. We test drove it for two weeks and at the end, they were both incredibly sad when we had to say goodbye to the vehicle. To this day, they still mention it randomly in conversation. They loved it THAT much.
The first thing my children loved about this car is the color: officially known as Canyon Copper. They just referred to it as "the orange car."
The exterior design of the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is slick: the rounded edges of the nose and the trunk are elegant and refined. I feel like Hyundai really did a nice job with the design on this year's Santa Fe, making the outside look like a luxury SUV.
The trunk space is quite spacious--more spacious than many other SUVs I have test driven. In addition to a wider main trunk space, there are three sections of hidden storage compartments underneath that can easily store purses, laptops, kids' backpacks, and shopping bags with groceries.
The underneath hidden storage is EVERYTHING when you are a mom. The trick is to remember that you've placed items there so you don't forget about them!
The interior was quite roomy, with plenty of legroom in both the backseat and the front driver and passenger seats.
The model that I test drove had the Ultimate Package, which included nice beige leather seats with a light checkered pattern in the seat body. The front seats were ventilated (and included heating and cooling options), and the package also included heated rear seats.
The panoramic sunroof made this an excellent road trip car. We drove this to Bend, Oregon and back to Portland, which is about a three to three-and-a-half hour drive depending on traffic. The panoramic sunroof helped us feel less enclosed and more relaxed for longer drives.
Another feature that makes this an excellent road trip vehicle: the manual rear side window sun shades. These ensured my kids stayed cool and comfortable in the back seat, protected from the hot summer run during long drives.
The dash has everything at your fingertips and is intuitively designed with a large, 8-inch touchscreen, so it's easy to flip stations or go to navigation at stoplights. I never felt like I had to fumble around: the radio and navigation were both very easy to figure out, and the dual climate controls were perfectly situated within the dash. The 12-speaker Infinity Logic surround sound provided impressive sound throughout the vehicle.
The rearview mirror contains more easy-to-manage controls, including bluetooth and garage door buttons.
One of my kids' favorite features of the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport? The rear side fans. Located to the side of each passenger door, these are actually situated for full air ventilation and provide more accurate and enjoyable climate control than the standard lower vents that most vehicles offer. I never thought this would be a feature that would make such a difference, but it did.
Performance and safety
The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport that I drove was an All Wheel Drive 2.o Turbo model, which has 265 horsepower and is a powerful machine. I definitely felt the active cornering AWD in action as we took quick corners weaving around Mount Hood on our way to Bend, as well as navigating city streets.
Safety features include blind spot detection (my current fave safety feature in vehicles), cross traffic alerts, lane change assist (I find these annoying and distracting), and a rear parking assistance system. Electronic stability control and a traction control system help you stay on track in tricky terrain and driving situations, and the vehicle stability management system contains additional stability features, such as brake assist and anti-lock braking system) to help you avoid accidents.
The 2015 Santa Fe Sport starts at around $25,000. The model I test drove with the Ultimate Package had an MSRP of $38,350. That's quite a price tag for a Hyundai. However, my kids would tell you: this vehicle is well worth any price you pay for it. As the driver, I would have to agree.
And, I never thought I would say such nice things about a Hyundai. I love it when a vehicle surprises me like this!
What about you? Have you ever driven a Hyundai or considered one?