Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Drives 2019 Santa Fe Unlimited 2.4 FWD
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Ultimate 2.4 FWD vs 2.0T?
Current Sonata 2.0T owner, and looking to replace it with a Santa Fe. Yesterday I met with a dealer and negotiated terms on a new 2019 Ultimate 2.4, Rainforest. The car was out as a loaner vehicle for the manager’s wife for the weekend, but I have an appointment tomorrow to sign paperwork and buy it. $30.3k after incentives, apparently another $500 back through work, so $29.7k and receiving $7k on a 2011 Sonata Limited 2.0T turbo trade.
Has anyone spent extensive time with both engine options, or input on the 2.4 engine option specifically? I don’t plan to tow anything, and currently live at a low elevation, but may take occasional road trips into the mountains and I am coming from a 2.0T Sonata.
Consumer Reports recommends the 2.4 over the 2.0T, while other critical reviews prefer the 2.0T but note turbo lag and feel both are underpowered. Motor Trends originally tested 2.0T against the 2.4 and found the 2.0T slower than the 2.4, but then re-tested and found the reverse true— they attributed the poor initial test to high environmental temperature. Since I’m in Texas, most of the year will be high environmental temperature. On user reviews (Edmunds, KBB, etc), I don’t find a difference between 2.4 and 2.0T owner satisfaction except during test drives— one side thinks the 2.4 is dangerously underpowered and the other side found the 2.0T responds poorly, both comments seemingly hyperbolic with no clear consensus.
The 2.4 engine option also seems right in line with most of the competition, and not underpowered for this class: Subaru Forester is nearly identical 0-60 with no turbo or V6 option, as is the base model Outback, base model CR-V, gas RAV4 (no turbo or V6 option), etc... so the 2.4 Santa Fe seems no worse in this regard. The poor critical reviews for the 2.4 engine option seem like a result of doing the press event at high elevation and from offering the 2.0T option, so they’ve focused on sportiness and responsivity compared to other cars in its class.
Between specs on paper of the 2.4 being par for this segment, the CR recommendation of choosing the 2.4, and better engine responsiveness on streets.
I test drove both back to back yesterday, and also test drove each individually at others times. 2.0T definitely has more low end pull, and I’m used to a turbo in the Sonata, but I could definitely induce some unpleasant shifts with the 2.0T, whereas the 2.4 felt quite smooth. For what it’s worth, I also had a base 2018 Tuscon as a loaner during 2.0T warrantied engine replacement for a month, and surprisingly didn’t mind the base engine— would have preferred a little more power, quieter cabin, but day to day it was fine, and liked the overall powertrain refinement in comparison to the Sonata 2.0T. The Santa Fe 2.4 seems like it would deliver that. As another data point, my first car was a 2007 Honda Fit and grew to hate the lack of power on that vehicle.
Last edited by bwb; 04-21-2019 at 02:15 PM.