Car reviews - Hyundai - Santa Fe - Elite 5-dr wagon
Hyundai's spacious Santa Fe offers great performance and economy but is getting old
26 Nov 2010
A MOTOR manufacturer can get away with tizzying up an existing design only so many times in an automotive industry that wheels out shiny new cars every five minutes.
This year, the Santa Fe has undergone its second make-over since it arrived in 2006, with a new engine and transmission with on-paper specifications are among the best in the medium SUV class.
Yet buyers are just as interested in packaging, dynamics and – you guessed it – styling.
Do a new engine and transmission carry enough weight for the Santa Fe to be a serious contender in this highly competitive class?
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Santa FeReleased: May 2006
Ended: October 2009
Family Tree: Santa Fe
THE second-generation Santa Fe was a massive leap forward over the ungainly, utilitarian original that first appeared here in late 2000, offering seven usable seats, a decent ride/handling compromise and levels of refinement and style hitherto unseen in an SUV from the emerging Korean brand.Replacing the original compact Santa Fe’s four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines in the mid-sized MkII Santa Fe were a 2.7-litre petrol V6 and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, which was joined by a 3.3-litre petrol V6 driving the front wheels in August 2007.The latter was promptly dropped from the range in October 2008, when the Santa Fe range received new trim colours, upgraded audio and the availability of a heavier-duty towing kit.
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