2005 Santa Fe New Car Test Drive
The competent Santa Fe compact sport-utility is an even greater value for 2005 with its extensive list of standard convenience, safety, and trim features. The styling has been revised for 2005 with a new grille, refined body cladding, new tail lights, and a new rear bumper. Santa Fe looks ready for the outdoors, and its tall seating position and generous cargo capacity add to its utility.
The Santa Fe drives well on and off paved roads with decent handling and good brakes. The 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines both deliver good acceleration, particularly in front-wheel-drive models. The four-wheel-drive system available with the 2.7-liter engine works well for light off-road duty. A new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system available with the 3.5-liter engine provides solid footing for more challenging off-road and bad weather conditions. The 3.5-liter engine comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, an unexpected level of refinement for this class.
Side-impact air bags are standard. GLS and LX versions come with a 218-watt Monsoon stereo. Best of all, the Santa Fe is backed by Hyundai's long and comprehensive warranty, making it one of the most attractive small SUV's on the market. They say you get what you pay for, but with the Hyundai Santa Fe it seems like you get a little more.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is available in two trim levels: GLS and LX. Both levels come standard with front-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available on both models ($1500).
Santa Fe GLS ($21,499) is powered by a 2.7-liter V6 engine, coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift control. GLS comes standard with a long list of features, including air conditioning, tinted privacy glass, power windows and door locks, outside power-adjustable heated mirrors, cruise control, keyless entry system with alarm, roof rack side rails, new-for-2005 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, rear intermittent wiper with washer, contrasting bodyside cladding and bumpers, 218-watt Monsoon AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, carpeted floor mats, a cargo net and retractable cargo cover, and a first aid kit (comprising sunscreen, poison ivy balm, bandages, and a thermal blanket).
GLS is also available with a 3.5-liter V6 engine ($22,099) with five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual override.
The GLS can be upgraded with an in-dash six-CD changer for the stereo ($395), and a Convenience Package ($495) including fully automatic temperature control, and a photochromic auto-dimming inside rear view mirror with Homelink programmable transmitter. A power tilt/slide sunroof with sunshade ($750) is also available.
Santa Fe LX ($23,499) comes standard with leather upholstery and the 3.5-liter V6 and five-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, all features of the GLS plus automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, a Homelink transmitter, an electrochromic rear-view mirror, the Monsoon stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, chrome door handles and brushed-stainless scuff plates'. Optional: the power sliding glass sunroof ($750).
Safety features on all Santa Fe models include four-wheel disc brakes, an anti-lock braking system with traction control, dual front airbags and front-seat mounted side air bags.
All Hyundais come with one of the best warranty/service plans in the business: 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain, five-years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, five-years/60,000 miles on corrosion, and 24-hour roadside assistance for five-years with unlimited mileage.