2007 Santa Fe New Car Test Drive
Hyundai is on a roll. Its vehicles are proving to have the reliability and quality people expect from Japanese cars. The Hyundai Santa Fe is all-new for 2007 and early indications are that it could be a true alternative to the Toyota Highlander.
The Santa Fe is a so-called crossover SUV, meaning it's built like a car, using unibody construction instead of the body-on-frame construction of a traditional truck. It's a practical vehicle for everyday use.
Completely redesigned, the new 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe is attractive. It blends into the suburbs nicely, shedding the quirky looks of last year's model. It's larger than before and now offers third-row seating, for up to seven passengers. The five-passenger arrangement offers much more cargo space, however. The new Santa Fe is smooth and quiet and handles well on winding, paved roads. Yet it retains Hyundai's value quotient.
The 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in three trim levels: GLS, SE, and Limited. All-wheel-drive is offered as an option ($2,000) on all models. The seven-passenger Touring Package ($1,200) includes a folding third-row seat with auxiliary climate control.
Safety features that come standard on all models include dual front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags (for torso protection), side curtain airbags (for head protection) and active front head restraints. Active safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The GLS ($20,945) is powered by a 185-hp 2.7-liter V6 engine. it comes standard with cloth upholstery, a five-speed manual gearbox. A four-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control is optional ($1,200). The GLS is well equipped with air conditioning, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 112-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers, rocker panel moldings, heated power side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a roof rack with rails.
The SE ($23,645) has a more powerful, 242-hp 3.3-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and 18-inch alloy wheels. In addition to the equipment found on the GLS, the SE adds electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, front fog lights and steering wheel audio controls. An optional Premium Package ($1,600) adds a power driver seat with power lumbar support, a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, heated front seats and HomeLink. The Ultimate Package ($3,850) includes the Premium Package features, plus a rear-seat entertainment system with an eight-inch LCD monitor, 252-watt AM/FM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with seven speakers (including subwoofer) and external amplifier, and a 115-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area.
The Limited ($25,945) adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, power driver seat with power lumbar support, dual zone automatic temperature control with outside temperature display and HomeLink. A chrome grille and exterior door handles, as well as a body color hatch spoiler, distinguish the Limited. The Ultimate Package ($3,550) includes a sunroof, rear-seat entertainment system with an eight-inch LCD monitor, a 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound AM/FM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with 10 speakers (including subwoofer) and external amplifier, 115-volt power outlet and power front passenger seat.
XM Satellite Radio and a navigation system will be available on later models.
The Santa Fe includes Hyundai's bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years/60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles.