2010 Santa Fe New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Santa Fe offers a practical size, roomy interior, many worthwhile features, a combination of responsive performance and commendable fuel economy, an attractive price, and a terrific warranty. It's a good choice for dealing with urban and suburban traffic, taking the family on a vacation, or hauling random stuff from one spot to another.
The 2010 Santa Fe gets fresh styling, new engines, and the latest navigation technology.
The Santa Fe is what is known as a crossover utility vehicle (CUV), meaning it is built with unibody construction, instead of having the body-on-frame structure of a traditional truck or larger SUV. Compared to a truck-based SUV, a crossover is generally lighter, smoother riding, more responsive, and delivers better fuel economy.
The Santa Fe is an attractive vehicle with a sleek shape to its roomy configuration. It has four doors, a rear liftgate, and offers a lot of versatility for carrying people or cargo. It is available with front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive for those who might need more traction.
There are significant enhancements to the Santa Fe for 2010. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.7-liter base V6, and delivers both better fuel economy and quicker acceleration. The former up-level 3.3-liter V6 has been replaced by a new 3.5-liter V6 that weighs less, develops a lot more power, is smoother, and returns better fuel economy. In addition, the automatic transmission for each engine has six speeds, which contributes to the improved fuel economy numbers.
Other changes for 2010 include exterior and appearance upgrades to the wheels, taillights and foglamps, bumpers and body-side moldings, and the grille. Inside, there have been refinements to the leather and cloth seating surfaces, an Eco Indicator (which lights up to indicate efficient driving habits) is standard on automatic-transmission models, there is touch-screen navigation with rear-view camera and XM NavTraffic, the side-curtain airbags have roll-over sensors, the Limited trim level has a standard CleanAir ionizer, and Bluetooth and steering-wheel audio controls are standard on all models.
The Santa Fe also delivers on safety, with six airbags and standard anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, Electronic Stability Control, and traction control.
Hyundai vehicles are proving to have commendable levels of reliability and quality, and the Santa Fe is a viable alternative to crossover utility vehicles from other manufacturers. Finally, it's manufactured in Montgomery, Alabama.
The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in three trim levels: GLS, SE, and Limited. All-wheel drive is offered as an option on all three, and all have seating for five.
All versions of the GLS are powered by the 2.4-liter dohc four-cylinder engine that develops 175 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 169 pound-feet of torque at 3750 rpm. The GLS is available with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive ($21,695), a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive ($22,995), or the six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive ($24,695). The GLS is well equipped with air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, AM/FM/CD/XM/MP3 audio system with six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, trip computer, power and heated side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, and 17-inch alloy wheels with P235/65R17 tires. The Premium Package ($3,450) is available only with the automatic transmission and adds a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, navigation with a 6.5-inch touch screen, premium audio system, rearview camera, automatic headlights, and roof-rack cross rails.
The SE with front-wheel drive ($25,995) has the 3.5-liter dohc V6; it is rated at 276 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm and is available only with the six-speed automatic transmission. In addition to the equipment found on the GLS, the SE adds cloth and leather seating surfaces, electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, front fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, windshield wiper deicer, automatic headlights, driver seat power lumbar adjustment, a rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels with P235/60R18 tires. The Premium Package for the SE ($3,200) adds the sunroof, navigation, rear-view camera, and premium audio system. The SE is also available with all-wheel drive ($27,895), but it is not available with the four-cylinder engine.
To the SE trim level, the Limited with front-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine ($26,645) adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control with outside temperature display, HomeLink universal garage-door opener, and the sunroof. The Limited is also available with the V6 engine and front-wheel drive ($28,595) and the V6 engine with all-wheel drive ($30,295).The Premium Package ($2,250) adds navigation, rear-view camera, and the premium audio system.
All Santa Fe models come with Hyundai's bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years/60,000 miles, plus a powertrain warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles.
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 with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, Electronic Stability Control, traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.