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2005 Hyundai Santa Fe Information

2001-2006 Hyundai Santa Fe Information

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In an ocean of sport-utility vehicles - 60 different names and counting - the Hyundai Santa Fe stands out on its apart-from-the-pack looks and bang for the buck.

The simple fact is the Sante Fe is nearly instantly recognizable and offers, in typical Hyundai fashion, loads of standard content.

An extension of the Sonata car platform, the 2005 Santa Fe is no longer available with a 138-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder.

Since the new Tucson has entered the picture, the Santa Fe is moving ever-so-slightly up-market.

The standard powertrain for the base GLS is a 170-horsepower 2.7-liter V6.

Optional on that model, but standard on the Limited is a 200-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that's coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The Santa Fe's 4x4 system is of the viscous-coupling variety that dispatches up to 40 per cent of available torque to the rear wheels whenever conditions require extra traction.

Despite its relatively low entry price (up about $3,000 with the deletion of the four-cylinder model), the Santa Fe comes with air conditioning, side-impact airbags, CD stereo, power windows, locks and heated mirrors as well as four-wheel disc brakes and alloy wheels.

With chunky, angular styling (updated for 2005), more than eight inches of ground clearance, a utilitarian wagon body with dual liftgate and lengthy basic warranty, this is a practical wagon with a tight bottom line and a style all its own.

New Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a consumer-friendly blend of space, comfort, features, performance and value that make it a compact SUV worth considering.

Introduced for the 2001 model year, the Hyundai Santa Fe cuts to the heart of what most American SUV buyers really want -- the ride and handling characteristics of a car melded with the styling and tall seating position of a truck. At the same time, it's big on value. While priced to match compact competitors like the Tribute and RAV4, the Santa Fe is based on Hyundai's previous-generation Sonata sedan platform, which means that it's technically a midsize SUV and accordingly offers more room for passengers and cargo.

Like other Hyundai vehicles, this one is packed with desirable standard features and comes with a strong standard warranty. And the Santa Fe's crash test scores have generally been very good. The Sante Fe is now in the sixth year of its model cycle, but Hyundai has made continual improvements over the years to keep it competitive among budget SUVs. Most significant among these was the arrival of a 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission, a combination that vastly improved its acceleration. When equipped with all-wheel drive, this Hyundai SUV can handle well-groomed dirt roads, but it's not a serious off-roader like the Xterra or Sorento. However, we would certainly recommend the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe to the general consumer looking for a good deal on a family vehicle that doesn't have any serious faults.

2006 Hyundai Santa Fe Specifications

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The four-door Hyundai Santa Fe is sold in GLS and Limited trims. Standard equipment on the GLS includes side airbags; air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; a CD player; 16-inch alloy wheels; a full-size spare tire; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; and foglights. Options on the GLS include a power sunroof and a Monsoon sound system with an in-dash CD changer. The Monsoon stereo comes standard on the high-line Limited, along with automatic climate control, a power driver seat, leather upholstery, heated seats and a trip computer.

Powertrains and Performance:
The GLS model comes standard with a 2.7-liter V6 rated at 170 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque; it's paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional on the GLS and standard on the Limited is a 3.5-liter V6 good for 200 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with a five-speed automatic. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are available on this Hyundai SUV. Although the smaller V6 is rated for up to 26 mpg on the highway, the 3.5-liter turns in poor fuel numbers for a small SUV application -- just 16-17 mpg in the city and 21-22 on the highway.

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control and side airbags (for front occupants) are standard on all models. In government crash tests, the Hyundai Santa Fe received four out of five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for the front passenger. Side-impact testing resulted in a five-star rating for front- and rear-passenger protection. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Santa Fe received a "Good" rating (the highest possible); in IIHS side-impact testing, it earned an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest).

Interior Design and Special Features:
Inside, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers reasonable accommodations for five and a 29.4-cubic-foot cargo bay; fold down the 60/40-split rear seats, and you get a generous 78 cubes. The cabin boasts a sharp two-tone color scheme and feels high in quality, as Hyundai has fitted it with low-gloss plastics and solid switchgear. The seats are comfortable, but legroom can be a bit tight for adults in back, and unlike the Equinox and CR-V, the Santa Fe doesn't offer fore/aft adjustment for its rear bench.

Driving Impressions:
The 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe has just what most family-oriented buyers want: adequate power and a smooth, quiet ride. Its handling capabilities provoke little excitement but unless you're a driving enthusiast, you probably won't mind the soft setup. If you opt for an AWD Sante Fe, you'll have a bargain-priced, all-weather family vehicle.



2006 Hyundai Santa Fe: Highlights

Traction control and antilock brakes become standard on all Santa Fe models for 2006. The larger of Hyundai's two compact SUVs is available in two trim levels. A base GLS model returns. The top-line LX model is renamed Limited. Both have front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive without low-range gearing. GLS comes standard with a 2.7-liter V6 and a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-liter V6 with a 5-speed automatic is standard on Limited, optional on GLS. Both transmissions include a manual shift gate. Front side airbags and antilock 4-wheel disc brakes with traction control are standard on all models. Hyundai's warranty is among the industry's longest: 5-years/60,000-mi. basic, 10/100,000 powertrain. Competition

Consumer Guide® Automotive places each vehicle into one of 17 classes based on size, price, and market position. Among utility vehicles, Compact SUVs are the least costly and offer the best fuel economy. Most utilize a car-type chassis and are not designed for heavy-duty, off-road use. Nearly all are five-passenger vehicles.

Our Best Buys include Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda Tribute, and Mercury Mariner. Our Recommended picks are Honda Element, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Liberty, Kia Sportage, and Subaru Forester.

Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Rav4 are new or significantly redesigned.

Hyundai will have a new Santa Fe for 2006--and a new plant near Montgomery, Alabama to build it. The replacement is based on Hyundai's redesigned '06 Sonata sedan, due in the first half of '05. Sources say the new Santa Fe will be more a true midsize SUV with V6 power only, available 3-row seating, more upscale options, and higher prices. It aims at the Nissan Murano, Toyota Highlander and similar car-based crossovers in the low- to mid-$30,000 bracket.

Santa Fe's move upmarket makes room for a new entry-level Hyundai SUV, the 2005 Tucson. Based on Hyundai's Elantra compact sedan, it's a 5-passenger 4-dr offering front-wheel drive or optional AWD in three trim levels. The base GL uses a 140-hp 2.0-liter 4-cyl with manual or automatic transmission. Santa Fe's 2.7-liter V6 furnishes about 173 hp in the GLS and top-line LX and includes automatic. All Tucsons include front side airbags and head-protecting front/rear curtain side airbags, plus air conditioning, power windows and locks, and heated power mirrors. V6 models add tire-pressure monitor and CD stereo. Options include ABS with traction control, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The available AWD normally powers the front wheels, but can send up to 50 percent power aft if needed; a dashboard button locks in a 50/50 split. Tucson is sized close to the rival Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, measuring 170.3 inches long, about 71 inches wide and some 66 inches high on a 103.5-inch wheelbase. Hyundai pegs maximum cargo volume at 39.9 cu. ft. Hyundai's Kia division will offer a Tucson with some differences in appearance and features, probably under the Sportage nameplate. Prices won't be announced until just before the on-sale date, but one source suggests a $17,000-$22,000 range for Tucson.

Besides a redesigned Santa Fe, Hyundai will reportedly offer a larger 2006 SUV aimed at the likes of Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot. We think this will turn out to be a retrimmed Kia Sorento. That's because the '06 Sorento is slated for a number of changes, including a new 3.8-liter V6, 5-speed automatic transmission, independent rear suspension, and likely a stretched model with 3-row seating for up to 7 or 8.



Hyundai Santa Fe: More standard equipment boosts value.

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.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is fun to drive, particularly the V6 front-wheel-drive models. The optional all-mechanical four-wheel-drive system improves traction in slippery conditions, but places a burden on the 2.7-liter V6 engine. The all-wheel-drive system available with the 3.5-liter engine should work better. If you're in the market for a compact SUV, the exceptionally well-equipped Hyundai Santa Fe, with its attractive styling and competent manners, may be just what you're looking for.



For a great deal on a new or used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe go to Gary Rome Hyundai.

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