Hyundai Santa Fe
View 2012 information
Hyundai redesigned the Santa Fe for 2013, splitting its SUV into two variants with separate sizes and styling: the two-row, four-cylinder Santa Fe Sport and the three-row, V-6 Santa Fe.
Boasting available all-wheel drive with a torque vectoring system to enhance handling — similar to all-wheel-drive systems from BMW and Acura — the Santa Fe gets a standard 3.3-liter V-6. It replaces the Veracruz in Hyundai's lineup and competes against the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
The latest car to receive Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design, the Santa Fe has a large, vertical grille. Dual tailpipes sit within bumper-integrated openings. The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport share the same platform, but the Sport is about as long as a Ford Edge, and the Santa Fe is 8.5 inches longer. It's about 2 inches longer than the Pilot and 4 inches shorter than the Explorer.
Chrome trim along the grille and door handles is standard, as are body-colored mirrors. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, with 19s optional.
Total passenger volume in the new Santa Fe is 146.6 cubic feet, which is equivalent to the Highlander but falls short of the Pilot and Explorer by more than 7 cubic feet. Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system with three months' service is standard (a subscription is required thereafter); so is keyless access with push-button start. The adjustable second row includes 40/20/40-split folding sections with releases in the cargo area.
Stain-resistant cloth upholstery is standard. A navigation system on an 8-inch dashboard screen is optional, as are power front seats, a panoramic moonroof, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Hyundai says the Santa Fe offers another 1.9 inches of second-row legroom and 5.9 inches of extra cargo room versus its Sport sibling. The third row folds in a 50/50 split.
Under the Hood
Powering the Santa Fe is the 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 from the Azera sedan. A six-speed automatic is standard, and an Active Eco button modifies accelerator sensitivity and transmission response to improve real-world gas mileage. Drive-selectable steering can alter power-steering assist to improve feedback on curvy roads or reduce steering effort in city gridlock.
Seven airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. A blind spot warning system is optional.
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a midsize crossover that can seat up to five and competes with models like the Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. Buyers have a choice of either a four-cylinder or V-6 engine, and the Santa Fe comes in GLS, SE and Limited trims.
The Santa Fe's grille has been redesigned, and hill descent control is now standard. GLS models with 17-inch wheels now have low-rolling-resistance tires.
Roof rails are standard, but crossbars come standard on the higher trim levels. For 2012, two new colors — Venetian Red and Cabo Bronze — are offered. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch wheels
- Optional 18-inch wheels
- Optional body-colored rear spoiler
- Optional chrome-accented door handles
All Santa Fe models have an iPod/USB input and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Cloth upholstery is standard, and leather is optional. Interior features include:
- Standard rear privacy glass
- Optional dual-zone climate control
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
- Standard 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine
- Optional 276-hp V-6
- Standard six-speed automatic transmission
- All-wheel drive available
The Santa Fe's airbag complement includes side-impact airbags for the front seats, as well as curtain airbags that cover the side windows along the front and rear seats. Standard safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Active head restraints for the front seats