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Hyundai Santa Fe (2006 - 2010)

SANTA SAYS RELAX (some text hidden)


Introductionword count: 81

There are many methods of selling cars as employed by the world's vehicle manufacturers. For a long time, Hyundai was committed to one of the most simplistic. Build a big, impressive-looking vehicle and sell it at a low price. Modern Hyundai models have grown a little more sophisticated since then but the Hyundai Santa Fe 4x4 launched in 2006 is a fine example of the marque's old guard. On the used market, it looks like even more car for the money.

Modelsword count: 17

Models Covered: (5dr 4x4 2.7 petrol, 2.2 CRTD, 2.2R diesel [CDX, CDX+, GSI, Limited Edition, Style, Premium])

Historyword count: 287

Launched in spring 2006, this Santa Fe followed on where the original model left off but it had grown. Hyundai had unveiled the Tuscon compact 4x4 in 2004, putting the squeeze on the Santa Fe which was only a little larger. From that point, it was inevitable that any replacement Santa Fe would be required to put on a few pounds in order to offer something a bit different. Sure enough, the Santa Fe MkII turned out to be quite a size. Bigger and more spacious than compact 4x4 models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, it in many respects had more in common with family-sized 4x4s from the class above. From launch, the Santa Fe was available with a 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox which buyers routinely ignored in favour of a much more relevant 2.2-litre CRTD common-rail diesel. The oil-burner had a manual gearbox but was available with a five-speed automatic as an option. Trim levels ran from GSI to CDX and CDX+. In August 2006, just a few months after the original launch, the diesel engine was upgraded from 148bhp to 155bhp. CO2 emissions were reduced slightly at the same time. In 2007, a Limited Edition model was launched with various styling accessories designed to beef-up the Santa Fe's looks. Only 400 were made available in the UK. By 2009, the slow selling V6 petrol engine had been dropped completely. For the 2010 model year, the Santa Fe received a very significant facelift. As well as the styling being refreshed inside and out a new 2.2-litre diesel engine was introduced. With 194bhp and 40mpg economy it went straight in amongst the best four-cylinder engines in its price range.

What You Getword count: 282

Bigger than its predecessor, and most of the market's other compact 4x4 offerings for that matter, this Santa Fe toned down the original model's rather controversial styling with more conventional 4x4 lines. The rising waistline gives the Santa Fe a more athletic stance, and the rear end is particularly shapely for a vehicle of this type. There is still some evidence of the sculpted flanks that proved so controversial on the original Santa Fe, but that design feature is integrated far more elegantly into the wheel arches and the swage line that runs from the top of the tail lamps to form a distinct 'shoulder'. The option of seven 'full sized' seats was popular, although adults may question that description if subjected to a lengthy spell in the back. The 175mm in extra length over the original model was put to good use though and there's 84 litres more cargo space. On the seven seat models, the two rear seats drop down into the boot floor and the rear bench folds almost flat whether you've got a third row of seats or not. This opens up a monumental carrying capacity of up to 2,200 litres and even with the rear bench occupied, there's 969-litres of virgin space behind. Interior quality isn't outstanding but the fixtures and fittings should prove durable. There's some wood and metal detailing to help raise the tone, along with mesh-type upholstery fabrics and piped leathers on the CDX spec cars. Other features include dual zone air-conditioning, ESP stability control, heated front seats and a multi-adjustable steering wheel. The CDX+ has satellite navigation and an air-conditioned box between the front seats, while all the seven-seat models have self-levelling suspension.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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