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Car reviews - Hyundai - Santa Fe - Elite V6 5-dr wagon

Overview

It's all change for Hyundai's bigger new Santa Fe, which brings seven seats but the same V6

Hyundai logo8 Sep 2006

By CHRIS HARRIS

AFTER six years on the Australian market, the original Hyundai Santa Fe bows out to make way for a new, much larger replacement. What the new SUV shows is a maturity that has come over the South Korean car-maker in the last few years without the expense of losing basic core values - such as highly competitive pricing. The new Santa Fe adds more of everything, including safety, and Hyundai says it has been tested to score an indicative five-star crash rating with the US NHTSA safety authority. It’s also more refined on the road and, most significantly, can now be ordered with seven seats. The downfall is that, for now, the Santa Fe still makes do with the previous, lighter model’s 2.7-litre V6 engine. The performance drop is as expected, although Hyundai has managed to retain reasonable fuel economy.
Model release date: 1 May 2006 to 1 September 2008

Previous model

Hyundai Santa Fe

Released: November 2000
Ended: May 2006
Family Tree: Santa Fe

Hyundai's first attempt at a Honda CR-V rival wasn’t a bad effort at all for the company at the time, combining a suitably comfortable and powerful (in V6 format) five-door wagon – in breathless 106kW/201Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder/five-speed manual or smooth 132kW/247Nm V6/four-speed auto guises. But the clumsy styling, tight packaging and so-so dynamics quickly aged the Hyundai against the newer wave of SUV competition that came on stream in the year following the Santa Fe’s local debut. A minor facelift and model adjustment improved things slightly in late 2004.

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