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Hyundai's new and improved Sante Fe SUV is ready for battle

13 Sep 2012

HYUNDAI has released its new seven-seat Santa Fe, and in doing so closed a chapter in its brief history.

It is not yet three years since the company premiered its European-style ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language on the ix35 compact SUV, and in the ensuing years it has brought its entire nine-model passenger range into line.

The third-generation Santa Fe – a rival for ‘faux-wheel-drives’ such as the Ford Territory, Holden Captiva 7 and Toyota Kluger – was the final piece in that puzzle.

Larger, better-equipped and more fuel-efficient than before – and armed with a long five-year warranty – the new Santa Fe is among best-in-class and sure to tempt more buyers than its predecessor.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 September 2012 to 1 September 2014

Previous model

Released: May 2006
Ended: August 2012
Family Tree: Santa Fe

HYUNDAI'S second-generation Santa Fe grew in size markedly from a compact SUV into a fully-fledged large wagon, and took equally big strides in comfort and refinement.

The seven-seater was available as an AWD diesel or front-drive petrol (95 per cent of sales were the four-paw oil-burner) and priced between $36,990 and $48,490 plus on-roads.

Despite a long list of features, sharp pricing and strong warranty, average monthly sales were around one-third that of rivals like the Ford territory, Holden Captiva 7 and Toyota Kluger.

Get the full story: Hyundai gives its sleek Santa Fe a light massage for the 2009 model year

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