Hyundai Santa Fe
Mk1 Santa Fe
1 Nov 2000
By CHRIS HARRIS
HYUNDAI’S first foray into the car-based SUV segment was with the Santa Fe, a medium-sized five-seater four-door wagon with compact-SUV pricing.
And it wasn’t too bad an effort either, with adequate power, space, refinement and on-road capabilities – while some ground clearance did allow the Santa Fe to venture slightly off-road.
There was some interior versatility due to split fold rear seats and a rear window that opened independently of the large tailgate.
Initially two models were offered – the base GL and a well-specified GLS. The latter added anti-lock brakes and other niceties.
The more popular of the two engines offered was a 132kW/247Nm 2.7-litre ‘Delta’ V6 mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.
In the GL a 106kW/201Nm 2.4-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder unit was also offered from launch until September 2003. But a five-speed manual-only gearbox and a lack of sufficient performance considering the hefty weight this unit had scuppered its chances of success.
From October ’04 the Santa Fe Series II took over, abolishing the GL And GLS models for one well-equipped one.
It also featured a new grille and redesigned tailgate and tail-lights, along with extensive trim changes inside.
When it was new