2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

The verdicts are in: the completely redesigned 2007 version of the Hyundai Santa Fe is bigger and better than previous models, boasting more power, bigger leg room, a more sophisticated style and an elegantly designed interior that reflects a thoughtful eye for detail.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is regarded as a "crossover SUV" since it is built with a car's unibody construction instead of the traditional body-on-frame construction of a regular truck. Nonetheless, it is comparable to any SUV out there in terms of practical, everyday use.

The 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe blends naturally into the suburbs unlike last year's model, which sort of stood out like a sore thumb. It is also more spacious and can now accommodate up to seven passengers, especially with its brand-new third-row seating. In the past, third-row seating was an exclusive feature to minivans and larger utility vehicles, but not this year as manufacturers have figured out how to install a third row into smaller SUVs.

In addition, this year's Santa Fe also offers improved fuel economy and power, whether it's the GLS, SE or Limited trims. All Santa Fe models offer safety features such as six airbags, active front head restraints, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the government-mandated Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Within the year, Hyundai will also equip all Santa Fe models with standard XM satellite radio and optional Bluetooth hands-free telematics, and an optional navigation system will be available sometime in 2007.

The Santa Fe GLS has a 185-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine, a five-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, a 112-watt audio system with six speakers and an MP3 player, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, heated power side mirrors, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, and a roof rack. It also offers an option for four-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, a power sunroof and heated front seats.

The Santa Fe SE has a 242-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 and five-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, fog lights, and secondary audio controls on the steering wheel. There are also options for a power driver's seat with power lumbar, a power sunroof, heated front seats, and a rear-seat entertainment system, featuring a 252-watt stereo system with seven speakers and CD-changer/MP3 player functions, as well as a 115-volt power outlet.

The Santa Fe Limited has leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a power driver's seat with power lumbar support, and dual-zone automatic temperature control with an outside temperature display. Chrome accents on the grille and exterior door handles, as well as a body color rear spoiler, set the Limited model apart from the SE and GLS. There is also an option for a more powerful 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound system with 10 speakers and CD-changer/MP3 capability.

In a nutshell, the 2007 Santa Fe has everything that a mid-size SUV needs and at a more competitive price at that. Competition among SUVS is tight in terms of power, fuel economy, space and other benefits, but the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe fares well when ranged against other SUVs in the market.



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