The Hyundai Santa Fe (Korean: 현대 싼타페) is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai since 2000.
It is named after the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was introduced for the 2001 model year as Hyundai's first SUV, released at the same time as the Ford Escape and Pontiac Aztek. The Santa Fe was a milestone in the company's restructuring program of the late 1990s because, despite receiving criticism from journalists for its obscure looks, the SUV was a hit with American buyers. The SUV was so popular that at times, Hyundai had trouble supplying the demand. The Santa Fe quickly became Hyundai's best seller and contributed to Hyundai's success in the United States. As of 2007, the Santa Fe falls between the slightly smaller compact crossover Tucson and the larger, yet related luxury crossover SUV Veracruz (which replaced the Terracan).
The second generation Hyundai Santa Fe was awarded 2008 Consumer Reports "top pick" and was among the top 10 vehicles for 2008 unveiled in the magazine's issue. The magazine's annual ratings, based on road tests and predicted safety and reliability, are considered highly influential among consumers.
In 2012, the third generation Santa Fe became available in two versions (regular and extended versions), with the (five-seater) Sport in September 2012 and the extended long wheelbase model which replaced the Veracruz, available at showrooms in November 2012.
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact Crossover SUV(2000-2006)
Mid-size Crossover SUV(2007-Present)
|Body style||5-door SUV|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive|
First generation (SM, 2000–2006)
|First generation (SM)|
|Also called||Hyundai Santa Fe Classic (Russia)
(Hawtai Santa Fe SUV) (2013–present)
|Production||April 2000 – March 2006
Taganrog, Russia (TagAZ)
Cairo, Egypt (Ghabbour Group)
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Hyundai Sonata (EF)
|Engine||2.4 L Hyundai engine I4
3.5 L Sigma V6, 200 hp (150 kW)
2.7 L Delta V6, 173 hp (129 kW)
2.0L VM Motori CRDI I4 diesel
|Wheelbase||2,620 mm (103.1 in)|
|Length||4,500 mm (177.2 in)|
|Width||1,820–1,845 mm (71.7–72.6 in)|
|Height||1,675 mm (65.9 in)|
In its first year in production, the Santa Fe was offered with one of two engine and transmission combinations. In North America, a fuel-efficient 2.4 L four-cylinder engine was standard equipment and could be mated with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. A 2,656 cc (2.656 L; 162.1 cu in) Delta V6 offered more power than the four-cylinder but was only available with the automatic. Front wheel drive was standard (with traction control optional with the V6) and 4WD was optional. A 2.0 L Common Rail Turbo Diesel (CRTD) was offered outside the United States. Australian Santa Fes went on sale in November 2000 with only one engine/transmission choice – a 2.7L V6 mated to a four-speed semi-automatic transmission. 4WD was standard. A cheaper 2.4L four-cylinder joined the range several months later in 2001, but was only available with a manual transmission.
The Santa Fe entered its second year without any changes. Demand for the Santa Fe continued to be up but owners had several suggested changes for Hyundai.
In a rare mid-year model change, Hyundai increased the size of the fuel tank from 17 to 19 U.S. gallons (64 to 71 liters) and reorganized the location of the badges on the tailgate. The interior layout of the console and the position of the clock were also changed.
In 2003, Hyundai responded to some of the customer complaints and suggestions such as the fact that the hood used a prop and not gas struts, there was no light in the glove compartment, and the car itself did not have enough power. In 2003, Hyundai introduced the 3.5-liter V6 in addition to the other two gas engines in North America. The bigger engine came with a computer-controlled four-wheel drive system. Automatic transmission models were given a chrome shift gate surround as opposed to the matte silver plastic style used in the 2001 and 2002 models. A Monsoon high-performance sound system came standard on the mid-level GLS model and came with a 6-disc CD changer on the top-tier LX. Rounding out the changes in the 2003 model was the discontinuation of the highly unpopular Pine Green which in some owner circles has gained the nickname 'Yucky Green'. In Australia, the four-cylinder Santa Fe was dropped in 2003, due to slow sales, leaving the 2.7L V6 automatic as the only model.
Hyundai continued to post sales records with the Santa Fe as it rolled into 2004 with very minor changes. The manual climate controls on the base GL and mid-line GLS were revised very slightly. The remote keyless entry system was given a confirmation 'chirp' when the 'LOCK' button on the remote was pressed twice.
Midway through the year the AM/FM antenna was moved from on the glass in the rear driver's side window to a three-inch (76 mm) rubber antenna in the center of the roof just above the tailgate.
2005–2006 Hyundai Santa Fe (US)
The Santa Fe received its final facelift for 2005. Changes were made to the grille, taillights, rear bumper, interior instrument cluster. The instrument cluster was redesigned with the speedometer now reading 140 mph (earlier models only indicated 130 mph) and a better-designed toll ticket slot in the driver's sun visor. Both sun visors also received extensions so the sun could be blocked out better when coming in from the side. The base Santa Fe was discontinued that time, making way for the Tucson.
In Australia, all models received body-colored (painted) bumpers from 2005 on. The color 'Sandstone' was discontinued in favor of a slightly different color named 'Mocha Frost'. The GL trim was dropped as was the four-cylinder engine and its respective 5-speed manual transmission. The 2.7 L V6 took over duties as the base engine. A passenger airbag cutoff that prevents the airbag from deploying if the seat is unoccupied (or occupied by a small person) was also added. A 3-point seatbelt was added to the center rear seating position, as well. The calendar function, housed in the overhead console was removed and a compass took its place.
The last year of this Santa Fe saw few changes. Two colors were discontinued for 2006, Merlot and Canyon Red. A rare color, Dark Emerald Green, was introduced mid-year. It did not appear in any sales brochures and could have only been ordered by a dealership. The LX trim level was renamed 'Limited' and got a corresponding tailgate badge, a first for the Santa Fe of any trim level. Another first was the availability of a monochromatic paint scheme, a departure from the contrasting gray cladding previously standard. The monochromatic option was only available on the Limited in black. In total, these options ran $1900, pushing the Santa Fe's total asking price to nearly $30,000.
In Europe, the new Santa Fe model was launched in April as a 2006 model, offering a new 2.2-litre diesel engine and updated 2.7-litre petrol V6.
Part of a joint venture with Hyundai Motors that began in 2002, a Chinese company, Hawtai Motor, manufactured the first-generation Santa Fe. While it did make Hyundai-branded models for sale on the Chinese market, one of the versions it debuted under its own brand name in 2009 was the Santa Fe C9.Utilizing a Rover-acquired engine, it may have been priced at a significant discount to those bearing the Hyundai name.
Hyundai ended its partnership with Hawtai in 2010.
Second generation (CM, 2006–2012)
|Second Generation (CM)|
|Also called||Inokom Santa Fe (Malaysia)
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
West Point, Georgia, United States
Cairo, Egypt (Ghabbour Group)
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||2.4L Theta II 174 hp (130 kW) I4petrol
2.7L Mu V6 185 hp (138 kW) petrol
3.3L Lambda V6 242 hp (180 kW) petrol
3.5L Lambda II V6 276 hp (206 kW) petrol
2.2L CRDI VGT 150 hp (110 kW) I4diesel
2.2L CRDI VGT 155 hp (116 kW) I4diesel
2.2L CRDI VGT R-Line 200 hp (150 kW) I4 diesel
6-speed automatic (2010 model)
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (106.3 in)|
|Length||4,675 mm (184.1 in)|
|Width||1,890 mm (74.4 in)|
|Height||1,725 mm (67.9 in)|
The next-generation 2007 Santa Fe debuted at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The first production Santa Fe rolled off Hyundai's Montgomery, Alabama assembly line on April 18, 2006. It shares this assembly line with the current generation Hyundai Sonata. The new generation sheds the old style's quirky design in favor of a more contemporary look.
In the United States, the new generation is offered in GLS, SE, and Limited versions. The new Santa Fe sees the return of a manual transmission, but only when mated with the 2,656 cc (2.656 L; 162.1 cu in) V6. The 3,342 cc (3.342 L; 203.9 cu in) V6 (a retuned version of the same engine found in the Sonata) is standard on the SE and Limited and comes only with a 5-speed automatic. Both 2WD and AWD models with a 3.3 L have a fuel economy of 19 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 23 mpg-imp) city and 24 mpg-US(9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp) highway. The 2.2l diesel engine (not available in the US) with 186 hp (139 kW) has mixed cycle of 7.2l and a city cycle of 8.0l. The 4WD is a Borg-Warner Torque Management device, which diverts power to the wheels with best grip according to the amount of slip. If the front wheels spin slightly, 10% of the torque will transfer to the rear axle. If the front wheels start to slip a lot, 50% of the torque will transfer to the rear axle. Body lean in turns, a problem with the previous generation, has been reduced in the new Santa Fe. Both road and wind noise have also been reduced.
Newly standard on the latest iteration of the Santa Fe are all the safety features the previous model lacked or charged as extra. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), side-curtain airbags for all seating rows, a tire pressure monitor, active front head restraints, and anti-lock brakes are all standard. A heated windshield wiper grid located in the front wipers' 'park' position helps to thaw ice buildup on the blades in colder climates. Some features like the tailgate flip glass and the lower body cladding were not integrated into the new model.
The interior has been upgraded as well with blue-lit dashboard controls (unlike the green color used in other Hyundai models), a gated shifter pattern, illuminated cup holders, and higher quality leather on Limited models. The rear seat head restraints caused visibility problems in the previous model due to their size. The new style features 'shingled' head rests that when lowered completely, sit flush with the top of the seat, helping to maximize rear visibility. The middle rear seating position now comes with its own head restraint and a three-point seat belt built in. LATCH child seat anchors are also standard, and an optional 50/50 third row seat allows Santa Fe to seat seven passengers.
Pricing remained competitive despite the upward move in size and feature content.
In Malaysia, Hyundai Santa Fe is available as a Complete knock down model rebadged as Inokom Santa Fe. The Inokom Santa Fe is only available in CRDi 2.2-liter I4 Diesel and 2.7-liter V6.
For 2008, only minor changes were applied to the Santa Fe. A navigation system made by LG was offered and the Infinity sound system and the power glass sunroof were made standard on Limited models. The non-metallic white paint trim was dropped, leaving the pearl white as the only white color available on the Santa Fe.
2009 saw only minor changes for the Santa Fe. The 16" wheels on the base GLS model (USA specification) were dropped and replaced with black steel wheels and plastic covers. Additionally, the GLS received black plastic mirrors as opposed to the body-colored mirrors of the higher-tier SE and Limited models. This cut in equipment was rumored to be a countermeasure to offset the price increase of offering an iPod plug-in for the stereo system. Because of the black mirrors and wheel covers, the additional cost of the iPod adapter was negated, leaving the base price of the vehicle unchanged.
The Santa Fe topped the “20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure” list by Insure.com. According to research, the Santa Fe is the least expensive vehicle to insure. Low rates tend to reflect a vehicle’s safety.
December 2009 saw the range go all-diesel, with a more economical ‘R’ series piezo electric injector-equipped 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder producing 145 kW of power (up 27 per cent) at 3800rpm and 436Nm of torque at 1800rpm (421Nm for the manual).
A mid-cycle refresh designed in Germany for the Santa Fe was implemented for the 2010 model year. The grille now includes horizontal and vertical gridded bars as opposed to the horizontal two-bar grille on previous models, and grilles are now body-colored instead of black. New rear taillights include all-red taillight covers with extensive chrome outlay, and new 5 split-spoke alloy wheels have replaced the previous 5- and 6-spoke wheels. All Santa Fe's now include standard Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and steering wheel audio controls, new darker wood trim, and metallic steering wheel inlay. Gauges have been designed with a new lettering and numbering 'font' and backlight design. A new touch-screen navigation system with rear back-up camera was now available. Finally, for the US market, the optional third row seat has been discontinued, leaving the larger Veracruz the only currently sold Hyundai in the United States to seat more than five persons.
Powertrain changes included a choice of the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional six-speed automatic transmission. Engine choices include a 2.4-litre four-cylinder and a 3.5-litre V6. The latter engine is also used in the Kia Sorento. Both engines generate greater power while obtaining greater fuel economy than previous engine models. Sales began in early January 2010.
Only minor changes were applied to the Santa Fe for 2011. The 1050-watt Infinity sound system became standard on Limited trim whereas it had only been previously bundled with the optional navigation system. Five new colors were added, as well, including Moonstone Silver, Frost White Pearl, Sonoran Red, Mineral Gray, and Espresso Brown.
On September 1, 2010, North American production of the Santa Fe shifted to Kia's new West Point, Georgia assembly plant for the 2011 model year. This was done to free up production capacity at the Alabama plant for the new Sonata and new Elantra. The Santa Fe fills the void left for a Kia-built Hyundai sold in the United States & Canada after Hyundai ended production of the Entourage minivan in 2009. Kia, however, is 49.2% owned by Hyundai.
The Santa Fe only received minor changes for 2012: The all-body colored grille (in North American markets) was straightened and received chrome accents while the textured strip below the headlights was changed from amber to clear. The interior received a new shift knob and downhill brake assist was added. The 2012 model will be discontinued by the end of the year, successfully ending production for the second generation.
Santa Fe Blue Hybrid
There is a Hyundai Santa Fe Blue Hybrid that is powered by gasoline engine coupled to a 30 kW (41 PS; 40 hp) electric motor. The Santa Fe blue Hybrid uses a 270 V lithium polymer battery.
Hyundai is recalling almost 200,000 Santa Fe SUVs from 2007–2009 model years, because the front passenger airbags may not deploy in a crash due to a possible problem with the occupant classification system. The system gauges the size of a passenger and based on that whether an air bag should be deployed. A software update rectifies the issue.
The Second-generation Santa Fe earned "Top Safety Pick" award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It also received maximum 5 star safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Hyundai Santa Fe earned maximum five star safety rating from Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The Second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe topped the “20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure” list by Insure.com.
Advertising Standards Bureau of Australia banned a Santa Fe TV commercial titled 'Restless' or 'Toddler' in 2007, which ASB argued that it promotes an illegal driving activity: a underaged person (a toddler) driving a car. He also picked up a hitchhiking toddler girl and both were wearing seatbelts instead of approved child restraints which also breached safety recommendations. The ad was produced by Kim Thorp and Howard Greive from Assignment Group NZ and directed by Tony Williams from Sydney Film Company, with post via Frame Set + Match, Sydney. The ad itself won the 2006 Fair Go Ad Awards in Best Ad Award category, and was also nominated in the top five in the Worst Ad category.
Third generation (DM, NC, 2012–present)
|Third generation (DM)|
|Also called||Hyundai Maxcruz (KDM; for long-wheelbase model)
Hyundai Grand Santa Fe (long-wheelbase model)
|Production||June 2012– (5-seat Sport version)
November 2012– (7-seat LWB version)
|Assembly||Asan, South Korea
West Point, Georgia, United States (Kia Motors)
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Cairo, Egypt (Ghabbour Group)
Beijing, China (Beijing Hyundai)
Kulim, Malaysia(Hyundai Malaysia)
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||2.4 L Theta II MPI I4 174hp
2.4 L Theta II GDi I4 190hp
3.3 L Lambda II MPI V6 267hp
3.3 L Lambda II GDi V6 290hp
2.0 L Theta II Turbo I4 264hp
2.0L CRDI VGT R-Line I4 diesel 148hp,183hp
2.2L CRDI VGT R-Line I4 diesel 200hp
|Wheelbase||2,700–2,800 mm (106.3–110.2 in)|
|Length||4,690–4,905 mm (184.6–193.1 in)|
|Width||1,880 mm (74.0 in)|
|Height||1,680–1,690 mm (66.1–66.5 in)|
|Predecessor||Hyundai Veracruz (LWB)|
Hyundai launched a redesign of the Santa Fe on February 14, 2012, and went on sale in June 2012 as a 2013 model. Unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show on April 4, the third generation Santa Fe features two wheelbase variants: shorter 5-seat Sport variant and the long-wheelbase version (called Sante Fe XL in Canada) with three rows of seats and available seating for six or seven passengers. The longer Santa Fe also receives a unique grille design, optional 19 inch alloy wheels, flush dual exhaust tips, and a body shape that accentuates the crossover’s added passenger and cargo room hind-wise from the B-pillar. Both models feature the new "Storm Edge" design prototype, eventually to launch on all other models, and feature refreshed Santa Fe unibody crossover platform, akin to most of today's SUVs.
The 2013 Santa Fe Sport models arrives with an all four-cylinder enginelineup. The CUV’s standard engine is a 2.4 L developing 190 horsepower (142 kW), with a 264 horsepower (197 kW) 2.0 L turbo four on offer. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive being optional. The Santa Fe Sport has Hyundai’s Torque Vectoring Cornering Control feature for upgraded drive performance. Both engines shift through a six-speed automatic transmission (already found in the Azera sedan), returning up to 33 mpg-US (7.1 L/100 km; 40 mpg-imp) for the naturally aspirated model and 31 mpg-US (7.6 L/100 km; 37 mpg-imp) for the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T model. The long-wheelbase is offered in North America exclusively with a 3.3 L, 290 horsepower (216 kW) V6 engine, whose numbers were not beaten by a same-class vehicle so far.
The 2013 Santa Fe Sport went on sale in September 2012 for the North American market. The long-wheelbase variant would follow suit in November 2012 and went on sale in early 2013 after the Veracruz ended production. The Korean-spec Santa Fe was launched in Asia since April 19, 2012, in short wheel base form with 7-seater capacity. Available engine types are a 2.0L E-VGT R-Line and 2.2L E-VGT R-Line diesel engines.
In March 2013, the Santa Fe long-wheelbase variant was available in South Korea as the Maxcruz.
As per Hyundai's website, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are available in multiple trim levels:
The Santa Fe Sport is available in one basic trim level, but with two engines, and multiple packages that add many features. Basic equipment includes alloy wheels, an A/M-F/M stereo with CD/MP3 player, iPod/USB and auxiliary audio inputs, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth for phone and audio, voice command, six (6) speakers, cloth seating surfaces, and more. Features such as an upgraded sound system with upgraded touch-screen radio, a full, GPS navigational system, and leather-trimmed seating surfaces can be added to the basic Santa Fe Sport so that buyers can choose their ideal vehicle. Engine choices are either a 2.4L Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDi) Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine, or a 2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine, offered as the 2.4 and 2.0T trim levels, respectively.
The Santa Fe is available in two distinct trim levels: the SE, and the Limited. The SE includes alloy wheels, an A/M-F/M stereo with CD/MP3 player, iPod/USB and auxiliary audio inputs, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth for phone and audio, voice command, six (6) speakers, cloth seating surfaces, and more. Features such as an upgraded sound system with upgraded touch-screen radio, a full, GPS navigational system, and leather-trimmed seating surfaces can be added to the Santa Fe SE to further enhance this trim level. The Limited adds those features that are optional on the SE, while adding larger alloy wheels and wood interior trim. The Santa Fe is only available with the 3.3L V6 engine.
2017 Model Year Update
For the 2017 model, both the LWB Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport will receive a new facelift with restyled headlights and taillights.
As part of the Super Bowl XLVII campaign, 3 TV commercials developed by INNOCEAN USA were premiered during Super Bowl XLVII:
- In "Epic Playdate", a father takes his family on a trip in a long-wheelbase Santa Fe consisting of various increasingly unorthodox activities, which include driving around in mud to getting away from bikers behind them and bowling in a human-sized inflatable hamster ball. The commercial features a cameo appearance by The Flaming Lips.
- In "Team", a young boy recruits his own team to take on a group of children who took his football, with the long-wheelbase Santa Fe being used to gather various members of his team, all of which are shown to do various tasks that would typically require adults (such as wrestling a bear, rescuing a man from a burning building and welding).
- In "Don't Tell", a father and his children in a short-wheelbase Santa Fe perform various activities to somewhat extreme extents, including skiing down a dangerous (black diamond-rated) ski trail and watching a horror film, during all of which the father tells his children, "Don't tell mom". In the last activity, the mother goes parasailing with her son, to whom she says, "Don't tell dad".