|Compact SUV; Built in South Korea|
|Good condition price range: $2,500 – $10,000*|
2001 Hyudnai Santa Fe
2001 Hyundai Santa Fe interior
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe
2003 Hyundai Santa Fe
2003 Hyundai Santa Fe interior
Hyundai’s SUV needs more V6 muscle and better interior detailing, but Santa Fe is a high features-per-dollar vehicle with a generous 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The first sport utility vehicle from South Korea’s leading automaker was a four-door, five-passenger wagon. Loosely based on the compact Sonata sedan’s platform, the Santa Fe was priced to compete with compact car-based SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and new Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute. Hyundai’s version was wider and heavier, with the biggest cargo capacity in its class.
Santa Fes came with front-wheel drive or permanently engaged four-wheel drive. The base GL model used the Sonata sedan’s four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, or an optional automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Shiftronic manual shift gate. Automatic was the sole choice for the GL V6, the GLS, and the top-of-the-line LX, which used a version of the Sonata’s V6.
Not intended for severe off-roading, the Santa Fe’s 4WD system lacked low-range gearing. The system normally split power 60/40 front/rear, but could redirect it to the wheels with the greatest traction. Traction control that worked with both front-drive and 4WD was optional on the GLS and LX.
All Santa Fes had 16-inch alloy wheels, a separate-opening tailgate window, air conditioning, power windows, a CD stereo, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. A sensor could deactivate the front airbag if a small child or no occupant was detected. Front side airbags were not offered. Antilock brakes were optional, adding rear discs instead of drums on four-cylinder models. Leather upholstery was exclusive to the Santa Fe LX.
|2002 Santa Fe
Nothing noteworthy changed for 2002, except that the four-cylinder GL exchanged front-disc/rear-drum brakes for the four-wheel discs of the V6 models.
The V6-powered GLS and top-line LX models came with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Traction control was optional on the GLS, but standard on the LX. ABS was standard on the LX and optional for other models. The right-side dashboard airbag automatically shut off if a sensor detected a child or no occupant, but side airbags were not available.
|2003 Santa Fe
Front side airbags became standard for 2003, and all Santa Fes now had all-disc brakes. New options included a six-disc CD changer and a Homelink remote control unit.
|2004 Santa Fe
No new changes were made to the Santa Fe in 2004.
|2005 Santa Fe
Hyundai gives Santa Fe a slight facelift for 2005 and drops its 4-cyl engine. The lineup now includes GLS and uplevel LX models, both with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive without low-range gearing.
|2006 Santa Fe
Santa Fe is unchanged.