History of the Hyundai Santa Fe models: three generations of success


Santa Fe is that very car which used to a milestone for Hyundai in 90s. Even though this vehicle which was named after a Mexican city received a lot of criticism at first, it has been extremely popular in America. What made so famous in U.S.? Let’s see.

First Generation

These models have been released starting from 2000 to 2006. U.S. buyers could enjoy its 2.4-litre engine of four cylinders which was good for fuel efficiency. You could opt for 5-speed or 4-speed manual transmission of automatic type. Those who love power could use Delta V6 paired to automatic transmission. Standard models were of FWD type and AWD was optional.

SEE ALSO: The New Santa Fe 2018 will have the biggest change under the hood

Other regions were supplied with 2.0-litre CRTD units. Australian variant was equipped with 2.7-litre engine of V6 kind mated to a four-speed automatic. 2.4-litre variant was released later and included manual transmission.

In 2002 the vehicle received a bigger fuel tank and in 2003 it had 3.5-litre V6. In the North American market customers could use two other gas engines. In 2005 the vehicle was facelifted and changed its exterior features such as grille and bumpers. Its instrument cluster was upgraded. In 2006, Dark Emerald Green, Merlot and Canyon Red color options arrived. European Santa Fe started to offer 2.2-litre diesel engine. 2.7-litre petrol V6 was improved.

Second Generation

This is 2006-2012 period when the vehicle was redesigned to look more contemporary. GLS, SE and Limited trims were sold in America. Its 2.6-litre V6 was mated to a manual transmission. 3.3-litre V6 came with a with a 5-speed automatic. Beyond U.S. 2.2-litre engine was offered producing 186 horsepower. Malaysian variant included 2.2-liter I4 Diesel and 2.7-liter V6.

To meet modern safety standards the vehicle provided Electronic Stability Control, upgraded airbags, anti-lock brakes and more features. The interior included leather materials and some illumination.

In 2008 an LG navigation system was added. In 2009 Santa Fe lost its 16-inch wheels and landed on black steel wheels. In 2010 Germany could use slightly redesigned vehicle with new grilles, Bluetooth connectivity as standard and a new touch screen. In 2012 a few changes were added including chrome accents and a new shift knob.

This period also gave birth to Hyundai Santa Fe Blue Hybrid and this was the time when around 200,000 Santa Fe SUVs were recalled.

Third Generation

The era from 2012 up to our dates is connected with Santa Fe’s redesign. The vehicle arrived as a short 5-seat Sport vehicle and long-wheelbase which went as Santa Fe XL on Canadian market, Santa Fe Grand in Europe, and just Santa Fe in the US.

2013 Santa Fe was made with a 2.4-litre engine good for 190 horsepower and 2.0-litre turbo engine providing 264 horsepower. Once again it has FWD layout with optional AWD. A six-speed automatic transmission was used.

There were quite a lot of trims to choose from for those who like Santa Fe Sport. You could use such features as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, voice command, GPS navigational system and more.

Santa Fe was also available as SE and Limited variant.

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