The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Is a Smart Selection

May 22, 2012

The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe certainly isn’t the flashiest crossover on the block, or the newest. Yet it still maintains a timeless appeal that can stand its ground against other, newer SUVs. Loaded with standard features, plenty of cargo capacity, a roomy cabin and a MSRP from $23,225 make the Santa Fe a good vehicle to hit most any trail a family will need.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is a five passenger vehicle available in three trims: GLS, SE and Limited. The GLS and Limited come with a 2.4 liter/175 hp 4-cylinder engine, and there is a 3.5 liter/176 hp V6 engine on the SE model. The V6 is offered for the Limited as well. Six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard on all trims with all-wheel drive optional. The Santa Fe gets an estimated 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. The gas tank holds 18 gallons of regular unleaded fuel.

The Santa Fe doesn’t skimp on safety having many of the standard features of other crossovers plus a little extra. All trims have a 4-wheel ABS, hill descent brake control, front/ rear head airbags, side curtain airbags, remote anti-theft alarm system, and an engine immobilizer. The Santa Fe also comes standard with front multi-adjustable headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation and tire pressure monitoring. The Santa Fe received the highest rating of “Good” in frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength in tests conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Important Stats2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
Engine2.4L I-4
Horsepower175 @ 6,000 rpm
Transmission6-spd with OD
DrivetrainFront Wheel Drive
0-60 MpH9.7 seconds
Seating5 passengers
Cargo Space78.2 cu.ft.
MPG20 City / 28 Hwy
Warranty60 months/60,000 miles
MSRP$23,225 - $30,925

The interior is spacious in all the Santa Fe models, with a comfortable amount of room in both the front and back seats. Cargo capacity in the GLS is 34.2 cubic feet with all seats in place and 78.2 cubic feet maximum space. Front seat passengers have 40.2 inches of front head room and 42.6 inches of front leg room. The rear seats are extremely comfortable and feature a split-folding seatback. The Santa Fe measures 184.1 inches long, 67.9 inches high and 74.4 inches wide.

The interior is not too shabby for comfort features, with the Santa Fe offering cruise control, power steering, 12 V front power outlet and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. On the comfort end, there is air conditioning and interior air filtration, simulated wood trim on the dash and doors, and a low fuel level warning. Upgrading to the Limited adds a universal remote transmitter, 12V and 115V cargo area outlets and audio controls on the steering wheel.

Entertainment offers an AM/FM in-dash CD player with CD/ MP3 Playback stereo, six speakers with 120 watts total stereo output, auxiliary MP3 audio input, XM satellite radio with three months of provided service and a USB connection. Upgrade to the Limited and you’ll get ten Infinity brand premium speakers with 605 watts stereo output, 1 subwoofer, 7.1 surround sound and a AM/FM in-dash 6 CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo. The Premium package adds a sunroof and touchscreen navigation.

The Santa Fe is not flashy, but its interior space surpasses that of competitors like the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V. The standard features are very generous and the MSRP very reasonable for everything the Santa Fe offers. It has simple to read controls and the gages are very user friendly. All in all, the pros make it a very practical choice for a crossover. On the con side, the Santa Fe doesn’t have a strong personality feel or style to it like the Chevy Equinox and Toyota RAV4 do.

There is no third row seat such as in the Kia Sorento, and the back seat doesn’t recline or slide like in many other crossovers. Ride quality is firm but good.
What the Santa Fe lacks in style, however, it more than makes up for in passenger room, hauling space, comfort and standard features. If your interests lie more in practicality than a flashy look, the Santa Fe is a worthy pick.

Further Reading:

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Image Sourve By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons