With the launch of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe, the company introduces an all-new second generation of the midsize crossover SUV. The first generation began production in 2000 and classified as a compact crossover SUV. With the unveiling of this new generation, the Hyundai Santa Fe grows in size, power, and number of features and safety equipment.
Body Styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 2.7-liter V-6, 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Hyundai Santa Fe GLS, Hyundai Santa Fe SE, Hyundai Santa Fe Limited
The 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe gets completely redesigned on an all-new platform built for the crossover SUV. The new platform means that both the wheelbase and overall length of the second generation of the Hyundai Santa Fe stand longer. By using a unibody construction method, Hyundai makes the structure of the chassis stiffer. The added length also provides for an optional third row of seating.
Changes also occur under the hood. The two engine choices include a 2.7-liter V-6 from the previous versions (but it now uses variable valve timing) and a new, aluminum, 3.3-liter V-6. All three models of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe feature two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and the trim determines the engine.
The interior upgrades to a new design, adding several luxury features standard, as well as previously optional safety equipment.
The Santa Fe’s exterior features a much more contemporary look when compared to previous iterations of the SUV. The additional length and change in lines gives the new Hyundai Santa Fe a much sleeker look overall. The exterior has been almost completely redesigned with new headlights and a new three-bar horizontal grille, as well as new front and rear fasciae. The base GLS model of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe comes equipped with 16-inch wheels, while the SE and Limited editions sit on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Hyundai also redesigns the interior of the 2007 Santa Fe. Upgrades include blue back-lit controls on the dashboard, illuminated cup holders, and higher-quality materials for all models. The head restraints in the rear are shingled so that they sit flush with the seat top when lowered to improve rear visibility.
The additional length of the new 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe means that it now seats up to seven passengers in three rows of seating. The optional third row has a 50/50-split and folds flat to maximize cargo room. The second row splits 60/40 and also folds flat if needed. The head and legroom feels restricted in the third row of seats making it suitable for children only. While the front seats offer plenty of room, the seat position of the driver seems high, and the seat cushions may fall short for taller passengers.
Performance & Handling
Hyundai makes the Santa Fe with two engines. The base GLS model comes equipped with a 2.7-liter V-6 that provides 185 horsepower and 183 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, while a four-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift gate marks an available option. The SE and Limited models contain a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 242 horsepower and 226 lb-ft of torque. This pairs with a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift gate only.
Both front drive and all-wheel drive remains available for all models. The all-wheel-drive system lacks low-range gearing but does provide the ability to lock into a 50/50-split between front and rear wheels. The larger V-6 engine provides more than enough power for acceleration from a stop and on the highway, but the smaller engine builds up speed slower and lacks power when needed, especially when climbing a grade. Handling feels good and carlike with a tight turning circle, making it superb at city maneuvering. Overall, the ride stays comfortable and quiet, although the 16-inch wheels provide a smoother ride.
Standard safety features for all models include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls, front side airbags, front-seat active head restraints, full-length side curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Hyundai Santa Fe earns top scores in front crash testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Santa Fe GLS: 18/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Santa Fe SE: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Santa Fe Limited: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Updated interior with plenty of standard features
- Safety equipment
You Won't Like
- Cramped third row
- Bumpy ride with 18-inch wheels
New design gives this midsize crossover SUV style inside and out.
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