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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

A great value at a great price with much to be appreciated

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe is a very affordable midsize crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has a spacious cabin for up to five passengers and their gear. Equipped with either a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 hp and 169 pound-feet of torque or a 3.5 liter V-6 engine punching out 176 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, the Hyundai Santa Fe provides a highly competitive choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

The Santa Fe SUV is fairly big, visually appealing, spacious, and well appointed. It has generous cargo capabilities and a long list of standard features that make it a very comfortable ride. With a complete complement of standard safety features, the Santa Fe was given the highest rating by the IIHS. Fuel economy improves year by year, this time to 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.

New for 2011

After some updating in 2010, the Hyundai Santa Fe received only minor changes for 2011. Primarily, the GLS Premium Package is no longer available, and several shades of silver, white, red, gray, and brown are new for 2011.


Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.5L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Body Style: SUV
Trims: GLS Sport Utility, SE Sport Utility, Limited Sport Utility

On the Outside

A modern-looking, attractive SUV, the Santa Fe that received a minor refresh in 2010, with new wheels, grille, front bumper, taillights, and fog lights. Considered a "big" compact crossover, it's been around the block a while and may seem a big dated compared to its rivals.

From the Inside

Santa Fe was upgraded in 2010 to include a touch-screen navigation system with rear view camera, XM Traffic, and more refined leather and cloth seats. Now, Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls are standard on all three trims.

Driving Performance

During testing of a 2011 Santa Fe GLS with the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the Santa Fe did the zero to 60 in 7.4 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at 90.1 mph, which is actually not bad for a 3,870-pound vehicle. The Santa Fe Limited with the 2.4-liter was slower, making zero to 60 in 10.6-seconds and finishing the quarter mile in 17.7 seconds. The Santa Fe isn't great when it comes to handling, but its overall ride is quite comfortable for a vehicle of this type

Safety Equipment

Extensive safety equipment is standard on the Santa Fe, including disc brakes with ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, six airbags, rollover sensors for the side curtains, and stability control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Santa Fe its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash categories.

Gas Mileage

2.4L: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
3.5L: 20 mpg city/26mpg highway


  • Comfortable ride
  • Good fuel economy
  • Plenty of engine power
  • Great value


  • So-so handling
  • Bit dated


A great value at a great price with much to be appreciated

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  • Toyota RAV4
  • Ford Edge
  • Nissan Murano

See the New 2014 Santa Fe.

Front & Driver Side View