2011 Hyundai Santa Fe

The midsize SUV market is one of the most lucrative divisions of the automotive industry. Year by year, a lot of these cars are being sold to a wide variety of clients. Hyundai has now joined the SUV wars.

Their bet is the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. Now in its final year before being redesigned in 2012, let us see if this outgoing SUV is going to be a good ride for you.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Midsize SUV Base Price: $23,225.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18 gallons (68 liters) MPG: 20 city / 28 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 184.1 in. (467 cm) Width: 74.4 in. (189 cm)
Height: 67.9 in. (172 cm) Wheel Base: 106.3 in. (270 cm)
Curb Weight: 3725 lbs (1689 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.1 in. (20.5 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 34.2 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: 16-valve DOHC inline-4 Displacement: 2.4 liter
Horsepower: 175 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 169 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic w/ SHIFTRONIC®
0-60 mph: 10.5 seconds* 1/4 Mile: 17.5 seconds*

*based on GLS AWD

Available Trims & Engine
Option:GLS V6 MSRP: $25,125; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy
Option:Santa Fe SE V6 MSRP: $26,225; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy
Option:Santa Fe Limited V6 AWD MSRP: $27,275; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy

Performance

There are 2 engine options available on the Santa Fe. The first one is a 2.4 liter inline 4 cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and a 3.5 liter V6 engine producing 276 horsepower. Both engines produce good fuel economy numbers, in fact, it gets one of the best mileages among all non-hybrid midsize SUVs. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, though a 6 speed manual is an option for the 2.4 liter engine variant. It is also available as both a front wheel drive and as a 4 wheel drive.

Interior & Exterior

As always, this Hyundai is priced much more affordably compared with the competition it has. You can now have your own midsized SUV at the price of a compact SUV. However, it is not just the price that is going to get attention. When you look closely, it has a bevy of standard equipment that you otherwise won’t expect for a vehicle of its price tag. Features such as Bluetooth, a USB port, and even controls located at the steering wheel give it an upscale feel at the fraction of the price.

The exterior of this car is a bit of mixed bag for most that saw it. While some may like its relatively unique looks, others frown that this edition of the Santa Fe as it now looks more generic. However, it is a clean shape overall, stylish yet purposeful in approach. As for the interior department, there are some minor changes made.

The components of the interior are not cheap-looking as it was the complaint on some Hyundai products. It boasts of a lot of standard equipment (such as Bluetooth and a comprehensive sound system) that you’ll surely appreciate. Optional equipment includes a DVD entertainment system and a navigation system. Luggage space is also exceptional for its class.

However, one crucial element that disappeared for this model year is the optional third row seat. As for safety equipment, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and a host of airbags help increase car safety. In addition, as it is not exactly a deviation from the 2010 Santa Fe that got high scores in crash test, it is expected that in case of a crash, passengers will do just fine.

Pros & Cons

The 2011 Santa Fe got generally positive reviews from the driving public. Among its outstanding traits is its fuel economy, which is one of the best in its class. Pair that with a load of great features and an inexpensive best price, and you got a steal of a vehicle with this one. The performance of this vehicle was generally acceptable but not great. It responds to turns well and have just enough power to get into speed, but it’s not exactly the most performance oriented SUV out there. Also, it doesn’t seem to have enough in its arsenal to make it stand out.

All in all, the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe is a borderline bargain. With features that belie its low price of acquisition, it is something that can give other midsize SUVs fits on the market.

Overall Rating
73 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe has is a great choice for small families, thanks to its strong safety, spacious interior, and great feature set.”Car Connection

“Stable overall, though our testers are divided on the steering and brakes. Some find them linear and predictable. Others think the steering is lazy at low speeds, and the brake pedal feels spongy.”Consumer Guide

“Lots of features at an agreeable price; spacious cabin; generous cargo capacity; strong and efficient V6 engine; great warranty; simple controls.”Edmunds

“If getting the most for your money matters, the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe might be the SUV for you. The Korean manufacturers have improved quality over the years but still have to entice buyers with good value and an excellent warranty – the Santa Fe has both.”KBB