[singlepic id=243 w=320 h=240 float=right]2010 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) – 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe: Hyundai unveiled a refreshed Santa Fe at the press conference unveiling the new 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. Improvements to the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe line up consist mostly of a reworked front end, new wheels and a pair of new engines—a 2.4-L inline 4-cylinder and a 3.5-L V-6.
The sheet metal changes to the front of the Santa Fe include a new front bumper fascia with wider openings for the fog lamps and a new grille. Body molding along the side has been updated as have the taillights and rear fascia.
The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe comes standard with the new Theta II engine, a 2.4-L inline, 4-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams (DOHC) and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT). Hyundai is very proud of this new engine and went so far as to say that “V-6 engines would go the way of the dinosaur” when they introduced it in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata at the L.A. Auto Show in December, 2009. Hyundai claims the new powertrain with 175 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 169 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm delivers faster 0-60 times than the previous V-6 powered Santa Fe while delivering a 15-percent combined mileage increase.
For those who aren’t happy enough with an I-4 that delivers better performance than a V-6, Hyundai also offers the new Lambda II engine, a 3.5-L V-6 with CVVT that puts out more power, delivers better economy, and actually weighs less than its predecessor. The V-6 puts out 276 hp @ 6,300 rpm and delivers 248 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm while also delivering a 15-percent combined increase in economy.
The Theta II engine will come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission in GLS models, or an optional 6-speed automatic. All other trim levels are only available with the 6-speed automatic. The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe is available in either FWD or AWD configuration.
Other improvements in the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe include more refined seating surfaces, improved navigation, and Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls are now standard in all models. An economy indicator is standard on all models equipped with automatic transmissions.
The Hyundai Santa Fe competes with the Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue and Kia Sportage. Pricing has not been announced as of this article.
What’s breaking? The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe is introduced with finessed front and rear fascias and more powerful and efficient engines.
Worth braking for? Hyundai has made a strong commitment to value and quality offering a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile fully transferable bumper to bumper warranty and five years of complimentary road side assistance. In addition Hyundai also offers Hyundai Assurance—which can allow drivers who find themselves unemployed to turn their car back in if they can no longer make the payments. This peace of mind alone makes any Hyundai worth considering. Add in the fact that Hyundai has taken a good thing—the Hyundai Santa Fe—and made it even better, it’s definitely worth stopping to take a look.
–by Vernon Heywood
Photos courtesy of Hyundai