Hyundai Santa Fe (2005)

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-size crossover SUV based on the Hyundai Sonata platform. It was introduced for the 2001 model year. Hyundai's success for releasing its first-ever SUV wanted to pursue the company to release the first economy mid-size crossover SUV in North America, and Toyota was in hot pursuit by releasing the Highlander, while GM released the Pontiac Aztek. It was a major milestone in the company's restructuring program of the late 1990s. The Santa Fe, despite being criticized by journalists for its obscure looks, was a hit with the American buyers. Hyundai dealers were having a hard time keeping them in stock, let alone keeping up with demand. The Santa Fe quickly became Hyundai's best seller and was a major factor in keeping the company afloat in the United States. However, in other countries such as Australia, where SUVs have gained enormous popularity in the past 10 years, the Santa Fe has proved unsuccessful. There, it is outsold by the class-leading Toyota RAV4 by a factor of nearly 7 to 1, and is one of Hyundai's least successful models.

In the United States, the Santa Fe was offered in base GL trim, mid-line GLS, and luxurious LX.

The Santa Fe received its mid-life face-lift for 2005. Among the changes were the grille, taillights, rear bumper, interior instrument cluster, as well as the juggling of options and the like. In Australia, all models received body-coloured (painted) bumpers from 2005 on. The color 'Sandstone' was dropped in favor of a slightly different color named 'Mocha Frost'. The GL trim was dropped as was the four-cylinder engine and its respective 5-speed manual transmission. The 2.7 L V6 took over duties as the base engine. A passenger airbag cutoff that prevents the airbag from deploying if the seat is unoccupied (or occupied by a small person) was also added. A 3-point seatbelt was added to the center rear seating position, as well. The calendar function, housed in the overhead console, often considered infuriating and unnecessary, was removed and a compass took its place.

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