The original Santa Fe used a 2.7-liter V-6 that was supposedly developed by Porsche — and the joke went that the Germans traded that engineering for the Santa Fe’s styling so they could “Design” the Cayenne.
That story no longer applies. The new Santa Fe has homegrown world-class engines and styling that beats the Porker six ways to Sunday.
The Santa Fe now “plays” in the seven-seater “space”, leaving the Tuscon to fill the compact five-seater role. Of the four Santa Fe trim levels, however, only one — the GLS — is a true seven-seat, three-row player. The rest are five-or-six-seaters. The interesting entry is the 2.0T, which slots the near-ubiquitous four-cylinder turbo into a five-seat sporting variant. Six-speed automatics are standard across the board. Hyundai’s SUV lineup was the weakest link in its American plans, and with this Santa Fe, thirty-three percent of this problem has likely been rectified.