Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


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HYUNDAI Santa Fe  US 2018 2022
2018 2022

Hyundai Motor America’s new Santa Fe model was introduced at the 2018 New York International Motor Show.
The Santa Fe SUV is the fourth generation and comes with a new interior and equipped with cutting edge technology. The Santa Fe offers three engines: a 2.4-liter GDI engine with 185 hp (136 Kw) or a more powerful engine with a 2.0 liter turbocharger with 235 hp (173 Kw, estimated). And the 2.2-liter CRDi diesel engine is Santa Fe’s biggest surprise, with 190 hp (140 Kw) at 3800 rpm and a torque of 322 lb-ft at 1.750-2.500 rpm (estimated). All engines are combined with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2020 2022
2020 2022

After just three years on the market for the fourth generation of the Santa Fe, Hyundai revealed the facelifted version in 2020.
It brought new features and new technologies for their mid-size SUV.

The Korean car-manufacturer brought the facelifted model just in time for the 20th anniversary. The achievements got to the car in the past two decades transformed and evolved the Santa Fe from a compact to a mid-size vehicle.

From the outside, the exterior design combined rugged features with sophisticated lines. On the front fascia, the distinctive wide grille with a 3D pattern made the car looks robust. The T-shaped LED daytime running lights created a light signature for the vehicle. On the lower side of the bumper, the manufacturer installed a shield under the lower air-intake. The wheel-arches featured plastic molds in body color. The rear bumper was redesigned. A set of 20” light-alloy wheels was available as an option.

Inside, the Santa Fe offered a roomier interior for its passengers. The lower dashboard showed an airy feeling for the passengers, while the driver could enjoy the optional 12.3” digital cluster. A 10.25” touch-screen for the infotainment unit decorated the center stack. Due to the new D-platform, the Santa Fe offered more room for the rear passengers.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2018 2020
2018 2020

With great success with the past Santa Fe models, Hyundai revealed the forth generation in 2018.
The new model brought a more modern design given by the sharper lines.

The 3-row SUV was a good match for larger families with a great mix of features and comfort for an affordable price.

The Santa Fe could accommodate up to 7 passengers and was available in three trim levels: the SE, SE Ultimate and the Limited Ultimate.

The base model offered LED running lights, heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloys, a rear-view camera, a 7-inch infotainment display and automatic climate control. AppleCar play and Android Auto were also included.

Easy to differentiate from the SE, the SE ultimate added 19-inch wheels, LED foglight, a sunroof, leather seating, heated seats and steering wheel, as well as ventilated from seats. The display was enlarged to 8-inch and the upgraded audio system included 12 speakers.

The top of the range, the Limited Ultimate was an SE Ultimate with a chairs instead of the 2nd row bench.

Available for the SE Ultimate and the Limited Ultimate was a Tech Package that included more safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, a lane departure warning and xenon headlights with automatic high beams.

The interior provided great comfort and adjustability, with plenty of legroom and headroom. The 3rd row was suitable for kids.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2016 2018
2016 2018

While not part of the category’s leaders, mostly because of the lack of name recognition, the Santa Fe offered nearly as much as the premium brands offered, for a lower price.
Besides offering seating for 7 with the 3rd extra row, the Santa Fe was well equipped even in its standard version with alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a rear-view camera and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Compared to the alternatives on the market, the 3rd row was a little cramped and the cargo capacity was reduced, but other than that, the Santa Fe was a great fit for larger families.

For 2017, the Hyundai Santa Fe was available in four trim levels: Se, Limited, SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate.

All versions were equipped with the latest technologies available for enhanced comfort, practicality and convenience, such as dark-tinted rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails, power driver seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Hyundai’s Blue Link system, Android Auto, keyless go, blind-sport warning with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, leather upholstery and others depending on the trim level.

With the range-topping SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate, the Santa Fe featured 19-inch alloys, a 360 degree multi view camera system, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system and a bigger 8-inch touchscreen display, as well as a premium sound system.

All powertrains offered came with the new Drive Mode selection including the Sport, Eco and Normal settings. Available with a front- or an all-wheel-drive system, the new model came with a choice of 3 engines, depending on the seating configuration.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe Sport
HYUNDAI Santa Fe Sport  2016 2018
2016 2018

The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe got through a restyle in 2016 which modified its bumpers, headlights, grille, and rims, making the car look more crisp and modern.
All Hyundai Santa Fe powertrains now offer new Drive Mode selection with Sport, Eco and Normal settings. The 2017 Santa Fe line-up continues to offer front- or all-wheel drive and seating options for five, six or seven passengers. For the 2017 Santa Fe Sport model alone, nearly 350 individual parts have been updated, representing about 25 percent of total Santa Fe Sport parts content. In the US, the model you see here is called the Santa Fe Sport.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2012 2016
2012 2016

The third generation of the Santa Fe moved on from a dull appearance into a bolder look with a big grille on the front.
But it kept its original values for affordability and comfort.

It had seats for up to seven passengers and features that could be found in more expensive SUVs on the market. The Santa Fe was a reliable car according to JD Power surveys and in proper color choice, it looked more like a premium vehicle.

The aggressive look on the front might not be the right choice for a family SUV, but that was the trend when it was launched in 2012. The big grille featured three chromed horizontal lines swept backward on the sides, to nicely blend into the front fascia. On the bumper, the big fog-lights were placed unusually high for such features, and the ascending beltline gave the impression of agility.

Inside, depending on the trim level, Hyundai decided to install a new infotainment unit with reverse camera, navigation, and a decent sound system with USB ports, AUX-in and Bluetooth connection. The connectivity with the mobile phone was offered from the base trim level.

The Santa Fe was offered with a variety of diesel and gasoline engines, depending on the market. While the main choice in Europe was the 2.2-liter diesel unit, on other markets there was a wider choice for gasoline engines. In its top-spec version, it was equipped with a strong, 3,3-liter V6 that offered 290 hp. Depending on the version, the 2012 Santa Fe was available with a 2 or 4-wheel-drive system. But all of them featured all-wheel independent suspension.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2009 2012
2009 2012

The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe is expected to make its auto show debut at the 2009 IAA in Frankfurt.
This facelift brings a fresher look to the South Korean middle-size SUV, boasting a new front grille, redesigned front bumper and uprated head and rear taillights. Due to the precarious economic climate in 2009, the South Korean automaker brings a series of more fuel efficient engines to the range and a series of up-to-date interior comfort features especially in the sense of wireless connectivity. The SUV brings a new instrument panel and a rear view camera as an option for easier parking maneuvers.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2006 2009
2006 2009

Hyundai introduced the second generation of the Santa Fe SUV in 2005 for the Korean market but unveiled it for the rest of the world after the 2006 North American International Auto Show.
Hyundai was an already known player in the SUV market thanks to the Tucson and Santa Fe’s first-generation. These were built for those who didn’t like the MPVs but needed more room than a regular station wagon could offer.

With the 2006 model, Hyundai fixed the design issue and came with completely different styling. It followed the bio-design trend, even though it was already dead for most of the world. But its swept-back headlights, its curved surfaces, and ascending beltline conquered plenty of customers. It looked friendly rather than rugged.

Inside, Hyundai offered an option for seven seats, and that added more value to the car. Most buyers didn’t need that, but they still bought it “just in case.” The interior offered a car-like design, with soft lines, a center stack with tall vents on its sides, and a center console tall enough to separate the front passengers. The Santa Fe offered enough room for three adults in the middle row thanks to its almost flat floor. Two adults might have been squeezed in the last row, but for short (very short!) distances.

Under the hood, Hyundai installed a choice of three engines, depending on the market. While the American market received the 3.3-liter V-6 engine, Europe had to rely on the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel, which was noisy and slow but fuel-efficient. The 2.7-liter, on the other hand, was on any market. Most importantly, the Korean carmaker offered the Santa Fe with a front- or permanent all-wheel-drive.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2004 2006
2004 2006

Hyundai took a bold decision and introduced the first generation of the Santa Fe SUV in 2001 as part of its plan to expand on all car segments.
While the customers were looking for experienced 4x4 builders such as Nissan, Toyota, Jeep, or Ford, the newcomers such as BMW, Honda, and Volvo were trying hard to make their way onto the market. Hyundai built the Santa Fe, but neither its design team nor the engineering department had enough SUV building experience. In 2004, Hyundai refreshed the Santa Fe’s first generation.

For the 2005 model, Hyundai removed the radio’s antenna from the drier’s rear-side window to the roof. Most trim levels received body-colored bumpers and side moldings. The Korean carmaker introduced the side-steps for the upper trim level as a standard feature.

Inside, Hyundai refreshed the instrument cluster and added new silver rings around the four-dial panels. Its high-mounted seats made led to better legroom for the rear passengers than in the Sonata. Thanks to the split-folding rear bench, the trunk could increase its size from a regular 850 liters (30.2 cu-ft) to an excellent 2,100 liters (74.16 cu-ft). The carmaker installed an opening rear windscreen to the tailgate to ease the loading and unloading of small items.

Under the hood, the 2004 Santa Fe dropped the 3.5-liter gasoline engine and kept only the smaller, 2.7-liter unit. Besides that, it used two fuel-efficient turbo-diesel units.

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HYUNDAI Santa Fe   2000 2004
2000 2004

It was the dawn of a new era for the Korean carmaker: it entered the SUV segment with a bold statement shown in the form of the Santa Fe.
The world was ready to take the next step and trade the MPV for the SUV vehicles, which proved to be more trustworthy in snowy conditions. It was a new trend, and slowly, many carmakers that didn’t have any experience in that domain took the light off-road vehicles path. Hyundai was one of them, and it built the Santa Fe on the same platform as the Sonata.

While its design was not a masterpiece, it was the car that waited for many customers. Its look was a mix between an off-road vehicle and a sedan. Its curved lines seemed out of place on a 4x4 vehicle, and its height was unfitted for a station wagon. Hyundai listened to its customers and made several modifications almost on a yearly basis. Its wrapped-around, black, plastic bumpers received body-color treatment.

Inside, the car was roomier than a Sonata, which wasn’t a small car anyway. It offered plenty of headroom and a big trunk, which could have been extended by folding down the rear bench’s seatback. Even on the base version, the car featured air-conditioning and a CD-stereo. A sunroof became available starting in 2002. The carmaker continued to improve the car until 2005 when it changed the generation.

Technically, the Santa Fe was constantly improved as well. It started with a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter engine for the U.S. market and a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel for the European market. It wasn’t everyone’s vanilla, but at least it had a flavor that could fit more tastes—something like coffee.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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