The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe is another solid choice in the midsize crossover SUV segment thanks to a choice of two very good engines, a long list of standard equipment, a comfortable and spacious interior, ample cargo capacity, a long warranty and attractive pricing.
While priced similarly to small crossovers from competitors such as Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota, the new Santa Fe offers more space as a midsize and a comparable overall level of features and quality. Those shopping this segment may also want to consider other strong choices such as the Chevy Equinox, the Honda CR-V, the Kia Sorento, the Subaru Outback and the Toyota RAV4.
Most buyers will likely be satisfied with both the power and fuel economy of the 2011 Santa Fe's standard four-cylinder engine. But if it's in the budget, V6 versions can be a wise choice because its extra 101 horsepower comes with a near identical EPA gas mileage rating.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe is a 5-passenger crossover SUV offered in three trims: GLS, SE and Limited.
Standard features on the already decently-equipped base Santa Fe GLS include full power accessories, 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, keyless entry, heated mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, rear seat air vents, privacy glass, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, roof side rails and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
Moving up to the Santa Fe SE adds leather/cloth upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, an 8-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, foglights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a windshield wiper de-icer and roof rack cross rails. The optional Premium package for the SE adds a touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera, a sunroof and an upgraded stereo system.
The top-of-the-line Santa Fe Limited adds full leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof and a 10-speaker Infinity surround-sound system with a 6-disc CD changer. Also available for the Limited are the optional navigation system and rearview camera.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Under the hoof of the Hyundai Santa Fe GLS and Limited models is a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the GLS, while a 6-speed automatic is optional. The Limited comes with the 6-speed automatic only. All models come with standard front-wheel drive but are also available with all-wheel drive.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for Santa Fes with the four-cylinder engine is 20 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway with the automatic, and 19 city and 26 highway with the manual.
Coming standard on the SE and optional on the Limited is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a robust 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired only with the 6-speed automatic transmission and has an EPA gas mileage rating of 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
Standard safety features across all 2011 Santa Fe models include stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), brake assist, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In addition, a rearview camera is an available option.
Government crash tests for the new Santa Fe had not yet been completed at the time of this writing. However, the 2010 model excelled in these tests, earning the highest possible rating of five out of five stars in all frontal and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The 2011 Santa Fe's cabin is generally more attractive than other top competitors and is also solidly constructed with a quality of materials typical of this segment. The seating is comfortable and supportive, both front and rear, and the controls are user-friendly.
The overall interior space is well above average, a big plus for occupant comfort as well as storage versatility. Not surprisingly, therefore, it's cargo capacity, at 78 cubic feet, is a big selling point for the Santa Fe and even bests larger midsize models such as the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. Only large crossovers offer more.
While not engineered to be exciting on the road, the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe holds its own with confident and secure handling. Riding comfort is satisfactory, about on pace with others in the segment, although those opting for the 18-inch wheels will experience a firmer ride quality. The Santa Fe's four-cylinder is powerful enough to satisfy most drivers and is also on par with other segment vehicles with four-cylinders. Those seeking additional thrust will likely be pleased with the brawnier V6 and its equally impressive fuel economy.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Wholesale Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe:
GLS, FWD, 4-Cyl, manual: list price: $21,695, invoice price: $20,861
GLS, FWD, 4-Cyl, auto: list price: $22,995, invoice price: $22,096
GLS, AWD, 4-Cyl, auto: list price: $24,695, invoice price: $23,711
SE, FWD, V6, auto: list price: $25,995, invoice price: $24,686
SE, AWD, V6, auto: list price: $27,895, invoice price: $26,472
Limited, FWD, 4-Cyl, auto: list price: $27,045, invoice price: $25,402
Limited, FWD, V6, auto: list price: $28,995, invoice price: $27,216
Limited, AWD, V6, auto: list price: $30,695, invoice price: $28,797