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$6,371 - $8,719 $21,695 - $30,295

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the most affordable midsize SUVs, but lackluster performance prevents it from standing out in a competitive segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Very affordable base price
  • Good-looking interior
  • Best-in-class warranties
  • Above-average fuel economy
  • Below-average resale values and five-year costs of ownership
  • Unremarkable handling and power
  • Long braking distances

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great value within its class. Its $21,695 base MSRP makes it one of the least expensive midsize SUVs. It also comes with Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is one of the most generous on the market (Kia and Mitsubishi match it). The Santa Fe’s 19/26 mpg base fuel economy rating is also one of the best in its class.

With such a great value equation, the Hyundai Santa Fe seems like a no-brainer, right? Not exactly. Its performance is lackluster and its styling is forgettable. On top of that, it no longer offers a third-row seat…and the Santa Fe may end up costing you a lot in the long run. In fact, IntelliChoice gave the 2009 model a “Poor” value rating for its five-year cost of ownership.

For 2010, the Hyundai Santa Fe receives a new 2.4-liter base engine and a slightly tweaked exterior, but the changes aren’t enough to make it stand out. If you simply want an affordable SUV with a lengthy warranty, the Santa Fe is the best option. But if you want more out of an SUV, there are better options.

Other SUVs to Consider

The Mazda CX-7 has a similar starting price but improves on many of the Santa Fe’s downsides. It boasts cooler styling, an especially zippy driving experience, and an “Above Average” value rating from IntelliChoice. It also nets more miles per gallon with a 20/28 mpg base fuel economy rating.

The Santa Fe no longer offers an optional third row. If you’re looking for one, consider the Toyota Highlander. It costs about $4,000 more than the Santa Fe but comes with a kid-friendly third row option, a better 20/27 mpg base fuel economy rating, and an “Excellent” value rating from IntelliChoice. However, its handling is still sub-par and its styling is just as ho-hum as the Hyundai Santa Fe’s.

Details: Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in three trims -- the GLS, SE and Limited. All-wheel drive is available.

  • "Santa Fe offers impressive room, build quality, and standard safety features, all at competitive prices. Hyundai's generous warranty is another value plus. GLS models need more zip, and all Santa Fes could benefit from a better ride and handling balance. Most shoppers, though, should find this crossover a satisfying choice." -- Consumer Guide
  • "...Santa Fe is about as large as key competitors such as the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. The interior is relatively spacious, which allows for an optional pair of flat-folding third-row seats. Like the rest of Hyundai's lineup, it's a good value." -- Car and Driver
  • “An excellent value plus plenty of safety features and amenities make the 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe a very good choice when it comes to midsize crossover SUVs.” -- Edmunds

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