The Hyundai Santa Fe is a practical-size vehicle for prowling the suburban savanna. It’s the larger of Hyundai’s two compact SUV’s, large enough for three-row seating, which the smaller Tucson is not.
Technically, both vehicles are crossovers, meaning they are built like cars, using unibody construction, instead of the body-on-frame technique of a traditional truck. That could prove to be a disadvantage in, say, the Paris-to-Dakar rally; or while outmaneuvering an unwanted military incursion. But in most ways it’s better for everyday driving. Compared to a truck-based SUV, a car-based crossover is generally lighter, smoother riding, and more responsive. Crossovers also tend to use less gas than truck-based SUVs. Still, with the right options, the Santa Fe can tow up to 3500 pounds.
The GLS is powered by a 185-hp 2.7-liter V6 engine. it comes standard with a five-speed manual gearbox. A four-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control is optional. The GLS is well equipped with air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 112-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, rocker panel moldings, power side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a roof rack with rails.
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