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TheCarConnection.com hasn't yet driven the recently unveiled 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, which gets revised powertrains and some appearance upgrades for 2010. However, we're presenting you the rest of the story here based on previous drives of the otherwise unchanged Santa Fe, including highlights from other expert reviews as well to provide you with the most information available. We'll be updating this with firsthand driving impressions as soon as possible.
The Santa Fe has been instrumental in representing the sea change in Hyundai quality in recent years and the way in which its reputation has vastly improved. The current-generation Santa Fe was introduced in 2007, growing to a small mid-size crossover vehicle that's more comfortable and refined than the version it replaced. For 2010 it finally gets more powerful, fuel-efficient powertrains that put it on a level playing ground with key rivals from Japan and the United States.
The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't look that much different than the 2009 model. The bumpers are smoothed over very slightly, and there's a new grille and different wheel designs on the outside. Inside the Santa Fe has an upgraded look to some of the materials, a new range of colors, and new features, including steering-wheel audio controls for all models. The interior of the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe makes a nice design statement that both breaks from Euro-worship and doesn't quite fit the mold with other Japanese-brand crossovers; every surface and seam is a little curved, and "flowing" would be the best word to describe the instrument-panel look. But that can't help mask that the Santa Fe is just a little bit on the bland side in nearly every styling respect, inside and out; it's inoffensive, but not at all memorable.