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2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Photo

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe - Performance Review

 
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7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE
INVOICE
$22,328
BASE
MSRP
$23,225
On Performance
The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe has powertrains that stand out in its class, though otherwise its performance is unremarkable.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The steering is vague off-center
Car and Driver

the transmission can't handle full throttle from a stop; the engine revs to high heaven but the acceleration simply isn't there
MSN Autos

The transmission is generally responsive, but it frequently needs to kick down for maximum power.
Consumer Guide

the six-speed automatic transmission is sometimes caught hunting around for the appropriate ratio
CNET


Hyundai added some new powertrains to the Santa Fe lineup back in 2010--marking improvements to both performance and fuel economy--and those are still looking ahead of the curve even this year.

The 2.4-liter Theta II four-cylinder engine in the Santa Fe has direct injection and makes 175 horsepower. With it, you'll have enough power to move this tall wagon rapidly—albeit with a little economy-minded indecision from the six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter Lambda V-6 engine makes 276 horsepower feels strong and smooth, even if it isn't as sweet as Toyota's V-6 in the Highlander or even GM's in the Chevrolet Equinox. Because of how much better it works with the transmission, we'd probably pick the V-6.

Front-wheel drive is standard, with an optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system that can send power to whichever wheels have the best traction or locked 50/50 between front and rear wheels for light off-road conditions.

In any of its variations, the Santa Fe handles responsively but with a somewhat rubbery, uncommunicative feel; in exchange for that, you get ride quality that's well controlled, without much body motion, and with a relatively quiet cabin.

Conclusion

The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe has powertrains that stand out in its class, though otherwise its performance is unremarkable.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
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