We're standing on the brink of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, and the embargoes are breaking. This time, it's Hyundai's plans for updated engines in its Santa Fe crossover, which gets a new four-cylinder and a larger V-6.
The previous entry-level Santa Fe got its power from a 2.7-liter V-6 engine, but the new 2.4-liter four-cylinder outperforms it in both acceleration and fuel economy. The Theta II four-cylinder rates 20/28 mpg, 15 percent better overall than the 18/24 mpg of the previous 2.7-liter V-6.
A new Lambda II V-6 also joins the offerings, rated at 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. That's a full 34 more horsepower and 22 more pound-feet than the previous Lambda 3.3-liter V-6. The V-6 Santa Fe also rates well on fuel economy, just behind the four-cylinder at 20/26 mpg.
You'll no doubt note that the four-cylinder's numbers fall a bit short of other similarly-sized crossovers like the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain (22/32 mpg), Ford Escape (22/28 mpg) and Toyota RAV4 (22/28 mpg). The V-6 does better against the competition, its 20/26 mpg rating essentially on par with the Toyota RAV4 V-6's 19/27 mpg and slightly better than the Terrain's 3.0-liter V-6, which scores just 17/25 mpg.
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe
Three trim levels are available: GLS, SE and Limited. The GLS comes standard with the four-cylinder, the SE gets the V-6 and a 3,500-pound tow rating, and the Limited can choose between the two.
At the entry point, the GLS offers a fair amount of equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, USB/iPod inputs, power accessories and keyless entry are all standard, as are safety features like ABS and stability control. The GLS and SE are closely related, with the SE taking all the standard features of the GLS and adding the V-6 engine, standard six-speed automatic and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Limited builds on this solid base with chrome door handles, leather seating, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and a standard power sunroof. The optional navigation package adds a 6.5-inch touchscreen system to the mix.
Other updates to the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe are minor, including exterior refinements around the bumpers and taillights, a new grille and different wheels. Inside, the 2010 Santa Fe gets improvements to materials, a new standard "Eco Indicator" on automatic models, touch-screen XM NavTraffic navigation system with rearview camera, and the addition of Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls to all models. A range of new colors are also available.
Though this information is now public, the debut of the updated 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe won't take place until Monday, January 11th at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. We'll be covering the show live with photo updates and news from the floor, and you can follow it all here.