The Korean automaker Hyundai has brought a refreshed version of their Santa Fe SUV at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. Aside from the all new exterior design the 2010 Santa Fe also offers a number of interior improvements as well as two new fuel efficient engines. From the outside, the mid size SUV wears new bumpers and body moldings, sporty wheels and a new grill as well as a pair of fog lights to give the Santa Fe a much more stylish, dynamic and taut stance according to the new car builder. On the inside Hyundai is offering an assortment of leather and cloth seating surfaces, an Eco Indicator on automatic equipped models and a touch screen navigation system complete with rearview camera and XM NavTraffic, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/USB auxiliary inputs for MP3 players and audio controls on the steering wheel standard in all models. The 2010 Santa Fe will be powered by either a 2.4 Liter DOHC Theta II four cylinder rated at 175 HP and 169 lb-ft of torque as well as a 3.5 Liter DOHC Lambda II V6 engine making 276 HP and 248 lb-ft of thrust propelling the affordable people mover wherever it’s occupants wish to go.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

To retain its competitive edge in the mid-size crossover segment, the refreshed 2010 Santa Fe has a newly refined exterior design and numerous interior improvements. The refreshed Santa Fe features the choice of two new fuel-efficient powertrains with six-speed transmissions that significantly improve vehicle performance and fuel economy. With proven dependability, versatility and an extensive list of standard features, the 2010 American-made Santa Fe is the smartest choice in the competitive mid-size crossover category.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Interior
- image 341725

New Equipment Highlights FOR 2010


  • 2.4-liter DOHC Theta II inline four-cylinder engine that outperforms outgoing 2.7-liter V6 engine in fuel economy and zero-to-60 miles-per-hour acceleration
  • 3.5-liter DOHC Lambda II V6 engine with improved power and fuel economy
  • Exterior upgrades to:
  •  o Wheels
  •  o Taillights and foglights
  •  o Bumper fascias and bodyside moldings
  •  o Grille
  • Interior refinements to:
  •  o Leather and cloth seating surfaces
  •  o "Eco Indicator" standard on automatic transmission models
  •  o Touch-screen navigation with rearview camera and XM NavTraffic
  •  o Rollover sensors for side curtain airbags
  •  o CleanAir Ionizer standard on Limited trim
  •  o Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls are now standard in all models

Santa Fe also delivers on the safety front, earning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for front impacts.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Drivetrain
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The 2010 Santa Fe comes standard with Hyundai’s second-generation Theta four-cylinder engine. The Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine delivers quicker zero-to-60 miles-per-hour acceleration than its predecessor’s Mu 2.7-liter V6 engine, while also improving fuel economy. The Santa Fe four-cylinder delivers an impressive 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway fuel economy rating with front wheel drive and the new six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. The Theta II is rated at 175 horsepower and 169 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on both camshafts and a Variable Intake System (VIS) for better engine breathing.

Santa Fe’s 2009 model year Lambda 3.3-liter V6 engine has also been replaced by a new Lambda II 3.5-liter V6 engine for more performance and efficiency. The Lambda II 3.5-liter V6 engine pumps out 34 more horsepower and 22 more pound-feet of torque (276 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque).

3.5-liter DOHC Lambda II V6 engine Highlights


  • Increased horsepower and torque
  • Increased fuel economy
  • Weight reduction
  • Conventional Rotor Oil Pump to Variable Flow Vane Oil Pump
  • Water Control Housing : Aluminum Housing to Composite Housing
  • Cylinder Head Cover : Aluminum to Composite
  • Intake Manifold : Two-Step to Three-Step VIS (Variable Intake System)
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
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This newly refined powerplant features aluminum construction, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and weighs less than the 3.3-liter V6 it replaces. To maximize the power spread, the engine utilizes Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on intake and exhaust camshafts and a new three-step Variable Intake System (VIS) that helps cylinders breathe efficiently at low and high RPM. The better breathing results in outstanding off-the-line acceleration and passing performance, and remarkable fuel efficiency. New mileage figures for V6-powered Santa Fes are 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway (FWD/AT), which bests the Ford Edge and Chevrolet Equinox V6.

All Santa Fes now offer Hyundai’s first six-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission, which features an overdrive lock-up torque converter for improved highway fuel economy. The Santa Fe four cylinder comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, Santa Fe’s available electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system automatically routes power to the wheels with the best traction. A driver-selectable AWD lock provides a fixed 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels, which can improve performance in slippery or off-road conditions.

To help Santa Fe drivers get the most out of their vehicles, for 2010, Hyundai has added a fuel economy indicator. The "Eco Indicator" on automatic transmission models displays a green light to indicate when driving habits are contributing to good fuel economy.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Interior
- image 341726


The Santa Fe also features six standard airbags, including side air curtain airbags. To make the 2010 Santa Fe even safer, Hyundai has added rollover sensors to the side curtain airbags.

All Santa Fe trim levels come standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), one of the industry’s most effective life-saving technologies. NHTSA studies show SUVs equipped with ESC experience 63 percent fewer fatalities in single-vehicle crashes.

Front and rear disc brakes are standard and are coupled with a four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Brake Assist, a technology providing maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected. The system also uses Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which automatically equalizes the braking force to the front and rear axles, based on the vehicle loading conditions.

All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts and adjustable head restraints. Front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant’s head and the head restraint during a rear collision.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
- image 341731


The design team added a more refined touch to Santa Fe’s exterior design, with new bumper fascias, foglights, bodyside moldings, wheels and grille creating a more stylish, dynamic and taut stance. Its wide track remains, providing great handling and interior room. Sleek styling makes the Santa Fe aerodynamic. Standard roof rack side rails help define its clean side profile, while adding SUV functionality. Cross bars are standard on SE and Limited models.


By popular demand, Hyundai’s factory-installed navigation system featuring a high-resolution touch-screen and voice command technology is now available on all Santa Fe models. This new touch screen navigation system also offers a rearview camera and XM NavTraffic. In addition, Bluetooth, iPod®/USB auxiliary inputs and steering wheel audio controls are now standard in all models.

The 2010 Santa Fe is one of the most package-efficient crossovers on the market. Hyundai accomplished this through a platform that avoids the compromises inherent in typical mid-size car platform sharing. For example, although the Santa Fe is 3.7 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Equinox, its cargo volume exceeds it, with plenty of storage for items of different sizes.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Interior
- image 341720

By incorporating a stiff unibody architecture and a well-engineered triple-sealed door/body interface, Hyundai engineers have significantly reduced cabin noise.

Air conditioning is standard, while available dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front-seat passenger bring a touch of luxury to the Santa Fe Limited.

Demonstrating Hyundai’s attention to detail, blue backlighting for interior gauges, switches and buttons highlight the vehicle’s modern, integrated interior design. Soft-touch, high-quality materials, low-gloss surfaces and zero-tolerance fits are used throughout the interior, as are color-keyed seat belt buckles and cupholder inserts to add more design harmony to the inside cabin. New darker interior colors and wood grain have been added.


The Santa Fe rides on a purpose-built unibody crossover platform with a 106.3-inch wheelbase. This chassis delivers a wonderful ride, handling and balance that discerning crossover buyers are looking for, along with interior amenities just right for most families. This stiff body structure provides the basis for both a more refined ride and more agile handling. Thanks to the suspension geometry and wide track width that enables greater turn angles, Santa Fe’s turning circle is 35.4 feet - an advantage Santa Fe drivers will appreciate in their daily driving and parking.

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe High Resolution Exterior
- image 341722

Santa Fe uses MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems. A reverse L-shaped lower arm provides superior steering feel with improved dynamic control. The caster angles are set to improve straight-line stability and overall dynamics. The rear trailing arms are located on the rear cross-member and help to reduce road noise.

What do you think?
Show Comments


  (515) posted on 02.28.2010

@Bobby Cruz, you are actually right. I’ve seen that model before though I must admit the it has a powerful engine. Some changes I suggest.

  (534) posted on 01.31.2010

One thing I enjoyed (when I test drove one) about Hyundai’s Sta Fe is that it’s engine is powerful and still it gets you a long mileage. Compared to Toyota’s Rav 4, I’d probably choose this one as it feels more comfortable and easier to handle.

  (808) posted on 01.20.2010

I never thought that there is a car named after a saint. Hyundai is one of the emerging car brand in the industry, and now, are they setting a new trend? If this happened, I would laugh.

  (780) posted on 01.20.2010

All those mileage numbers are questionable. Especially for the Equinox. It was tested and never returned 32 mpg.
With better mileage S-Fe will present great value, especially when it is sold $2000 under invoice.

  (518) posted on 01.13.2010

Tell me if I’m wrong but I do see it as a Isuzu Crossover on this new Hyundai Santa Fe but I will commend the interior feature of this car where all the techie accessories are all the latest gadgets for a car especially the touchscreen navigator. Well I think it will be good on the market.

  (859) posted on 01.11.2010

Well, if Hyundai ever decided to bring Americans the diesel option, that might actually give me a reason to buy one. But without a diesel and a manual transmission, I’m not the least bit interested. With a diesel and manual transmission, all of a sudden the Santa Fe would be #1 on my list.

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