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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

4dr GLS 4WD Auto 3.5L V6

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 21 MPG Highway

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  • $23,499 original MSRP
Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Source: New Car Test Drive

Base Price (MSRP) - $17,999
As Tested (MSRP) - $22,589

Introduction

The Santa Fe is an inexpensive, compact sport-utility with a tall seating position and generous cargo capacity. Its curvaceous body looks friendly yet ready for the outdoors. Already an attractive choice in the compact sport-utility field, the Hyundai Santa Fe is made even more appealing for 2004 by a new and more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The Santa Fe drives well on and off paved roads with decent handling and good brakes. The V6 engines, both the new 3.5-liter and the 2.7-liter, deliver good acceleration, particularly in front-wheel-drive models. The four-wheel-drive system available with the 2.7-liter engine works well for light off-road duty. A new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system available with the 3.5-liter engine promises better fuel economy.

Side-impact air bags are standard, and GLS and LX versions come with a 218-watt Monsoon stereo. Best of all, the Santa Fe is backed by Hyundai's long and comprehensive warranty, making it one of the most attractive small SUV's on the market. They say you get what you pay for, but with the Hyundai Santa Fe it seems like you get a little more.

 

Model Lineup

Hyundai Santa Fe is available in three trim levels: base, GLS, and LX. All come standard with four-wheel-disc brakes, gas-charged shock absorbers, air conditioning, power-assisted steering, power door locks and windows, power heated outside mirrors, tilt steering wheel, an AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, an illuminated glove box, carpeted passenger and cargo areas, three power outlets (two front, one rear), rear seat heating and air conditioning ducts, an eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat, and reclining rear seatbacks.

The base Santa Fe ($17,999) is available with front-wheel drive only, and is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a four-speed automatic transmission ($800) is optional. An option package ($495) adds cruise control, remote keyless entry, a rear-window wiper-washer, cargo convenience net, retractable cargo cover and a first aid kit (comprising sunscreen, poison ivy balm, bandages and a thermal blanket). Another package ($990) adds anti-lock brakes (ABS) to the package above.

The Santa Fe GLS ($20,999) comes with a 2.7-liter V6. The only transmission available is a four-speed automatic with Hyundai's Shiftronic manual override. Standard GLS luxuries include all of the option-package items mentioned above plus fog lamps, carpeted floor mats, deluxe cloth upholstery with contrasting inserts, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the 218-watt Monsoon stereo. Front-wheel drive is standard, full-time all-wheel drive is an option ($1500). ABS ($595) and a sliding glass sunroof ($595) are also available.

The new 3.5-liter V6 is available as an option on the GLS ($1000). Standard with the 3.5-liter V6 is a five-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, ABS, and traction control; plus a uniquely tuned suspension that adds an anti-roll bar at the rear.

The Santa Fe LX ($23,999) comes standard with the 3.5-liter V6, five-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, ABS, traction control, automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, a Homelink transmitter and an electrochromic rear-view mirror. The Monsoon stereo also gets an in-dash six-CD changer. Leather upholstery, chrome door handles, and brushed-stainless scuff plates bolster the LX model's up-market image. Four-wheel-drive is optional ($1500). Also optional: the power sliding glass sunroof ($595).

 

Walkaround

The Hyundai Santa Fe's proportions are nicely balanced. The friendly front end blends smoothly into gentle flanks. The design suggests sufficient robustness for off-road capability. Large wheel arches reinforce this impression of strength. The glasshouse is adequately sized.

Santa Fe was designed to have a softer, more subdued visage than the demi-brute, jut-jawed facade prevalent on today's quasi-off-roaders (like the Ford Escape). The Santa Fe still looks forceful and its curvy lines are holding up well as it enters its fifth season.

The Santa Fe's rear liftgate works well. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have tail doors hinged on the right, which works well in Japan but in the U.S. the open door gets in the way when unloading curbside. By hinging the hatch at the top, Hyundai provides a universal solution. Opening the rear hatch is a cinch with its pistol-grip latch handle and gas struts. Closing it is just as easy with a pull-down grip mounted inside. When open, the liftgate easily clears six-foot foreheads.

 

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Interior Features

Getting in and out of the Santa Fe is easy, thanks to its big, comfortable door handles and low step-in height. You don't have to climb up to get in or climb down to get out. Rear-seat passengers don't need to turn their feet sideways to clear the doorjamb.

Once in, the interior is friendly to the touch. All controls are big and thick. The shifter knob is big. The stereo controls are large, offering easy adjustment. The climate controls are big and easy to operate, though they look and feel like plastic. Bright trim dresses up the inside door releases and parking-brake handle.

The shift knob and shift quadrant are brightened by chrome trim in the GLS and LX. Illuminated power window switches and a lighted glove box add convenience at night. The driver's cup holder is conveniently located, making this a good vehicle for that morning cappuccino. The digital clock is located in the middle of the dashboard where it's easy to see. Big outside mirrors provide an excellent view rearward.

The front seats are comfortable, though flat, without much side-bolster support. The driver's seat adjusts eight ways to accommodate different body shapes and preferences, though the adjustments are a bit awkward.

The Santa Fe offers roomy rear-seat accommodations, with lots of headroom and legroom. Rear-seat cup holders are molded into the door-mounted map pockets. The rear seatback reclines, and the reclining mechanism was recently improved. But the windows in the rear doors don't roll all the way down, a shortcoming shared with other small SUVs.

ISOFIX child-seat anchors are provided at both outboard rear seating positions. Head restraints and three-point seatbelts are provided for outboard passengers, while the center-rear passenger must make do with a lap belt only. The outboard shoulder-belt anchor loops are fixed, not adjustable (though we sometimes wonder whether anyone actually adjusts the adjustable kind). The restraining loops for rear seat-belt buckles don't appear to be very durable (but that isn't a safety item). Also, we noticed the latches for the flipping the rear seats forward were made of plastic rather than metal.

To fold the rear seats, flip the rear seat bottom forward, remove the headrests from the seat backs, then fold the seat backs down. This provides as much or more cargo space than any other compact SUV. The cargo floor isn't perfectly flat. But nine tie-down loops are available to keep your gear from shifting around. Sub-floor storage bins provide a place to hide valuables or road gear.

 

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Driving Impressions

The Hyundai Santa Fe handles well good handling, particularly the two-wheel-drive version. The front-drive Santa Fe proved to be more fun and more responsive than the heavier four-wheel-drive models. It doesn't feel top-heavy like some SUVs. The brakes are refreshingly responsive, even before the optional ABS steps in.

The new 3.5-liter V6 comes paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. It offers lots of throttle response once it's going. It's a little lethargic off the line and the throttle response isn't linear, but the owner should be able to calibrate his or her foot to it. The 3.5-liter engine develops 200 horsepower and 219 pounds-feet of torque. EPA-rated fuel economy drops to 16/22 city/highway mpg. With its cast-iron block and multi-valve aluminum cylinder heads, this is the same engine Hyundai installs in its flagship XG350 sedan.

The 2.7-liter V6 produces 173 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Those are good numbers when compared to the V6s offered in other compact SUVs. Indeed, only the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, which share an optional 200-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, offer more power in this class. The 2.7-liter V6 Santa Fe can accelerate more quickly than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which offer four-cylinder engines only. EPA estimated fuel economy is 20/26 mpg city/highway for a front-wheel-drive 2.7-liter Santa Fe, and 18/24 for a 2.7 with four-wheel drive.

With its standard rated 138 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and optional automatic transmission, the base model accelerates with far less vigor. Getaway from a stoplight is about as quick as a Toyota RAV4, but lags behind the CR-V, and the four-cylinder versions of the Tribute and Escape. Slamming down the throttle at highway speed brings on a smooth and prompt downshift, but acceleration that's less than fulfilling. We don't doubt the rated towing capacity, but we suspect that a 1700-pound load would be taxing.

Santa Fe models equipped with all-wheel-drive use one of two different systems, depending on whether the 2.7-liter or 3.5-liter engine supplies the power.

We found the mechanical full-time four-wheel-drive system that's available with the 2.7-liter V6 capable for light off-road driving in Southern California. The system appears to do a good job of sending the torque where it's needed, even without the optional traction control. We jacked up the back tires, then stood on the accelerator, and our Santa Fe raced eagerly ahead. This system is compact and clever and was developed by Austrian four-wheel-drive specialists Steyr-Daimler-Puch. The system combines proven engineering in innovative ways. A planetary differential inside the front transaxle splits the drive torque equally between the front wheels, and 60/40 between the front and rear axles. A viscous coupling between the front and rear axles overrides the differential if the wheels at either end begin to slip. This is a simple, purely mechanical system that's been around for decades, and it works very well with no attention whatever from the driver. All four wheels are driven all the time, with the coupling limiting the difference in speed between the front and rear axles. So if a front wheel starts to spin, torque is immediately re-directed to the rear, and vice versa.

Santa Fe 3.5-liter models come with a new and more sophisticated electronic system that Hyundai calls InterActive Torque Management (ITM). This system still requires no driver input. It drives only the front wheels most of the time, but monitors their traction with a computer, and distributes torque to the rear wheels only when necessary. The main advantage of ITM is optimized fuel economy with all-wheel-drive traction. A 3.5-liter Santa Fe with all-wheel drive gets an EPA rating of 17/21, just 1 mpg below that of the front-wheel-drive version. The electronic ITM system available with the 3.5-liter V6 was developed by U.S. gearbox veteran Borg-Warner. It relies on a series of wet clutches mounted just ahead of the rear axle. A computer monitors wheel speed, throttle position and steering angle, and engages the clutches only when necessary.

 

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Summary

The Hyundai Santa Fe is fun to drive, particularly the V6 front-wheel-drive models. The optional all-mechanical four-wheel-drive system improves traction in slippery conditions, but places a burden on the 2.7-liter V6 engine. The all-wheel-drive system available with the 3.5-liter engine should work better. The standard four-cylinder engine works best with the standard manual transmission.

All Hyundais come with one of the best warranty/service plans in the business: 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain, five-years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, five-years/60,000 miles on corrosion, and 24-hour roadside assistance for five-years with unlimited mileage.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is worth a test drive if you are already considering the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, Honda CR-V, Suzuki Grand Vitara or Toyota RAV4. Take a look. You might like what you see.


Model Line Overview

Base Price (MSRP) $17,999
As Tested (MSRP) $22,589

Model lineup: Hyundai Santa Fe 2WD ($17,999); GLS 2WD ($20,599); GLS 4WD ($22,499); GLS 3.5L 2WD ($21,999); GLS 3.5L 4WD ($23,499); LX 3.5L 2WD ($23,999); LX 3.5L 4WD ($25,499)
Engines: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic with Shiftronic
Safety equipment (Standard): dual front airbags with passenger-presence detection, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners
Safety equipment (Optional): ABS, traction control
Basic warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in: Ulsan, South Korea

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 3.5L 2WD ($21,999)
Standard equipment: air conditioning; six-speaker AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo; power door locks, windows and outside mirrors; overhead console; first aid kit; tilt-adjustable steering wheel; front passenger seat under-storage tray; 60/40 split reclining and folding rear seat with folding center armrest; four under-floor cargo area storage areas; leather-wrapped steering wheel; power steering; tachometer; five-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission; in-glass radio antenna; fog lamps; ABS with traction control
Options as tested: none
Destination charge: 590
Gas Guzzler Tax: N/A
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine (Optional): 138-hp 2.4-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4; 173-hp 2.7-liter dohc 24-valve V6; 200-hp 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 200 @ 5500
Torque(lb.-ft. @ rpm): 219 @ 3500
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 16/22 mpg
Transmission (Optional): 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic with Shiftronic override; 5-speed automatic with Shiftronic override
Wheelbase: 103.1 in.
Length/width/height: 177.2/ 72.7/66.0 in.
Track, f/r: 60.7/60.7 in.
Turning circle: 37.1 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.6/54.3/41.6 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r: 39.2/53.9/36.8 in.
Cargo volume: 77.7 cu. ft.
Payload N/A
Suspension F: independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R: independent, multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground Clearance: 7.4 in.
Curb weight: 3737 Lbs.
Towing capacity: 2800 (with trailer brake) Lbs.
Tires: 225/70R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 19 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of 15/Aug/2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-826-CARS - www.hyundaiusa.com


Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive

Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility up to 5 model years old w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Utility Crossover

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