2008 Hyundai Santa Fe

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What Changed for 2008:
  • 605-watt Infinity stereo standard on Limited

  • Power glass sunroof standard on Limited

  • LG navigation system optional on Limited

  • SE model gets upgraded seat cloth
Hyundai successfully entered the crossover utility vehicle (CUV) business with the Santa Fe, which was originally introduced in 2001. The Santa Fe won several auto industry awards and thousands of new customers who might not have otherwise considered a Hyundai. Hyundai kept a close eye on the CUV segment and introduced an all-new Santa Fe for 2007; changes to the top-of-the-line Limited model for 2008 are designed to broaden the Santa Fe's appeal even further.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe is available in GLS, SE and Limited models. GLS models include a V-6 engine; AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 stereo; power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; and air conditioning. A Popular Equipment package adds steering wheel audio controls; heated mirrors; automatic headlights; driver's seat lumbar support; and a trip computer. The Premium Equipment package includes a sunroof, heated front seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

The SE model includes a bigger engine; automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, wiper de-icer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, automatic headlights, driver seat lumbar support, and a trip computer. A power driver seat, heated front seats, sunroof and HomeLink are offered in the Premium package, while the Touring package includes a fold-flat third-row seat (upping passenger capacity to 7) with its own air conditioning controls. The Trailer Prep package enables the Santa Fe SE to tow up to 3500 pounds and includes a transmission cooler, upgraded radiator and trailer pre-wiring.

Topping out the range is the Santa Fe Limited, with everything on the SE plus leather seats (heated in front), power driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, and Infinity stereo. A Limited Touring package adds a third-row seat with its own air conditioning controls, the Trailer Prep package, and either a rear-seat DVD player or a navigation system.

The 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS is powered by a 2.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 185 hp at 6000 rpm and 183 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. It is available with a 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive (FWD) or a 4-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive (AWD). EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the FWD manual, 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the FWD automatic, and 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway for the AWD automatic.

SE and Limited models get a 3.3-liter V-6 engine with an output of 242 hp at 6000 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway for both FWD and AWD versions. As with other Hyundai models, the powertrain is covered by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty; bumper-to-bumper coverage is for 5 years/60,000 miles.

Front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, 3-row side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes, tire-pressure-monitoring system, and electronic stability control are standard on the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Santa Fe a \"Top Safety Pick\" for 2008, thanks to best-possible \"Good\" marks for front and side impacts and standard electronic stability control. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the Santa Fe scored a perfect 5 stars for both front and side impacts and achieved a 4-star rollover rating.

The 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe's electronically controlled AWD system is typical of many CUVs, sending most of its power to the front wheels and diverting it to the rear as needed. However, the Santa Fe also comes with a driver-selectable center differential lock, which divides power 50/50 between front and rear axles, which the maker says gives the Santa Fe extra traction and a better chance of moving when other vehicles get stuck.

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