Hyundai continues to deliver significantly improved vehicles, the latest being the 2010 Santa Fe mid-sized crossover, which is set to launch at the Detroit Auto Show. Mid-cycle refreshes rarely get the sort of overhaul that the 2010 Santa Fe has received, with minor interior and exterior updates being joined by two new engines, both of which are more fuel efficient than the engines they replace.
For 2010 the entry level 2.7-liter 4-cylinder has been replaced with Hyundai’s new Theta II 2.4-liter, which delivers 175-hp and 169 ft-lbs of torque – the same as in the new 2011 Tucson. This is less power than the old V6, but a new six-speed automatic transmission and the lighter weight of the 4-cylinder should put the crossover’s acceleration at about the same range. Fuel economy is up significantly (aided by the new six-speed transmission) from 18/24 mpg (city/highway) to 20/28 mpg, for front drive automatic models.
Last year’s optional 3.3-liter V6 engine has also been replaced with a new 3.5-liter V6, making an impressive 276-hp, a total of 34-hp more. As for fuel economy, this engine is rated at 20/26 mpg (city/highway) up from the previous engine’s 17/24 mpg rating.
According to Cars.com, base GLS models with the 4-cylinder and in front-wheel drive trim start at $21,695, with a range-topping V6 Limited AWD costing $30,295.
One important note is the Hyundai has reportedly axed the optional third row seat.
NOTE: All information regarding the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe was covered under an embargo set for January 11th. According to Cars.com, they received approval from Hyundai to run the story ahead of the embargo, so AutoGuide has deemed the embargo lifted.
GALLERY: 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe