Ann Arbor It was small, but it was important: sitting there on the tailgate, down beneath the release handle, was the "Santa Fe" badge. And it was crooked.
In the cheap and cheerful, low-buck, small-SUV segment, these kinds of details usually can be overlooked. But for the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe, they're indicative of a larger problem. The Santa Fe is a perfectly competent SUV/trucklet/crossover, but it's missing those final finishing touches.
That's not to say Hyundai isn't trying. The '07 Santa Fe is a far more polished vehicle than its predecessor--both from an aesthetic standpoint and on the road. Gone are the polarizing lines, replaced by more palatable BMW- (see the X3 in the rear pillar?) and Volkswagen-derived (count the Touareg styling cues) shapes. Wind noise is down, power and ride comfort are up, and the Santa Fe's overall feel is more Real Car than Bargain Basement Special.
Where the Hyundai comes up short is in the details. The Toyota Highlander-aping interior feels more expensive than it is, but it also suffers from fit and overspray issues.... Read full article