The Santa Fe was rejuvenated in 2010 with a new focus on fuel economy. To that end, the base model features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that provides improvements in both fuel economy and acceleration versus the old base 2.7-liter V-6. The Santa Fe's top-of-the-line engine also changed at that time -- the 3.3-liter V-6 was replaced by a more powerful, less thirsty 3.5-liter V-6. For 2012, the manual-transmission GLS model has been dropped (very few were actually sold, and it didn't exactly transform the Santa Fe into a sports car anyway), so the base price has gone up by about $1500 this year. All models now utilize a six-speed automatic gearbox. Recent updates aside, the Santa Fe is priced more attractively than most of its competition, and stability control, six air bags, heated power mirrors, cruise control, a CD/MP3 six-speaker stereo, and Bluetooth phone connectivity with steering-wheel controls are all standard equipment. The midlevel SE model comes only with the V-6, but the bookends of the Santa Fe lineup, the GLS and the Limited, are both available with four-cylinder or V-6 power. All-wheel drive is available on any trim level with any engine, with the exception of the four-cylinder Limited, which is sold only with front-wheel drive. A sunroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a backup camera, and navigation with XM NavTraffic also are available. Driving the Santa Fe is no dynamic revelation, but the vehicle is very competitive in its class.
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