For overall value, the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe is only outshined by the best-reviewed 2012 Kia Sorento (Base MSRP: $21,250 to $34,850) which is better-looking and more engaging to drive, according to reviews. The 2012 Santa Fe is also a lame duck, so to speak. An all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be offered in two- and three-row configurations, arrives in Fall 2012.
Both the base 175-horsepower 2.7-liter 4-cylinder and available 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine are paired with a six-speed transmission (and the 2WD 4-cylinder can be had with a stick). Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.
A low base price, strong warranty and good standard equipment list boost the Santa Fe from a value perspective. It's just at a point in its life cycle where other options get more reviewer praise. A former Best Reviewed model, the Santa Fe still warrants a look, especially as the model year winds down; as the new model's arrival becomes imminent, dealers may offer attractive incentives to clear out the current model.
Since the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe has remained largely unchanged for the last few model years, you can visit our full report on the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe for a detailed analysis of reviewer feedback. You can also check out our new-model preview of the upcoming 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe (Base MSRP: $28,090 to $37,045).
EPA Fuel Economy Estimates
4-cyl 2WD manual: 20 mpg city / 28 highway / 23 combined
4-cyl 2WD auto: 19 mpg city / 26 highway / 21 combined
4-cyl AWD auto: 20 mpg city / 25 highway / 22 combined
V6 2WD auto: 20 mpg city / 26 highway / 23 combined
V6 AWD auto: 20 mpg city / 26 highway / 22 combined
All estimates assume the use of regular-grade gasoline. As you can see, regardless of what powertrain combination you select, you can expect to get 21 to 23 mpg overall while driving the 2012 Santa Fe.
NHTSA Safety Ratings:
Front Impact: 4 stars
Side Impact: 2 stars
Rollover Resistance: 4 stars
Overall: 3 stars
IIHS Safety Ratings:
Front Offset Impact: Good
Side Impact: Good
Roof Strength: Good
Top Safety Pick 2012
Edmunds.com, an excellent source for automotive research and reviews, provides detailed overviews of every new model, including the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. Reviews include on-road driving impressions and useful trim-level information.
Review: 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, Editors of Edmunds.com
The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe received no substantial updates for this model year. Our full report on the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe provides detailed analysis and expert opinions.
Review: 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, July 2010
The 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe returns 21 to 23 mpg in all-around driving, depending on powertrain configuration (a 4-cylinder or V6 engine is offered, as is front- or all-wheel drive), based on EPA estimates.
Review: 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency
In government crash tests, the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe gets an overall safety rating of 3 stars, lower than most midsize SUVs. It manages only a 2-star score for side-impact protection.
Review: 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
In contrast to the mediocre NHTSA crash-test scores, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the Hyundai Santa Fe as a Top Safety Pick for 2012. In IIHS's independent tests, the Hyundai receives the highest possible grade of Good for all crash-test scenarios.
Review: Hyundai Santa Fe, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety