Going & Stopping

The Santa Fe is offered with a choice of two V-6 engines. The base GLS has a 2.7-liter V-6 while the midlevel SE and top-of-the-line Limited — the trim level I tested — feature a larger 3.3-liter V-6. A five-speed manual transmission is standard in the GLS, but a four-speed automatic is optional. The SE and Limited have a five-speed automatic. Front- and all-wheel-drive models are offered.

With the 3.3-liter V-6, the Santa Fe is swift enough to easily handle most drivers' power needs. It's a rather smooth engine, too. Whether it's accelerating hard when merging onto the highway or just making its way through traffic, the five-speed automatic transmission always seems to be in a sensible gear for conditions. Shifts are smooth, even those that occur under full-throttle acceleration. Both automatics include Hyundai's Shiftronic clutchless-manual mode that gives the driver control over gear changes.

The Santa Fe's all-disc brakes have no trouble stopping the SUV, and pedal feel is nice and natural.

    See also:

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    ADJUSTABLE SEATS
    WARNING: o Never adjust the driver’s seat while the vehicle is moving. Any sudden or unexpected movement of the seat could cause you to lose control of the vehicle resulting in an accident. Only ...