Vehicle Overview

For its third year on the market, Hyundai’s sport utility vehicle gets several enhancements. Standard side-impact airbags are one of those significant changes. A Monsoon sound system with a six-CD changer joins the options list, and a HomeLink remote control unit is built into the sun visor and console.

During the 2002 model year, all-disc brakes and a higher-level stereo were added, and the SUV was upgraded with a revised dashboard and center stack, a reworked overhead console and a new power sunroof. Gas-charged struts also replaced the previous hood prop rod.

The Santa Fe is based on the front-wheel-drive (FWD) Sonata sedan platform. The SUV’s rivals include such car-based SUVs as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. Having an SUV in the lineup is helping South Korea’s largest auto company maintain its recent sales increases. As reported by Automotive News, 56,017 Santa Fes were sold in the United States during 2001.

The Santa Fe comes in three trim levels: GL, GLS and LX. In the spring of 2001, the compact SUV earned a Good crash-test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), beating the Escape and RAV4.

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