2007 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Hyundai Santa Fe Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe

  • Fully redesigned, the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe is still no athlete, but it's a thoroughly competent midsize crossover SUV with plenty of style inside and out. We consider it one of the top values for the 2007 model year.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Upscale interior with high-quality materials, competitive price, long warranty, many standard safety features, optional third-row seat.

  • Cons

    Overly firm ride on SE and Limited trims, automatic transmission sometimes slow to respond, unimpressive brakes.

  • What's New for 2007

    The Hyundai Santa Fe has been redesigned for the 2007 model year. Compared to last year's model, the new Santa Fe is larger, safer, more powerful and more luxurious.

Full 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

What's New for 2007

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been redesigned for the 2007 model year. Compared to last year's model, the new Santa Fe is larger, safer, more powerful and more luxurious.


For many suburban families, the midsize crossover SUV represents the ideal vehicle. It's less cumbersome than a full-size SUV but still big enough to haul around the kids, the dogs or the latest desirables from Pottery Barn. Weather-beating all-wheel drive is usually available and, as the top bonus for many people, it's not perceived as being geeky like a minivan. Perhaps not coincidentally, then, this midsize sweet spot is exactly where Korean automaker Hyundai has positioned its fully redesigned 2007 Santa Fe.

The original Santa Fe, while certainly competent, never quite matched up to top offerings from Japanese automakers in terms of refinement. Looking toward improvement, Hyundai designed the second-generation Santa Fe on an all-new, purpose-built unibody crossover platform. Its wheelbase is longer than before and overall length is up nearly 7 inches. Hyundai says that this chassis was specifically designed to deliver a better balance of ride and handling. The body structure is also considerably stiffer, and new suspension geometry has actually tightened the Santa Fe's turning circle.

On the outside, the new Santa Fe has a much sleeker look and is about the same length as a Toyota Highlander. Inside, the new body pays dividends in terms of interior space. A third-row seat is now optional and overall headroom, legroom and shoulder room measurements are equal to or better than those of many competing SUVs. Hyundai spent a lot of time on interior design, and the result is a very attractive dash and high-quality materials.

Mechanically, the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe features two- or four-wheel drive and two available V6 engines. The base engine, standard on the Santa Fe GLS, is a 2.7-liter V6 that was available in the previous Santa Fe but now offers the added benefit of variable valve timing. Replacing the previous Santa Fe's cast-iron 3.5-liter V6 is an all-aluminum 3.3-liter V6 that also sees duty in the redesigned Sonata sedan.

Overall, Hyundai has put together a pretty impressive package. Typical core strengths for a new Hyundai -- plenty of features for the money and a strong warranty -- hold true for the Santa Fe, and the old model's gawky styling is thankfully long gone. It should serve suburban families quite well, and we recommend that shoppers interested in this segment consider the Santa Fe one of the top choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe midsize crossover SUV is available in three trim levels. The base Santa Fe GLS starts things out with 16-inch wheels, power windows, power heated outside mirrors, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and an MP3-compatible CD player. The SE trim features a larger engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, a trip computer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The top-of-the-line Santa Fe Limited has the SE's equipment plus leather seating, heated front seats, a power driver seat and dual-zone automatic climate control. All three trim levels are also available with XM satellite radio.

Additional features are available through a variety of option packages. Highlights are a third-row seat with auxiliary rear climate controls, a sunroof and, for the SE and Limited only, a DVD entertainment system and a 115-volt power outlet. An upgraded audio system with a six-disc CD changer is available on the SE, and a premium Infinity surround-sound audio system is available on the Limited. Hyundai says it will also have a navigation system available later in the model year.

Powertrains and Performance

GLS models come with a 2.7-liter V6 that makes 185 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque. The SE and Limited feature a 3.3-liter V6 good for 242 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque. For the smaller engine, Hyundai offers a standard five-speed manual transmission (late availability) or an optional four-speed automatic with sequential shift control. The larger V6 comes standard with a five-speed automatic and sequential shift control. All three Santa Fe trim levels come as either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). For the latter, a driver-selectable AWD lock feature provides a continuous 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels during off-road situations. Properly equipped, the SE and Limited have a 3,500-pound tow capacity.


All of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe's safety features come standard. This includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front active head restraints and a tire-pressure monitor. In IIHS frontal-offset crash tests, the Santa Fe earned the top rating of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Santa Fe can seat up to seven passengers when equipped with the optional third-row seat. Naturally, the third row is really only suitable for children, but overall interior room is very good for this class of vehicle. The third-row seat is split 50/50 and can be folded flat, as can the 60/40-split second-row seat. Total cargo volume is 78.2 cubic feet, and there's plenty of storage space. Additionally, high-quality interior materials and a few unexpected touches, such as blue illumination for the dash and rear air vents mounted in the doors rather than on the back of the center console, create an upscale atmosphere. One of our few complaints about the Santa Fe's interior involves the driving position: The seats are mounted too high up front, and short seat-bottom cushions provide minimal thigh support for taller adults.

Driving Impressions

Hyundai describes the 2007 Santa Fe's handling as "engaging" and we think that's about right. The trade-off is that the ride on models equipped with the 18-inch wheels can be very busy on the highway. (Models with 16-inch wheels offer a better overall ride but aren't eligible for the bigger V6.) Pushed hard, the Santa Fe is easy to control and handling is predictable. Around town the brake pedal feels about right, but can get soft during hard braking. Overall braking distances on a FWD Limited model we tested were longer than expected for this class of SUV. The GLS model's 185-hp 2.7-liter V6 might seem underpowered for some consumers, but it does return decent highway mileage. If you're planning on getting an AWD model and/or frequently hauling passengers or cargo, the 242-hp 3.3-liter V6 is probably a better choice. Although the 3.3 V6 with the five-speed automatic is generally competent, some drivers found that transmission a little slow to respond at times.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Santa fe alright by me

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my 2007 Santa Fe in 2010 when it had 58xxx miles. It now has 166xxx miles. I've never reviewed a car so I'm going to throw it all out there. The car is a stud, I've had it through winters in both Colorado and New York. The AWD is exceptional and even in 2 feet+ of snow the vehicle pulls like a beast, even with the smaller engine. I've been stuck in a snowstorm pulling a 5x10 uhaul trailer and buzzed right passed all the stranded vehicles. I have the 3rd row seating model and it has been perfect for all my kids. I added a Phillips rear entertainment system and it wired in easily. Also replaced the head unit with a Sony Bluetooth/XM model.

Driveshaft broke

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

Driveshafter broke at 134,000, which pulled the ball joint out of the right front wheel, throwing a piece of metal into the serpentine belt, breaking it. The right front tire fell off. Thankfully, I was driving thru a parking lot when all this happened. Earlier I was going down I-70 at 70 mph. There is a recall for 2013 driveshaft breaking but Hyundai doesn't want to admit there is a problem with the driveshaft. It doesn't just break.

Hyundai santa fe 07 disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 4dr SUV AWD w/XM (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Very disappointed with the car. Too many problems way too many. fuel sender unit at 60 K CC converter at 89 fuel pump 120 NEver again

Let me down....

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 4dr SUV AWD w/XM (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

... at the worst possible time... in the worst possible way. I chose this car mainly on Hyundai's good reputation and was convinced it would be durable. These are important things when choosing a used vehicle. 5 months and 6K miles in, the transmission went and cost me 3.5K to fix. Not what I had in mind when I spent $11,5K on it! I've had good ownership experience of VWs, Toyotas and Hondas in the past and while you have to maintain and keep up, none of them let me down, so the Hyundai is on its own. If you're considering it as an alternative to a CRV/RAV4/ Highlander/Pilot/Forester don't, this car cannot pretend to be anywhere near of these. If you really must pay $2K for a dealer warranty

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 year report

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 4dr SUV w/XM (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

Our Santa Fe now has about 85,000 miles on it and so far so good. We have had no major (and very few minor) problems with the vehicle. Still no squeaks or rattles, runs great, no fluid leaks, solid feeling and quiet on the road. We hope to keep the vehicle well into the 100K mile range. We'll see. Seems like Hyundai has done well on this model. I highly recommend it. My only regret is not getting the package that includes the 3rd row rear seat. Will do so next time.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Wave of problems at 4

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 4dr SUV w/XM (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Problems started mounting right after 60,000 mile warranty mark. First problems with rattling in front end and sway bars, then problems with electrical failure. Not satisfied that paying thousands of dollars in repair costs for relatively new car. Reading reviews, have found that many issues start right after warranty ends on Hyundais. Won't be buying Hyundai again.

Talk About The 2007 Santa Fe

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Discussions See all Started By

I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.3L with about 15,500 miles on it. I need help! When I have my foot on the brake and put the car in reverse a strange vibration sound can be heard coming from behind th...

My wife just returned from a long road trip in our 2007 Santa Fe and noticed the hood lifting about a quarter of an inch at highway speeds. In winds and turbulence the hood would shake as though not ...

Since the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe represents a brand new vehicle, with problems unique and different than past Santa Fe's, I feel it deserves its own discussion thread so we don't have to sort through p...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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