2006 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Pros & Cons

  • Reasonable price, strong warranty, roomy interior, long list of standard features, solid construction, good crash test scores.
  • The 3.5-liter V6 is thirsty at the pump, soft suspension limits handling ability, no side curtain airbags.
List Price Range
$2,200 - $4,999

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a consumer-friendly blend of space, comfort, features, performance and value that make it a compact SUV worth considering.

Vehicle overview

Introduced for the 2001 model year, the Hyundai Santa Fe cuts to the heart of what most American SUV buyers really want -- the ride and handling characteristics of a car melded with the styling and tall seating position of a truck. At the same time, it's big on value. While priced to match compact competitors like the Tribute and RAV4, the Santa Fe is based on Hyundai's previous-generation Sonata sedan platform, which means that it's technically a midsize SUV and accordingly offers more room for passengers and cargo.

Like other Hyundai vehicles, this one is packed with desirable standard features and comes with a strong standard warranty. And the Santa Fe's crash test scores have generally been very good. The Sante Fe is now in the sixth year of its model cycle, but Hyundai has made continual improvements over the years to keep it competitive among budget SUVs. Most significant among these was the arrival of a 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission, a combination that vastly improved its acceleration. When equipped with all-wheel drive, this Hyundai SUV can handle well-groomed dirt roads, but it's not a serious off-roader like the Xterra or Sorento. However, we would certainly recommend the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe to the general consumer looking for a good deal on a family vehicle that doesn't have any serious faults.

2006 Hyundai Santa Fe models

The four-door Hyundai Santa Fe is sold in GLS and Limited trims. Standard equipment on the GLS includes side airbags; air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; a CD player; 16-inch alloy wheels; a full-size spare tire; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; and foglights. Options on the GLS include a power sunroof and a Monsoon sound system with an in-dash CD changer. The Monsoon stereo comes standard on the high-line Limited, along with automatic climate control, a power driver seat, leather upholstery, heated seats and a trip computer.

2006 Highlights

A new Limited trim level has been added, featuring leather seating, automatic climate control and a trip computer. The GLS gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Limited models can be equipped with an all-black monochromatic color scheme.

Performance & mpg

The GLS model comes standard with a 2.7-liter V6 rated at 170 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque; it's paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional on the GLS and standard on the Limited is a 3.5-liter V6 good for 200 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with a five-speed automatic. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are available on this Hyundai SUV. Although the smaller V6 is rated for up to 26 mpg on the highway, the 3.5-liter turns in poor fuel numbers for a small SUV application -- just 16-17 mpg in the city and 21-22 on the highway.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control and side airbags (for front occupants) are standard on all models. In government crash tests, the Hyundai Santa Fe received four out of five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for the front passenger. Side-impact testing resulted in a five-star rating for front- and rear-passenger protection. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Santa Fe received a "Good" rating (the highest possible); in IIHS side-impact testing, it earned an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest).

Driving

The 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe has just what most family-oriented buyers want: adequate power and a smooth, quiet ride. Its handling capabilities provoke little excitement but unless you're a driving enthusiast, you probably won't mind the soft setup. If you opt for an AWD Sante Fe, you'll have a bargain-priced, all-weather family vehicle.

Interior

Inside, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers reasonable accommodations for five and a 29.4-cubic-foot cargo bay; fold down the 60/40-split rear seats, and you get a generous 78 cubes. The cabin boasts a sharp two-tone color scheme and feels high in quality, as Hyundai has fitted it with low-gloss plastics and solid switchgear. The seats are comfortable, but legroom can be a bit tight for adults in back, and unlike the Equinox and CR-V, the Santa Fe doesn't offer fore/aft adjustment for its rear bench.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

My second Hyundai
Patsy,06/14/2006
I traded my 2000 Elantra in for the Santa Fe. I wanted a safer vehicle and I know the Santa Fe has a 4 star crash test rating. It handles well in traffic and seems to get good gas mileage. I have only used one tank of gas in two weeks, but my commute is only 14 miles per day. If you are tall you may have to duck to get in but it seems like there is a lot of room once you are inside. It is a very quiet and comfortable ride. It seems like there are no big blind spots when driving. The a/c cools the vehicle down in a hurry too. I also like the cup holders and little holder I can put my cell phone in. Much more luxurious than my Elantra was.
Great Reliable SUV
nyl777,07/30/2011
Driven 100000 plus miles on it already and planning to drive another 100000 on it for another 5 years. It drives good in Michigan road in winter on a virgin snow of up to 4 inches.
Best of the best
Ralph,05/01/2009
We switched from Ford in 2002 and bought our first Santa Fe. Since then we have owned three and have loved every one. Only expenses have been regular maintenance and tires. Warranty has never been a problem with our dealer and all work has been done in a timely manner. I have also owned an Accent and now have an Elantra and would recommend any of them. Fuel economy on the Santa fe is 24 to 27 on the road at freeway speeds. We have 67000 miles on it and never had any problems.
One of the best in it's class
bahappy12,08/19/2006
The Hyundai Santa Fe is second best in its class according to consumer reports magazine. It is rated second, right behind Honda CR-V. It is a little more roomy than the CR-V and better warranty overall. CR-V was also a little more expensive. Years ago, Hyundai was not rated very good, but they have made drastic improvements over the past few years.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Acceptable
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

The Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in the following submodels: Santa Fe SUV. Available styles include GLS 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), GLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.7L 6cyl 4A), Limited 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A), GLS 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A), GLS 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS is priced between $2,200 and$4,999 with odometer readings between 120174 and120174 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2006 Santa Fes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,200 and mileage as low as 120174 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Find a used Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,212.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $13,113.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,932.

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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