By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS
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This week I finally get behind the wheel of Autos’s long-term Hyundai Santa Fe. This is Hyundai’s second generation Santa Fe, with the first having been introduced in 2000. The 2007 Santa Fe is yet again a vast improvement for Hyundai over the previous model and I have been looking forward to testing it.

Powered by a very smooth V6 engine, the new Santa Fe is rated at 242 horsepower and 226 lb-ft of torque. Not quite as powerful as the RAV4’s V6 but enough power to get the Santa Fe moving along quite nicely. My tester is the GLS model with AWD and equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic.

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS
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The Santa Fe is equipped with an impressive amount of standard equipment and the GLS model is pretty much loaded up to the gills. Safety equipment includes six Airbags with side curtains for all rows of seating, ABS and EBD, Traction Control, Stability Control and Active Front Seat Head Restraints.

As far as luxury features go, the Hyundai delivers as well. Equipped with leather seats including heat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power sunroof, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls, the Santa Fe also has power everything, including 6 way power adjustable drivers seat with power lumbar.

Certainly the Santa Fe is no 911 but at nearly five times less expensive I don’t expect it to be. First impressions are good; the first thing I noticed as a passenger was the quiet and smooth ride quality and smoothness of the engine, especially at idle.

The first thing I noticed as a driver was the long brake pedal. Just having stepped out of the Porsche could be the reason for my disdain but the longer the dead portion of the brake pedal the longer it takes to stop. Hopefully I will not require any panic stops in my week with the Santa Fe, especially since the vehicle is equipped with the standard Michelin all-season tires and not winter treads.

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS (AWD)
MSRP as tested: $34,295

For more information on Hyundai and the Santa Fe visit Hyundai Canada

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