It doesn't happen very often, but as an automotive journalist every now and then a vehicle comes along that really surprises me. This time the surprise came courtesy of Hyundai and the vehicle just so happens to be the Santa Fe.
Arguably this review might be a little skewed by the fact that my tester happened to be the top-of-the-line Limited AWD model, but the less pricey models aren't that far below. Having come directly from driving an '09 Accent for a week the thing that amazed me most was how a company like Hyundai could produce a vehicle as basic as the Accent and as luxurious as the Santa Fe – and do both models so well.
In 2007 Hyundai redesigned the Santa Fe and distanced it significantly from its sibling the Tucson. For the record the Tucson is based on the Elantra platform whereas the Santa Fe is based on the Sonata platform.
The new look really helps to show off the Santa Fe's larger proportions and give it a real SUV appeal.
More: 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD on AutoGuide.com