2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

Change year or vehicle
$1,863 — $8,255 USED Shop local deals
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Visibility
  • Handling
  • Ride quality
  • Passenger space
  • Quietness
  • Manageable dimensions

The Bad

  • Unproven reliability
  • Automatic-transmission behavior
  • Occasional sensation of top-heaviness

Notable Features of the 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

  • Choice of two V-6s
  • FWD or AWD
  • Standard side-impact airbags
  • Stylish exterior
  • Bulging fenders

2006 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Hyundai's compact sport utility vehicle received several refinements for the 2005 model year. Styling changes included a fresh grille and taillights, refined bodyside cladding, a redesigned tailgate handle and restyled 16-inch alloy wheels. A new instrument cluster went inside, and the LX model gained a power driver's seat.

Based on the company's front-wheel-drive Sonata sedan's platform, the Santa Fe again is offered in GLS trim. A new Limited trim level has replaced the LX for 2006. The Limited includes leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, automatic temperature control, an in-dash six-CD changer and a trip computer. An electrochromatic auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink universal transceiver has been added to the GLS 3.5 V6 model.

Although the Santa Fe is roughly the same size as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai's SUV is wider. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available. The all-wheel-drive system provides extra traction on slippery surfaces rather than serious offroad capabilities.


Exterior
Design revisions for 2006 include a new all-black monochromatic color scheme, available for the Limited model. Built on a 103.1-inch wheelbase, the Santa Fe is 177.2 inches long overall and 66 inches tall. Bulging front fenders are one of the Santa Fe's distinguishing characteristics. The four-door SUV is equipped with a rear liftgate, and five-spoke alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires. A full-size spare tire is i...
Vehicle Overview
Hyundai's compact sport utility vehicle received several refinements for the 2005 model year. Styling changes included a fresh grille and taillights, refined bodyside cladding, a redesigned tailgate handle and restyled 16-inch alloy wheels. A new instrument cluster went inside, and the LX model gained a power driver's seat.

Based on the company's front-wheel-drive Sonata sedan's platform, the Santa Fe again is offered in GLS trim. A new Limited trim level has replaced the LX for 2006. The Limited includes leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, automatic temperature control, an in-dash six-CD changer and a trip computer. An electrochromatic auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink universal transceiver has been added to the GLS 3.5 V6 model.

Although the Santa Fe is roughly the same size as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai's SUV is wider. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available. The all-wheel-drive system provides extra traction on slippery surfaces rather than serious offroad capabilities.


Exterior
Design revisions for 2006 include a new all-black monochromatic color scheme, available for the Limited model. Built on a 103.1-inch wheelbase, the Santa Fe is 177.2 inches long overall and 66 inches tall. Bulging front fenders are one of the Santa Fe's distinguishing characteristics. The four-door SUV is equipped with a rear liftgate, and five-spoke alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires. A full-size spare tire is included.

Interior
Each Santa Fe holds up to five people, with front bucket seats and a 60/40-split three-place rear bench that folds for additional cargo space. Cargo volume behind the rear seat is 30.5 cubic feet, but capacity grows to 77.7 cubic feet when the backseat is folded down.

Both models have a Monsoon six-speaker cassette/CD audio system, but the Limited adds a six-CD changer. Leather seating surfaces and automatic climate control are also included in the top-of-the-line Limited.


Under the Hood
The Santa Fe can be equipped with one of two V-6 engines. The GLS comes with a 2.7-liter V-6 that produces an estimated 170 horsepower and teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter V-6, which is standard in the Limited and optional in the GLS, generates 200 hp and 219 pounds-feet of torque and drives a five-speed automatic. Both transmissions have Shiftronic manual-shifting capability.

Safety
Side-impact airbags and antilock brakes are standard in all Santa Fe models.

Driving Impressions
Ranking as one of the easiest small SUVs to drive, the Santa Fe handles adeptly and performs admirably. Its bulging fenders, which are uncommon on SUVs, actually make a difference in judging the vehicle's position. This SUV is appropriately spacious, and it runs quietly. You can also expect an appealing ride.

Though it is clearly stronger, the 3.5-liter V-6 doesn't boost performance quite as much as expected, and its automatic transmission may occasionally shift with a jerk. When driving through curves, the 3.5-liter Santa Fe can exhibit a slightly top-heavy sensation.



Latest 2006 Santa Fe Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Extermly safe. Reliable and affordable for AWD.

by Hyundai's are great vehicles from Florida on May 20, 2018

Extermly safe. Reliable and one of the most durable vehicles I've ever owned. The gas milage is great having a small 6 cylinder. (2.7) but still enough power to tow a jet ski, trailer or even a boat. ... Read full review

(4.0)

My car

by Mandy520 from NV on May 17, 2018

I love it. Drives really well, and has been very reliable. We drove from Ohio to Vegas, with no problems:) This car is perfect for drive ins Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
poor
Overall Rear
poor
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
acceptable
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
acceptable
Rear Passenger Head Protection
marginal
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
marginal
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Santa Fe received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker