Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Redesigned Santa Fe Gets Third Row of Seats

SEOUL — The redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be built in Alabama in the first quarter of 2006, adds a third row of seats. At 184 inches long, the new Santa Fe is about 7 inches longer than the current model and nearly 2 inches wider and higher. The Santa Fe has seven seats, compared with five for the current model. The third row of seats folds flat into the floor. Hyundai says the chassis was revised to make the ride more sedan-like, especially for rear passengers. In North America, the new Santa Fe will have a 3.3-liter V-6 gasoline engine. In Europe it will be available with a new 2.2-liter diesel engine or a 2.7-liter V-6 gasoline engine. The Korean automaker is targeting sales of 60,000 units a year in Korea, and exports of 150,000 units a year from Korea to markets outside of North America. Company officials wouldn't release a sales target for North America, which will be supplied by the plant in Montgomery, Ala. The plant also assembles the Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai expects the new Santa Fe to compete with the Ford Escape and Jeep Liberty. Prices for the new model were not released. The current model starts at $22,395, including freight. — Reported by Norman Thorpe, AutoWeek Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

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