A pair of six-speed transmissions help both engines achieve better fuel economy. On the four-cylinder, a six-speed manual is standard while Hyundai's new Shiftronic six-speed automatic is optional. The automatic is the only transmission option for the V-6 engine. While FWD is standard, an AWD system is optional and can be locked to maintain a 50/50 front/rear torque-split in sticky situations.
Above the hood, Hyundai has performed some minor cosmetic surgery to usher the Santa Fe into the new decade. Front and center, a new grille adds a third bar and becomes body-colored with a chrome border to better match Hyundai's latest designs. Below it, a revised front fascia slightly modifies the lower air intake and creates new asymmetric cutouts for the fog lights. Hyundai has also given the sides of the car a minor tweak, and the rear appears to have gotten a minor fascia update and new taillights. New wheels finish the package.
Inside, the only obvious changes are on the center console, where the storage cubby has been moved from in front of the shifter to the side of it. There's more than meets the eye, though. Bluetooth connectivity and iPod and USB connections are now standard on all models, as are steering wheel controls, heated mirrors, and driver lumbar support. By popular demand, touchscreen navigation with XM NavTraffic and an optional back-up camera is now optional on all models, as is automatic climate control.
Though Hyundai hasn't announced any pricing changes for the updated 2010 models, the company says they're already available at Hyundai dealers.