in 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $14,555 - $20,033
Original MSRP: $21,845 - $30,845
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Many reviewers note that the 2011 Santa Fe's interior has a high-quality look and feel, especially for its price. Bluetooth and a USB port are newly standard for 2011, making the base Santa Fe a good value in the class when it comes to interior tech.

  • "Interior design is among the best yet from Hyundai." -- Motor Week
  • "Belies price with a smart and upscale cabin. A few more soft-touch surfaces would be nice, but the faux metal and wood trim is convincing, and no plastics look cheap." -- Consumer Guide


Reviewers are generally happy with the Santa Fe's seats, though a few had trouble finding a comfortable driving position. Leather seating surfaces are standard on SE and Limited models, while heated front seats are optional on the SE and standard on the Limited. Buyers looking for a third row should note that the Santa Fe stopped offering one in 2010.

  • "Pushing the front seats well back means adults behind front-seat passengers sit knees-up, but they're not cramped, and there's good underseat foot space. Headroom suits six-footers. Three grownups can fit, but only short trips are recommended." -- Consumer Guide
  • "One of our few complaints about the Santa Fe's interior involves the driving position: The seats are mounted too high up front, and short seat-bottom cushions provide minimal thigh support for taller adults." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Reviewers like that you don't have to upgrade to the highest trim level to get a high-quality feel inside the Santa Fe. It comes standard with luxury touches like wood-grain trim and blue ambient lighting.

The GLS base model is well-equipped. It gets a standard six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary input jack and a USB port. Steering wheel audio controls and a Bluetooth hands free phone system are also standard. Trade up to the SE and you’ll get a combination of leather and cloth upholstery plus a leather steering wheel and shift knob. The top-of-the-line Limited model adds a six-disc CD changer to the stereo, dual-zone climate control and an integrated HomeLink garage door opener.

The Santa Fe doesn’t offer many high-tech options. The only major one is a navigation system, which is available as part of several packages. A rear DVD entertainment system isn’t available.

  • "Audio and climate controls are large, simple, handy, and share blue night lighting with the easy-to-read gauges." - Consumer Guide
  • "A green ‘Eco Indicator’ light has sprouted on the instrument panel, alerting drivers when they're achieving ‘good fuel economy.’ A touch-screen, voice-activated navigation system is now available on all trim levels and comes bundled with a rearview camera and the XM NavTraffic service." -- Car and Driver


Many reviewers are impressed with the Santa Fe’s cargo space. It provides 34.2 cubic feet of space with all seats in use and 78.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

A three-row SUV like the Toyota Highlander provides more total space -- 95.4 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded down, but provides less when you brings passengers into the mix. It provides only 10.3 cubic feet behind its third row and 42.3 cubic feet with that row folded down.

  • "The liftgate lacks opening glass. Cabin storage is good but not exceptional by absolute standards." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Although the Santa Fe is one of the smallest midsize SUVs in exterior dimensions it is far from being the smallest inside, a tribute to its space efficient design." -- New Car Test Drive

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