Aside from being much bigger than the Tucson, the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe also featured a considerably better towing capacity, with a maximum rating of up to 3,500 pounds, assuming you had all the necessary equipment and extras installed on your SUV.
Some of these vehicles, were only able to obtain a 1,659-pound rating if they were not fully equipped with the necessary equipment, so you have to know what equipment you need equipped on your vehicle, in order for it to be able to haul those heavier loads.
Your Owner's manual is one of the most important documents you have pertaining to your vehicle and contains important details about your vehicle. Make sure that you read through it and follow all of Hyundai's recommendations.
Overall Capacity: The towing capacity of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe ranged between 1,650-3,500 pounds and the key elements that determined how much weight your vehicle could handle were the engine that your SUV was equipped with, whether or not the trailer you were pulling had brakes, and whether or not your car was equipped with the trailer package option when it was purchased.
The Tow Chart:
The data in the chart for the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe was very sparse, due to the fact that there were only two engine choices available, but there was some supplementary information below the chart that contains a little more information.
The chart is fairly self-explanatory in terms of engine choices, maximum trailer weight ratings, and maximum tongue load weight ratings, however there are two separate rows on the left-hand side of the table that are a little confusing. The first is labeled "with brake," while the second is labeled "without brake." These only apply to your trailer, and in order to achieve the higher ratings in the charts, your trailer will need to be fitted with its own brakes.
Comparing The Data:
By Trim Level: For the 08 Santa Fe, there were three distinct trim levels, and I wanted to compare the data, so I looked at the engine options available for each trim level and jotted down the maximum trailer weight rating for each engine and referenced that data to each trim level to get the information listed below.
- GLS: 1,650-2,800 lbs.
- Limited: 1,650-3,500 lbs.
By Engine Options: There were only two engine choices available for these vehicles, which was similar to the engine options that were available for most other early model Santa Fe's, and the choices came down to either a 2.7 L engine or a 3.3 L engine.
The larger 3.3 L engine had a 700-pound weight advantage over the smaller 2.7 L engine, but both motors had the same specifications when it came to the unbraked trailer weight, which was set at 1,650 lbs for both engines.
- 2.7L: 1,650-2,800 lbs.
- 3.3L: 1,650-3,500 lbs.
Other Important Information...
I discovered more information in the owner's manual that discussed trailer brakes and the tongue load weight rating that you should aim for and I wanted to quickly touch on these two subjects briefly.
Hyundai didn't go into much detail about the trailer brakes, other than the fact that they gave us an unbraked trailer weight rating of 1,650 pound (in the chart), and how your trailer brakes need to comply with Federal and local laws, but that's about all of the trailer brake information I found on these vehicles.
In terms of tongue load weight, Hyundai suggests that your tongue load be around 10% of the trailer's full weight, which makes the calculation process quite simple. For example, if your trailer and all of the stuff it was transporting weighed 1,300 pounds, you'd want to aim for a tongue load rating of 130 pounds, which is 10% of the weight of the trailer.
A Few Helpful Links:
The owner's manual for the 2007 Santa Fe and the brochure were the two key sources of information for this article. The brochure was quite helpful in determining the various trim levels of these cars as well as the options that essentially came with each trim level, and the remaining information was filled in with data I gathered from the owner's manual.