Big on space and Performance, the Hyundai Santa Fe is supremely practical and packs some good oomph, but its hefty price tag nudges it a bit too close to premium marques.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is available with just one diesel engine option. This is no bad thing as the 2.2 CRDI on offer packs 195bhp and 436Nm of torque so it has plenty of power when you need it. There is a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed automatic. While there is plenty of poke in the Santa Fe’s engine, turbo lag is a bit of an issue with a noticeable lack of power at the lower end of the revs. You have to be conscious of being in the right gear approaching many everyday road and traffic scenarios like roundabouts or overtaking, but something you will easily begin to manage over time.
Comfort is at the core of the Santa Fe’s design with a soft suspension setup, so it soaks up lumps and bumps well, while motorway cruising is a breeze. It may be no slouch on the open road, but the steering is a little vague and lacks feedback and due to the SUV’s soft setup so body roll is evident in the corners. The Santa Fe is available with two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive with some higher specifications. The four-wheel-drive will obviously improve traction off-road and in snow or icy conditions, but the reality is, the Santa Fe will be very unlikely to experience either with most owners.
The Santa Fe is available in four trim levels. These are Comfort, Executive, Premium and Executive LE. The Comfort specification comes with two-wheel-drive while all other trim levels are four-wheel-drive with the 6-speed automatic only available with the Premium trim. There is an option of 17 or 18 inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler to improve exterior looks. Inside you get a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, a music hard drive storage with MP3 connectivity and voice activation on all trim levels while satellite navigation only comes on the top of the range Premium.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a large SUV with presence. Its latest design gets a large Audi-style front grille which makes it really stand out. Inside it get all of the styling cues similar to premium marques of a similar size, like leather seats, touch screen satellite navigation and contrast aluminium trim and accents on the dashboard. While these touches lift the cabin aesthetically, the finish not quite to the same standard. The materials used are of a good quality and feel robust and well put together but falls short of that of any competing German marque.
The Hyundai Santa Fe achieved a full five star rating in the Euro NCAP crash testing making it a very safe car. It also gets host of safety technology that includes seven airbags, downhill brake control, emergency stop signal, an active-bonnet system, hill start assist and seat-belt tensioners. Overall the Santa Fe is car that feels very well built and solid on the road.
The Santa Fe is a very spacious SUV with plenty of space and loads of leg and headroom so its ideal for ferrying many passengers around. There is an option to add an additional two seats in the boot area, but these are only really suitable for small children. It gets a huge 585 litre boot as standard but this is reduced to 516 if you add the two additional seats. The rear seats also fold with a 60/40 split creating a whopping 1615 litres of room to store pretty much anything you want. The usual storage places is the cabin are good too featuring large door pockets, a decent glovebox and a storage pocket beneath the centre armrest.