I’ve been driving the Hyundai Santa Fe this month, with a 2.2CRDi diesel that gives out 194 brake horsepower, and comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. Although it’s a big, heavy thing, the six speed manual will get you from 0 to 62 in 9.8 seconds. If you need to tow it can pull a hefty 750kg unbraked trailer, or a whopping 2500kg braked. Hyundai reckon the manual Santa Fe will give you 46.3mpg on manual, or 41.5mpg on automatic; my driving in the automatic got me 37mpg, which is still pretty darned good.
Given that it’s a big boy, it’s no surprise that the Santa Fe is so practical. In the 5 seater there’s 585 litres of boot space, which can extend to a colossal 1,680 litres with the rear seats folded. The 60:40 split is simple enough with the pull of a handle, and can even slide back and forth for easier access or greater boot space. There’s plenty of storage compartments and cubby holes throughout, and there’s plenty of room for legs and heads in the front and rear.
Standard kit on the Santa Fe is very generous: my Premium SE came with leather, navigation, xenon headlamps, 19″ alloys, electric & heated seats, panoramic sunroof and a heated steering wheel. A DAB radio would have been nice, but nobody’s perfect. The overall fit and finish was very very good, although a little short of similar from BMW or Mercedes. However, considering how many toys you get for your money, I’m probably just being picky. The standard five year unlimited mileage warranty and breakdown assistance also shows Hyundai’s confidence in how well built this model is and will certainly offer peace of mind to their customers.
The Santa Fe range starts at £31,245 on-the-road, or £365ish if you fancy leasing (click here). Is it a 4×4 worth your time? Definitely: with its mix of respectable fuel economy, cavernous cabin, impressive spec, and the reassurance of its 5 year warranty, this is definitely a worthy all-rounder for someone needing a large, practical SUV.
For: Comfort, practicality & equipment
Against: Vague steering
Verdict: A well equipped & practical SUV
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