Santa Fe Premium 4WD 7-seat 2.2 CRDi
all-new Santa Fe SUV
offers five- and seven-seat versions,
has higher levels of specification,
more equipment and more space
but it also costs considerably
more to buy...
THE PREVIOUS GENERATION SANTA FE had anonymous and perhaps dated styling
where astute owners scored was in not bothering about the looks
but instead appreciating its value-for-money specification, its on and off-road
abilities, comfort, and towing credentials.
With prices having increased by over £1,700, the new-generation Santa Fe is
now with us and remains a capable and durable SUV with the option of two- or
four-wheel drive versions depending on the trim level.
Prices start at £25,495 and rise to £32,695 with a six-speed automatic
transmission adding a further £1,700 to the price of 4WD versions.
models use a re-worked 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, 194bhp turbodiesel engine.
The official Combined Cycle fuel economy for 2WD versions is 47.9mpg with CO2
emissions of 155g/km. Four-wheel
drive versions officially manage 46.3mpg and emissions of 159g/km. The new road
tax rate for all Santa Fe models is £175 a year, with company car tax at 25%.
all-new Santa Fe comes with a larger body and wearing a smart new suit of clothes;
while the outgoing range was functionally distinctive, the new models are less
so. Not that there's anything wrong it's just that now the Santa Fe looks
very similar to any other medium/large 'soft' SUV on sale.
The 4WD versions have
system where drive
moves automatically from
front to all four wheels
grip dictates, which
means that the
Santa Fe can be driven
more or less anywhere
in any conditions,
on or off-road...
At a glance it could be the new Honda CR-V, the Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sorento
or one of the older Chevrolet Captiva or Vauxhall Antara SUVs.
Like other compact SUVs such as the Ford Kuga, Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai ix35
or Kia Sportage, the new Santa Fe's side styling follows the rising waistline
route which means smaller side windows at the rear. This, of course, reduces
headroom for rear seat passengers. At the front a prominent high bonnet design
achieves high pedestrian safety ratings. Overall, the new body looks more curvy
and rounded than the outgoing version's square-edged but more functional design.
Inside the Santa Fe looks and feels well made with a strong showing of equipment
although the new high-level fascia looks rather 'busy' with lots of buttons
and controls; and there are more on the steering wheel.
The 4WD versions have the now-commonplace system where drive moves automatically
from front to all four wheels as grip dictates. However, there is a button to
select permanently-locked all-wheel drive with another button to engage descent
control for steep off-road work.
Yet another button varies the feel of the electronic power steering from Comfort
through to Sport, but in all modes the feedback is limited and gives inconsistent
The Santa Fe's ride quality is comfortable and the suspension compliant, and
it does a good job of absorbing shocks from the deepest of potholes even running
on large 18-inch alloy wheels.
Due to its high-off-the-ground design there is, even with the self levelling
suspension, some body roll during cornering although I'd be happy to accept
this because of the impressive ride comfort.
best selling seven-seat model has the usual three rows of seating. There's plenty
of room up front and in the middle three-seat row, which also slides fore and
aft as suits.
two individual rear seats are only really suitable for children so far as legroom
goes, and access is through the rear side doors.
The Santa Fe is a very
handy and easy to use
vehicle whether its
luggage or sports kit
youre lugging, or
family or performing workhorse
the rear seats in use boot space is minimal. With them folded the load space
goes from large to larger still once the split middle seats are folded down.
From 516 up to a maximum of 1,615 litres of load space is available, making
the Santa Fe a very handy and easy to use vehicle whether it's luggage or sports
equipment you're lugging, or whether it's ferrying family or performing workhorse
duties. However, it's not quite as versatile as the modern-generation large
That noted, unlike an MPV the advantage of the Santa Fe is that it can be driven
more or less anywhere in any conditions, on or off-road, plus it's also a very
capable vehicle for towing boats, caravans, horse boxes or trailers.
My test 4WD version was the Premium model (with a standard six-speed manual
gearbox) carrying a hefty price tag of £30,195. However, in fairness this price
doesn't appear to be out of line with other similar 4WD SUVs although the Santa
Fe has now lost the edge on value-for-money pricing that the previous model
The Premium spec includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, front and
rear AirCon, electrically-operated windows and door mirrors, tinted glass, premium
10-speaker sound system, rear parking sensors plus a rear view parking camera,
touchscreen SatNav, onboard driver's computer, vehicle stability management
with trailer stability assist and underbody front and rear skid plates.
The 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is generally refined and responsive
thanks to its 194bhp but better still, with 311lb ft of torque available from
just 1,800rpm, it's also flexible. The six-speed manual 'box is well suited
to this engine but on occasions, especially when cold, the gear selection can
be notchy so maybe it's worth considering spending that extra £1,700
and going for the automatic transmission which many buyers do in this category
of vehicle, particularly those who tow heavy weights as there is less wear and
tear on the transmission.
already mentioned, the official Combined Cycle fuel consumption figure for the
manual version is 46.3mpg; the auto just a fraction less.
A weeks driving
on all types of roads and
in all kinds of weather
My week's driving on all types of roads and in all kinds of weather returned
a liveable 39.5mpg. Top speed is 118mph and, more importantly, the zero to 62mph
acceleration time is a useful 9.8 seconds.
from the notchy gearchange the latest Santa Fe has a lot to recommend it. Practical
and comfortable as 4x4 family or workhorse transport, it also comes with a high
specification and a long warranty, has a strong engine and decent fuel economy
and has a proper spare wheel!
Perhaps the Santa Fe has lost its title as the smart buyer's bargain choice
medium/large 4WD SUV, but overall the latest model range is still a worthwhile
package. Despite the competition in this segment it should bring in new customers
as well as satisfy the loyal band of Santa Fe followers in the UK. The new range
is also covered by Hyundai's enviable 5-Year Triple Care unlimited mileage warranty
package, road side assistance and annual vehicle health checks. David
Hyundai Santa Fe Premium 4WD 7-Seat 2.2 CRDi
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 9.8 seconds | Overall test MPG: 39.5mpg
Power: 194bhp | Torque: 311lb ft | CO2 159g/km