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Hyundai Santa Fe (2006–2012)

Last updated 22 March 2018

Relaxed motorway cruising. Comfortable ride. Excellent on very rough tracks. Available with seven seats. Good value. Much improved from 2010 with new 2.2-litre diesel.
2006 - 2009 five-speed manual has big gap between 2nd and 3rd gears. Plastics on early cars felt a little scratchy.
Updated 22 March 2018

Report of driveshaft failure on 2011 Hyundai Santa fe manual; quoted £1,100 for replacement including labout. Didn't say which driveshaft. 23 dated faults reported since January 2011

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Introduction

At the risk of upsetting Ken Livingstone, between 1996 and 2005 the UK market for what he calls "4x4s" has grown by 1,310 per cent. Hyundai sells 9805 a year, which gives it a 6.9 per cent of this lucrative business. Between 2001 and 2005 Hyundai sold 17,462 of its Santa Fe model alone. This probably has less to do with the Santa Fe's off road ability than its on road ability to shrug off speed humps without damaging either itself or its occupants. The people who drive them are far from the "idiots" Ken brands them as. That description might be more appropriate to the people who ordered the installation of the road humps that inevitably led to this change in the type of vehicle so many people now drive.

Meanwhile Hyundai has not let the Santa Fe rest on its muscular haunches. Instead the company presents us with a bigger, better and altogether new Santa Fe; one that can comfortably seat the same seven people as the average 50 seater bus carries, or, alternatively, rids city streets of as many as six unnecessary single-occupant cars.

Instead of the original organic look, Hyundai has gone for clean lines and a soft, pedestrian-friendly front, retaining only the sensible, chunky rear door handle of the original and, less successfully, its 2.7 V6 engine with 4-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai Santa Fe 2006 Road Test

Hyundai Santa Fe 2010 Road Test and Video

 

Owners' reviews

4
Good big comfy tow car at reasonable cost to run
5
Comfortable Reliable large and relatively cheap large SUV
5
RELIABLE, COMFORTABLE, EASY TO DRIVE, ROOMY
4
Brilliant car, did everything well, very comfy, well spec'd, vague steering and not great on mpg or emissions, but we loved it.
1
Practical if not a write-off after engine failure
4
Good value spacious relaxed load puller with plenty of oomph
 

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