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Hyundai Santa Fe (2018–)

Last updated 11 February 2019

 
5
Santa Fe gets new eight-speed automatic gearbox. 2.2 CRDi is improved with better economy. Very well equipped. Good to drive.
Top models now close to £44k. No petrol or hybrid.
Updated 4 February 2019

Report of issues with diesel particulate filter of WLTP compliant December 2018/68 Hyundai Santa Fe. The car has done 1100 miles so far on a diet of extra urban 15mile commutes on national speed limit...

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Introduction

Korean firm Hyundai has done a terrific job of building itself a reputation for sensible and reliable cars in recent years. Relatively affordable list prices combined with generous warranties mean Hyundai - as well as sister brand Kia - has become a serious competitor to the likes of Skoda, Ford and Vauxhall.

If you're looking for a seven-seat SUV that offers a heap of practicality for the cash, it makes sense that the Santa Fe will be on your radar, then. But Hyundai's passing through the 'value for money' stage, and is now attempting to move further upmarket. As such, its latest Santa Fe starts at more than £33,000 - that's £5000 more than the cheapest Skoda Kodiaq currently on sale.

Not that you should dismiss the Santa Fe just yet. There are reasons for the hefty price tag. For example, standard kit is quite extensive - with all models getting roof rails, front and rear parking sensors with a rear view camera, privacy glass and dual zone climate control. The front seats are heated, while the infotainment system provides access to DAB radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A number of driver assist features are also standard, including cruise control, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking.

There's also just one engine: an upgraded version of the old 2.2-litre CRDi diesel producing 200PS. No lethargic petrol engines to provide a headline-grabbing entry-level price here.

Said diesel engine is a quiet and refined unit, providing plenty of torque and creating a rather nippy feel. There's an eight-speed automatic gearbox which is OK, if a bit hesitant to respond quickly. If you really feel the need, you can take control via the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

Where the Santa Fe really impresses is its interior. Even the entry-level SE model impresses, while the top-spec Premium SE is packed with goodies including ventilated front seats, rear window blinds and an opening panoramic roof. The sweet spot in the range, however, is the mid-grade Premium with its heated front and rear seats, LED headlights, premium sound system, eight-inch navigation system and a host of driver assistance features.

There's loads of space, with all models getting seven seats. Adults can comfortable fit in the middle-seats for long journeys, while even the rear-most seats are fine for occasional journeys.

The latest Hyundai Santa Fe represents a huge amount of progress over its predecessor. No longer is it good 'for the money', it's now a top-drawer SUV in its own right, easily worthy of taking on the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and even the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDI Premium SE 2019 Road Test

 

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