Hyundai Santa Fe (2018) Review

Hyundai Santa Fe (2018) At A Glance

5/5

+Versatile seven-seat SUV. Very good 2.2 CRDi diesel engine available with slick eight-speed automatic transmission. Lots of standard equipment.

-Top models now close to £44k. No petrol or hybrid.

On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure

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 - have become serious competitors 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 okay, 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 is good while the top-spec Premium SE is packed with stuff 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 comfortably 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 just 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 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDI Premium SE 2019 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Hyundai Santa Fe (2018)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

86%

Real MPG

33–46 mpg

MPGs submitted

28

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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I want to change my SUV for a pick-up. Is that a good decision?
"My Qashqai is fine but I now need less internal passenger/boot space and more load/utility space as I move to/refurb a house in France. I don't want a bigger SUV so changing to a utility vehicle such as the Nissan Navara or Ford Ranger seems to be the way forward. Comfort on the 500km each way trip is important as are practicality, reliability and bit of refinement so a double cab version with an auto gearbox, sat nav etc is my target. Am I on the right lines here or do I have other utilty-type options, please?"
It's probably worth test driving a pick-up truck before you become too set on the idea - they're an acquired taste to drive and even a high-spec model wouldn't be that comfortable for a long journey to France. Even though you're reluctant, you might find a slightly bigger SUV like a Hyundai Santa Fe or Skoda Kodiaq is a better option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is the Ford Edge a good buy?
"I'm thinking about buying a diesel Ford Edge but I wanted to know if it's a good car. Will it depreciate a lot?"
There are better options. Ford stopped selling the Edge in the UK last year due to slow sales. As such, it'll probably depreciate quite heavily. We'd recommend an alternative like a Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008 or Hyundai Santa Fe.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best seven-seat SUV for tall teenagers?
"I've got three kids, two pretty tall teenagers and one in a child seat. We use the rear seats a lot on short journeys and occasionally for journeys over an hour and a half. What should I get if I want an SUV for under £45k?"
My money would go on a Skoda Kodiaq or Hyundai Santa Fe. Alternatively, if you'd prefer a more premium choice, a pre-registered Volvo XC90 is within reach and would be a lovely family car.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want a diesel SUV but the future looks grim in terms of resale value for diesels - do you suggest I go for petrol instead?
"I’ve just returned to the UK from New Zealand and planning to stay for three years. I was planning to buy a one or two-year-old Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento or Peugeot 5008 diesel. Good SUV with nice engines reviews. I would sell on when returning to New Zealand. Since I’ve arrived, I’m constantly being informed through the media not to touch diesels and the future looks grim from an on-sell perspective with higher than ‘normal’ depreciation likely. I’m fine buying petrol but I’m not seeing any good petrol engine reports on the mid-range, quality SUV. Your view would be welcomed."
Diesels often suit the size of SUVs you're looking at. It depends on the kind of mileage you do, though. Diesels are great for towing or for covering high motorway miles, but you'd be better with a petrol or hybrid if most of your miles are short journeys or around town.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Hyundai Santa Fe (2018) cost?

Buy new from £33,997 (list price from £40,045)