Hyundai Santa Fe (2012 – 2018) Review

Hyundai Santa Fe (2012 – 2018) At A Glance


+Sleek looks and good quality interior. Refined and quiet on the move. Available with seven seats. Well equipped as standard. Excellent 2.2 CRDi diesel. 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.

-Top models became quite expensive.

Insurance Groups are between 18–29
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

Hyundai is clearly a company that listens when it comes to building a new car. And not just to its existing customers either. When it came to developing the third generation Santa Fe, the firm got feedback from current owners, but more crucially from people who didn't buy one. The views of customers who had shown interest in the Santa Fe but chosen something else highlighted areas where Hyundai was falling short.

It has paid dividends too because this Santa Fe is a mightily impressive SUV. And it addresses the shortcomings of the outgoing model. The good things remain though. The Santa Fe built up a reputation as a good value, reliable and well built 4x4, making it an ideal family car. This version hasn't lost touch with these 'core' values but gets a much needed boost in the style and quality departments.

In terms of looks the new Santa Fe is a huge step forward over the old model. Gone is the boxy and ungainly profile, replaced by a lower and sleeker design. It's the next phase in Hyundai's family look, evolving the style seen on the new i30. You can expect to see the same look on the updated ix35, which is due next year. The front is certainly imposing with that large chrome grille and angular lights.

As before it's available with seven-seats and comes with an improved version of the 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine in the current model, producing 197PS and with economy of around 48mpg on the two-wheel version.

The all-wheel-drive set-up is an on-demand system runs in front-wheel drive the majority of the time but can send up to 50 per cent drive to the rear wheels if it detects a loss of grip. For particularly slippery conditions, such as snow or ice, permanent four-wheel-drive can be selected, delivering a 50/50 power split at up to 25mph. Maximum towing capability with a braked trailer is 2500 kg.

Road Test of Hyundai Santa Fe 2012

Real MPG average for a Hyundai Santa Fe (2012 – 2018)


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


Real MPG

26–43 mpg

MPGs submitted


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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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a large car to replace my Discovery 3?
"I currently drive a Land Rover Discovery 3 (2004), which I'm looking to replace. I need something with a big boot for 2 large dogs and capable of towing a caravan. I love my Discovery not only for its capability but how comfortable and easy it is on a long journey. I'm looking at up to three years old with a max budget of £22,500 and assume a diesel is still the best option. I doubt there is an electric vehicle that can fulfil my needs but would be pleased if you can suggest one! Any suggestions welcome."
If it's a small, lightweight caravan and you regularly cover short journeys, a petrol or hybrid might be a better option. Otherwise, stick with a diesel. We'd recommend a Skoda Kodiaq – your budget will get a 2017 model with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel drive. It's got a big boot and will be cheap to run, while its 2000kg towing capacity is enough for a fairly hefty caravan. We'd also recommend a Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best car for a family of five?
"Can you advise on a used family car for us? The car will barely be used Monday to Friday but will be used for short trips into town at weekends. It will also be used to drive to Ireland once or twice a year. There are five of us in the family - three adults and two kids. At the moment we have a Zafira which suits our needs but is a bit boring to be honest. Our budget is around £15k."
How about an SUV like a Hyundai Santa Fe? It's a bit more interesting than a Zafira but represents very good value for money and will still be cheap to run. You'll have to look at one to decide if it's big enough for your needs, though - the rear seats pop up in the boot and aren't the easiest to get in and out of. Otherwise, you'll have to look at another MPV. There are some excellent deals available on Vauxhall Zafira Tourers. Also look at a Ford S-MAX or Galaxy.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best family SUV for £12,000?
"We are looking to buy a used family SUV that is economical and reliable. We’d want to avoid the small SUVs (Qashqai) and need a but more space. Can you recommend something below £12,000?."
A Honda CR-V would be a good choice. It's more practical than a Qashqai, will be very reliable and your budget will buy a good example from 2016. Also consider a Hyundai Santa Fe.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is it unusual for a replacement DMF to last only 10,000 miles?
"I had my clutch and DMF changed at Mr Clutch after the original one failed after 100,000 miles. The replacement lasted less than 10,000 miles, so Mr Clutch have now fitted a new replacement free of charge under their two year, 20,000-mile guarantee. The failed replacement had one spring that had punched its way through the flywheel, with another spring having signs of damaging the flywheel. Do you think the failure was due to bad parts, incorrect fitting or bad driving? The garage did not seem to know why the failure had happened. The car is a Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CDI, which I use for towing a caravan on occasions."
Probably a duff part. I would guess that Mr Clutch uses aftermarket parts rather than OEM, but it's very good that they cover them for two years or 20,000 miles.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Hyundai Santa Fe (2012 – 2018) cost?