Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai boldly claim that they now sell their cars on their quality and not on price alone.

Hyundai boldly claim that they now sell their cars on their quality and not on price alone.

Therefore the latest batch of new models or the subject of this review the Santa Fe are not cars that are priced way below the more established competition, but they sell on their own merits alone. They are now good enough to compete directly with the best in class.

The new Santa Fe is another example of this.

There are three models available, the Comfort, Executive and by special order the Premium. Prices start at €39,245 for the Comfort model. The subject of this week’s road test is the Executive, all are powered by the same 2.2 litre low emission CRDi diesel.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a very good looking well proportioned SUV. I really like the style which is both distinctive and bold in a classy sort of way. Hyundai have in my opinion one of the best looking SUV’s around.

Hyundai seem to have put a lot of thought into the detail items, with some very handy storage bays and a comprehensive standard equipment list. The new car really does feel top quality with high-grade materials and trim in evidence throughout the car.

The Executive model tested has full leather upholstery and standard equipment highlights include, 17 inch alloys, downhill assist, ( a feature which aids downhill motoring off road by reducing speed and slip automatically) a push-button center differential lock, a multifunction steering wheel, touch screen monitor, reversing camera, Bluetooth with USB and Aux ports, auto lights and wipers, Flex Steer, which allows the driver switch between three different modes, Comfort, Normal, and Sport, fully auto climate control, with an automatic de-fog system. There are a host of other nice touches too such as rear privacy glass, cornering lights and so forth.

The Santa Fe is now a full 7-seater. Needless to say with the last two rear seats in place there is very little useful luggage space, but those seats are handy for the school run!

Powered by a 2.2 litre CRDi diesel I was most impressed by the Santa Fe’s performance. With a power out put of 197 PS and over 421 NM of torque all mated to a smooth 6-speed manual gearbox the combination works very well.

Overall performance is really excellent while emissions remain low enough to put the new Santa Fe at €390.00 to tax for a year. I found economy good too burning just 7.4 litres per 100km over my road test.

With intelligent 4 wheel drive, the Santa Fe proved to be very good both on and off road. On tarmac it rides and handles very well I found it to be a truly refined motorway cruiser with wind, road and engine noise all very well suppressed.

I also had the opportunity to try a little bit of off-road testing and once again the new Santa Fe excelled. It can deal with quite tricky inclines and slippery surfaces.

If you need a vehicle that can tackle some off road work yet cruises like a limo on tarmac the new Santa Fe might be for you.

It’s big, it looks great has bags of room inside, has superb build quality, comes very well equipped as standard, and boasts a full 5 year warranty.

In short the Santa Fe is one of the most impressive new SUV’s to hit our streets.

The Executive model tested with manual gearbox costs €43,245.