The Santa Fe - a looker, and a real pleaser on all fronts

Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai are in a good place these times. The style and quality of their product line was never better. It appears that everything they turn their hand to comes good for them.

Hyundai are in a good place these times. The style and quality of their product line was never better. It appears that everything they turn their hand to comes good for them.

Their third generation Santa Fe is a case in point. So too is the eye popping i40, which is possible one of the best looking, performing and well priced cars around.

The latest Santa Fe follows suit, and this strong looking, good driving 4x4 appears set to make a big impression.

The Santa Fe is a definite contender in the 4x4 arena, against any competitor. The car is simply smashing. It is modern in stylish, shape and in the package it gives.

The Santa Fe hits the target in vital areas where it counts – in the production of power, in terms of economy and in terms of general running costs. Remember that the Hyundai 5 year unlimited mileage warranty deal, plus a 5 year service deal (optional), is all part of the package on offer.

This new SUV has a more powerful 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine. The power output jumps from 153bhp to 197bhp which brings stronger acceleration. The zereo to 100km/hr time drops from 12.6 seconds to 9.8 seconds for the 4x4 version, which is not the base grade as there is a two wheel drive model.

Power output high

The Santa Fe engine power output is the highest in the mid-range 4x4 SUV sector. It now pitches ahead of the BMW X3, the 2.2 litre versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander and Mazda CX5.

While the power output has been upped, the economy has been lowered. The newly developed engine offers nearly 15% better fuel economy.

The Santa Fe has a low CO2 rating (149g/km) which puts it into road tax band C, costing 390 euro per year. You must remember that the Santa Fe inhabits that area between the mid-range SUVs’ and the bigger and stronger machines like the Toyota Land Cruiser and so on.

The extra weight has been a bonus for the Santa Fe. It boosts the towing ability from 2.2 tonnes in the previous model to 2.5 tonnes now. That’s an important consideration for farmers and those who pull trailers, horse boxes and so on.

The Santa Fe has the highest rating in towing terms among the mid-range SUVs’. Basically, if you want more pulling power, then you need a bigger car!

The latest Santa Fe gets the works in terms of fittings and safety features. The entry level Comfort models come with seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver.

Stability control

It is also fitted with stability control, hill start assist on the brakes and downhill brake assist system for off-road driving stability and control.

For those who tow a trailer, the Santa Fe comes with a trailer stability braking system, and it comes with factory wired for a towbar and trailer coupling, apparently. I liked the smart look of the 17” alloy wheels, plus the fact that there is a full size alloy spare wheel in the boot.

The Santa Fe is a 7-seater. The rear seats are easily accessible and they folded down easily. When laid flat, the boot affords huge space.

The Santa Fe is fitted with ‘the must have item’ of the moment, a reversing camera system. In all types of weather and conditions, the view was sharp from what is a huge driving aid.

For overall comfort and driving satisfaction, the Santa Fe hit the spot.

The entry level price for the two wheel drive Comfort model is 37,995 euro (ex-works). Add 4,000 euro if you are thinking in terms of the 4x4 version, which is also an up a grade and offers leather upholsery, automatic wiper rain sensors and improved heating systems. With a main service due once a year or every 30,000klms, running costs should be decent, not crippling.

The car

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 diesel (entry price 37,995 euro)

Engine: 2.2 litre, 197bhp

Top speed: 170 km/hr; 0 to 100km/hr 9.8 seconds.

Economy: 17.5km/litre (5.7l/100km or 49.4 mpg).

CO2 emissions: 149g/km

Annual road tax: 390 euro.