The previous generation Santa Fe was one of the best SUV’s around, we find out if Hyundai can really improve the recipe!
What is it? This is the third generation of Hyundai’s hugely successful Santa Fe, a car that has garnered so much favour with Irish buyers seeking a practical, economical and well equipped solution to family motoring.
Who is it aimed at? A genuine seven-seater, the Santa Fe is a great family 4×4 and will prove a practical, economical and well-equipped solution for family transport needs.
Styling It’s been to the gym and lost it’s rough and rugged look. The new model sports sleek lines and looks almost futuristic. Changes to the grille, lights and roofline all combine to give it a far more premium look. The new model is also longer, wider and sits lower than its predecessor.
Under the Bonnet One engine, a 2.2-litre CRDi, is available, that produces 197bhp and 422 Nms torque. There is the option of two or four-wheel drive plus buyers can choose between manual or automatic transmissions. Our test car came with four-wheel drive and manual transmission.
What about Inside? Climbing in behind the wheel the interior is just as good looking as the exterior and the cabin and dash wouldn’t look out of place in a more expensive vehicle. There is also more room inside than in the previous version and the new Santa Fe can carry two adults and five children and still have 582 litres of luggage space. This can rise to a max of 1,600 litres which is good to know before you make any trips to Ikea.
On the Road? On the road the Santa Fe feels well built and handles beautifully. Take it on the motorway and the engine is smooth and there are huge reserves of power making overtaking a breeze. Inside the cabin it is quiet and the suspension soaks up potholes and road bumps.
And Safety? As far as safety is concerned no shortcuts have been taken and the all-new Santa Fe offers a host of active safety systems to ensure drivers have the best chance of avoiding an accident. These include ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESP (electronic stability programme), VSM (vehicle stability management), DBC (downhill brake control) and a hill-holder system. The Santa Fe is fitted with seven airbags as standard, including driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver’s knee units. For greater pedestrian safety, this is also the first Hyundai model to be equipped with an active hood, the bonnet rises to reduce the force of the collision and, thus, reduce the risk of injury.
Options? Three trims are available, Comfort, Executive and Premium. Standard items include voice recognition Bluetooth, air con, and rear view camera. As you move up extras include leather seats, roof racks and rain sensors. Sat Nav and panoramic sunroof are included in the Premium trim.
What about fuel economy? Fuel economy is up by 11.6 per cent and CO2 emissions are down 11.9 per cent on the previous model. Our test car returned 6.1 litres per 100 kms (46.3 mpg) on a combined cycle and has emissions of 149g/km so road tax is a yearly cost of €390.
Okay so the Verdict? With great new styling inside and out and generous equipment the Hyundai Santa Fe is a very impressive option. Perfect as a family car it will take you through snow, floods or just the school run plus it’s backed by an unbeatable five year warranty.
Why you’ll buy one?
Impressive fuel economy; refined, styling
Why you won’t?
There is very little not to like
Mitsubishi Outlander 4WD, €36, 950;
Toyota Rav D-4D 150 (2.2) Sol 4WD, €37,995
Volkswagen Tiguan SPT 2.0TDI 140HP BMT, €38,580
Hyundai Santa Fe Executive 2.2 Diesel 4WD Manual
Engine: 2199cc,diesel engine putting out 197bhp @ 3,800rpm and 422Nm of torque.
Max speed: 190 kph
0-100 kph: 9.8 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 149 g/km (Band C €390)
Model price range: €37,995– €49,995 (Test car price €41,995
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 6.1 litres/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 582 Litres ( 1,600 litres)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
27th February, 2013