Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2

CRDi Premium

Hyundai Santa Fe, side
Hyundai Santa Fe, side, static
Hyundai Santa Fe, side
Hyundai Santa Fe, rear
Hyundai Santa Fe, interior
Hyundai Santa Fe, boot
Hyundai Santa Fe, front

FLEXIBILITY, practicality and economy are all factors on a SUV buyer's wish-list and no doubt other family members may have their own requirements to take into account too.

After all if the vehicle is going to be used on the school run, it needs to be fashionably stylish and the list of built-in techno treats has to be good enough to keep any teenager amused on the go.

Thankfully, the beautifully designed Hyundai Santa Fe ticks all the right boxes.

Despite its massive scale, it is well proportioned and looks very snazzy thanks to its sweeping lines, 18-inch alloys, tinted windows, front and rear skid plates, rear spoiler, body-coloured mirrors with integrated indicators, chrome effect door handles and roof rails.

The interior has a quality feel to it with leather heated seats, a soft-touch dashboard, leather steering wheel and all the creature comforts you could want for.

Features include a premium 10-speaker sound system with CD and MP3 player, sat-nav, air conditioning, rear parking sensors and a rear-view parking camera.

There is an uncluttered feel to the interior with the instrumentation read-outs facing the driver and shielded by two circular hoods.

All-round visibility is good even with passengers in the back and the aids make parking such a large vehicle all the simpler.

The Santa Fe can be quickly transformed from a five to seven seater as and when required and there are plenty of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, such as a deep central bin, double cup holder in the front, sunglasses compartment, handy shelves and large glovebox.

Comfort levels are excellent although the third row of seats is really only suitable for children as leg room is a tad limited.

So the Santa Fe seems to meet all SUV buyer demands, but how does it handle? The answer is pretty good.

Acceleration through the automatic transmission is smooth and although it's not exactly the fastest out of the starting blocks, taking 10.1 seconds to reach 62mph that is still quite impressive considering the car's size.

According to Hyundai, it can achieve combined fuel efficiency of 41.5mpg, although during my week-long loan which mixed both motorway and busy city centre driving routes, I was seeing in excess of 43mpg albeit in ECO mode for most of the journey time.

The ride was good with next-to-no body roll and cornering was also sound.

Hyundai has packed a comprehensive list of safety features into the Santa Fe, including anti-lock brakes, brake assist, downhill brake control, hill-start assist, vehicle stability management, electronic stability programme, trailer stability assist and seven airbags as standard.

And there is the added bonus of on-demand four-wheel-drive so the children will never have an excuse to stay home from school in those winter months.

All in all, the Santa Fe is an excellent SUV. It looks great, is very functional, offers good economy and is reasonably priced in such a competitive market too.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium

Price: £32,375

Mechanical: 194bhp, 2,199cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:118mph 

0-62mph:10.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 41.5

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 178g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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