Hyundai Sante Fe

Ultimate 4WD

Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, front
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, side
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, rear
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, interior
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, rear seats
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, centre console controls
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, display screen
Hyundai Sante Fe, 2022, boot

HYUNDAI'S flagship Sante Fe now comes with a new look, new engines and even more luxury than before.

Perhaps not surprisingly - given the surge towards electric power - the Korean manufacturer has chosen to ditch the previous 2.2-litre diesel engine in favour of a 1.6-litre petrol hybrid and a plug-in hybrid producing an impressive 227 bhp.

But there's far more to this superbly comfortable, superbly quiet seven-seater giant than just a new power train.

Exterior changes include a new front with cascading grille, new headlights and new look front bumper while the rear too gets a new bumper and new tail lamps.

But the most obvious differences are on the inside where there's a new look dashboard and particularly stylish angled centre console replacing the upright one of the previous generation.

The small gearshift has now gone, replaced by three buttons, one for drive, one for neutral and one for reverse.

As with previous models, however, it's the space and extensive equipment that singles out the Sante Fe from its competitors.

And while the outgoing version was big the new one is taller, longer and wider and is only available with seven seats.

The Ultimate spec model, driven here, really lives up to its name being packed to the gunnels with creature comforts and safety devises.

There's a full length tilt and slide glass sun roof, heated rear seats, heated and cooled front seats, a head-up display, electrically adjustable front seats with memory settings and keyless entry and exit.

And - a new one on me - a facility to chat to rear seat passengers using the onboard microphone with the driver's voice played through the rear speakers.

As with the latest Hyundai Tucson the dials in front of the driver, the speedometer and the power meter, disappear when you use the left or right indicator - replaced by a camera generated view along the side of the car to improve safety on turns.

When you get behind the wheel you have a choice of three driving modes - eco, sport and smart. And for off-road work or bad weather with this all-wheel-drive version you can dial up terrain settings of snow, mud and sand.

Despite its size the Sante Fe is surprisingly quick, hitting 62 miles per hour in a very respectable 9.1 seconds.

And while the six-speed auto box is smooth and seamless you can take full control by using the paddles behind the steering wheel to liven things up.

The ride is quiet and supremely refined. This is an SUV that really cossets you like a luxury limousine.

At the same time the handling is pin sharp so you tend not to notice the vehicle's large dimensions.

And when it comes to parking the front and rear view camera supported by a bird's eye view make things simple.

The cavernous Sante Fe makes light work of dealing with holiday luggage too, with up to 1,649 litres space available with the seats folded down.


Hyundai Sante Fe Ultimate 4WD

Price: £45,815

Mechanical: 227bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving all wheels via six speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 116 mph

0-62mph: 9.1 secs

Combined MPG: 40.4

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 168 g/km

Bik rating: 36%


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