Hyundai Santa Fe -

Used Car Review

Hyundai Santa Fe, front action
Hyundai Santa Fe, side static
Hyundai Santa Fe, rear action
Hyundai Santa Fe, dashboard
Hyundai Santa Fe, third row seats
Hyundai Santa Fe, boot

HYUNDAI'S large Santa Fe off-roader comes with an unbeatable five year warranty like every other car in the company's range, and some of that should be transferable to secondhand owners.

The Korean maker prides itself on its reputation for reliability and the quality of its cars is right up with the Europeans and Japanese.

The Santa Fe is one of the top cars in its line up and the model built until 2018 came with a lower new price than most contemporaries despite giving nothing away in equipment.

That means it is also cheaper than most other similar vehicles secondhand, and its capable both on and off-road.

Off-road, the 4x4 versions - which is most of them - are surprisingly unstoppable, and will almost always get you where you want to go, whatever the weather.

The Santa Fe is a big, five or seven seater but it's not intimidating, and it's a good looker from every angle.

There is only one engine option, a smooth and very torquey 2.2-litre turbo diesel producing a very good 195bhp.

This drives the front or all four wheels through either a smooth changing six speed manual gearbox, or an even smoother six speed automatic.

The power unit has more than enough power for the weight, giving zero to 60 miles an hour acceleration of 9.5 seconds in the 4WD version with automatic gearbox.

The manual is a little quicker and a little more economical too, giving a best of 47 miles per gallon in the older government figures.

There is also a Blue Drive model following Hyundai's more economical name, but though its no more exconomical than the standard models, it is quicker, managing 8.7 seconds to 60.

That economy equates to about 37 to 40 driving in the real world, which is still not bad for such a large vehicle.

Comfort is generally very good, soaking up the worst of roads in its stride, and a high seating position - something most buyers love - gives a very good view all round.

There isn't much in the way of wind, road or tyre noise and Hyundai has done a lot of work to improve this refinement leaving it smooth, quiet and relaxed.

Through corners it holds the road well thanks to the four-wheel-drive system, which cuts in only when the front wheels begin to lose traction.

There's quite a lot of body lean when pressed in the corners of course, and although the steering is light and lacks feedback, it is direct.

There is enough equipment to keep most drivers happy even in the lower order cars. and the interior materials are good enough quality to last the course.

All come with a wide array of safety gear including an Active Hood System that reduces the impact on a pedestrian in a collision, and a Trailer Stability Assist system for those who regularly tow.

Incidentally, the towing weights for manual and automatic are different. The manual models have a maximum braked trailer weight of 2500kg, while with the auto this reduces to 2000kg.

Other safety gear includes stability control, brake assist, emergency stop signal and a driver's knee airbag. It also comes with a hill descent system, hill start assist and six other airbags.

Euro NCAP awarded it five stars, including an impressive 96 per cent for adult occupant protection and it was rated as the safest ‘Large Off-Road 4x4' when it was launched.

The third row seats aren't as difficult to get into as in other large SUVs because the middle row slides forwards.

Other equipment in mid-range Premium guise includes alloy wheels, audio remote control, sat nav, a full-size spare wheel, parking sensors and leather seats.

It also has traction control, electric driver's seat, heated seats, cruise control and roof rails.

Pay about £14,400 for a '17 17-reg five seat Blue Drive Premium manual, or £19,400 for an '18 18-reg seven seat Blue Drive Premium SE auto.

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