Hyundai Santa Fe

Ultimate PHEV 1.6

T-GDI auto all-wheel

drive

Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6T Ultimate PHEV
Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6T Ultimate PHEV, side
Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6T Ultimate PHEV, rear
Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6T Ultimate PHEV, interior
Hyundai Santa Fe, 2022, display screen
Hyundai Santa Fe, 2022, rear seats
Hyundai Santa Fe, 2022, boot

SOLD in the UK since 2001, the Hyundai Sante Fe has been praised for its comfort, roominess, copious equipment and functional cabin design.

However, the latest model has taken a huge leap forward placing it as a premium choice for customers. This is clearly signalled by the two trim levels available - Premium and Ultimate - which seems to suggest what Hyundai's ambitions are.

A major 2021 updatebrought in a revised front end and petrol-powered mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology, along with some revisions to the centre console and infotainment system. Quite simply, has become more ‘premium' - a horrible word - and more efficient, while still offering the space that made it so practical and popular in the first place.

Interior changes include a redesigned dashboard with a standard 10.25-inch infotainment system, which features crisp graphics and lots of functions, and, on the Ultimate model, a 12.3-inch driver's instrument cluster.

There's also plenty of physical shortcut buttons below the touchscreen which means it's even easier to access the functions you want.

Cabin space was also increased all around - it's longer, wider, and higher - while an increase of 34mm of second row legroom over the previous model, gives it an overall best in class second row legroom of 1,060mm.

There's ample space and adjustment in the front for even tall occupants to get comfortable, while the middle row can easily fit three adults abreast -a feat that's made easier by a flat floor, and the option to slide the middle row forward or back using an electric switch.

There's a total of 571 litres of luggage capacity in five-seat configuration, despite the hybrid system under the skin. Fold the second row down and that rises to 1,649 litres.

When dubbing its range-topping Santa Fe the Ultimate, Hyundai wasn't joking either.

The entry-level Premium model boasts electrically operated and heated body coloured door mirrors and handles, full LED headlamps, tail lamps and positioning lamps, privacy glass and roof rails as well as electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seats, heated front and rear seats, dual zone climate control, and heated steering wheel.

There's also adaptive cruise control, an electric tailgate with hands free operation, rear parking system with rear camera and guidance system, a premium sound system with subscription free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a five-year subscription to Bluelink (Hyundai's connected car service).

The Ultimate builds on this with the addition of a surround view monitor parking system with parking collision avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, head up display, blind spot view monitor and highway drive assist.

Customers also have the choice of specifying the Luxury Pack which includes Nappa leather interior trim, suede headliner, brushed aluminium centre console accents and a faux leather wrapped dashboard.

The PHEV officially returns 173.7mpg, however unless you have a home charger and a commute which falls within its 36-mile electric range, you'll be unlikely to get anywhere close to that. Once the juice ran out, I managed just over 38mpg.

The standard self-levelling suspension is well-damped and makes all journeys - but especially motorway trips - a relaxing and comfortable experience. There is a little wind noise at motorway speeds but it's not intrusive.

Despite its bulk, it's also a cinch to drive around town thanks to good visibility and all those helpful sensors and cameras.

You could throw it down some typical twisty B-roads and it will remain composed with plenty of grip and well-contained body roll. However, it's not really designed for this, so I'd keep it in Comfort mode and enjoy its niceties. The HTRAC four-wheel drive system also comes with Snow, Mud and Sand modes.

The Santa Fe was awarded a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, scoring an impressive 94 per cent in the adult occupant category and 88 per cent for child occupant safety.

Standard safety equipment includes Blind Spot Collision Assist, Downhill Brake Control, Driver Attention Alert, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Car, Pedestrian, Cycle and Junction Turning functions, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning forward and reverse Parking Distance Warning, Rear Occupancy Alert and Lane Departure Warning Assist with Lane Keep Assist.

Ultimate models add rear-cross traffic alert and a blind-spot detection system that can actively intervene by applying the car's brakes on either side to try to avoid a side-swipe accident.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate PHEV 1.6 T-GDI auto all-wheel drive

Price: £47,590

Mechanical: 261bhp, 1,598cc, petrol-electric engine driving all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed:116mph

0-62mph:8.8seconds

Combined MPG:173.7

Insurance Group:27

C02 emissions: 37g/km

Bik rating:12%

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