Review

Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

Price  £27,995 - £37,105

Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish modern design
  • Huge interior space
  • Five-year warranty
Cons
  • Quite expensive to buy
  • Automatic gearbox is poor
  • Third-row seat access and space

At a glance

The greenest
2.2 CRDi SE 5dr 7 Seat 4WD 5dr £29,145
The cheapest
2.2 CRDi SE 5dr 5 Seat 4WD 5dr £27,995
The fastest
2.2 CRDi SE 5dr 7 Seat 4WD 5dr £29,145
Top of the range
2.2 CRDi Premium SE 5dr 7 Seat Auto 4WD 5dr £37,105

“The Hyundai Santa Fe offers lots of space and comfort, but some rivals are more fun to drive, as well as being cheaper to buy and run.”

The Hyundai Santa Fe is billed as the brand's flagship model. It's a generously equipped SUV that comes with either five or seven seats and offers buyers an alternative to the Nissan X-Trail, one of few other SUVs available as a seven-seater.

There's only one engine available, but it's a powerful 2.2-litre diesel that provides the Santa Fe with plenty of punch. It's not as efficient as some of the engines available in rivals such as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V or X-Trail, but it does make the Santa Fe an excellent tow car as well as usefully nippy in town and on the open road.

The Santa Fe is available in three trim levels, but even basic Style models get plenty of standard equipment, which goes some way towards justifying the increased price of the latest model.

The car is very comfortable and practical, with plenty of storage space in the cabin and a large boot that's been thoughtfully designed to maximize its usefulness.

The automatic gearbox isn’t great, making the car slower and less efficient, and the interior could feel a bit more special, but overall the Santa Fe is a great car made even more appealing by Hyundai's five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail are certainly more fun to drive, as well as cheaper, but we still liked the Santa Fe enough to name it our Best Large SUV at the 2014 Carbuyer awards.

Our recommendation would be the seven-seater Santa Fe in Premium spec, as you get the useful third row of seats, which folds down flat when not needed. The Premium trim includes some desirable extras compared to the entry-level Style model, so we think it's worth the extra cash if you can afford it.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

The Hyundai Santa Fe's diesel engine is not the most economical but the SUV is relatively cheap to own

Engines, drive & performance

3 / 5

The Hyundai Santa Fe is capable and dependable rather than fun to drive

Interior & comfort

3.4 / 5

The Hyundai Santa Fe is comfortable and well-equipped but interior lacks wow factor

Practicality & boot space

4.2 / 5

Huge boot and seven-seat option are impressive assets of Hyundai Santa Fe

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with excellent five-year warranty and plenty of safety kit

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 5
The Santa Fe is a big step up from the model it replaces. It looks like a car from the class above, and it's comfortable and well equipped on the inside, too. It drives relatively well, and will transport up to seven people with very little fuss, providing you dodge the potholes. Is it good enough to justify the extra £3,435? We’d say so, but only just.
4 / 5
Hyundai has raised the prices for this generation of Santa Fe, although cheaper variants should come along once the company starts selling versions powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel instead of the 2.2. Even so, the standard kit list looks reasonably generous, with alloys, reversing sensors, air-con, Bluetooth, seven airbags and Trailer Stability Assist on all models. There's no escaping the fact that the Santa Fe is no longer the steal it once was - but it's an excellent package that is considerably better than cheaper rivals such as the Chevrolet Captiva.

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What owners say

4.3
4.3 /5 based on 88 reviews
78%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
2 Dec 2014
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