A lot of people are downsizing to smaller cars, so large SUVs like the Santa Fe need to deliver on its promise of flexibility, but also be reasonably affordable to run.
Hyundai's biggest car competes with everything from traditional MPVs to other seven-seat SUVs like the Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mitsubishi Outlander. It's a smart looking car on the outside, too.
There's only one engine to choose from – a 194bhp 2.2-litre diesel – that's powerful and provides plenty of punch and reasonable fuel economy of 46.3mpg. It's great for those looking to tow a caravan or boat as it's got plenty of torque and slick gearboxes.
Four-wheel drive is standard across the Santa Fe range that shifts power to some or all of the wheels as conditions dictate, but you can select it to be in permanent four-wheel drive mode if you prefer.
On the road, the Santa Fe is surprisingly agile and doesn’t lean too much in corners, thanks to firmer suspension that never becomes uncomfortable. Smaller five-door rivals like the Mazda CX-5 are more fun to drive, but the Santa Fe will carry seven people in comfort and isn’t built to be driven quickly down country roads.
There are three trim levels to choose from, keeping things simple if you’re having trouble deciding. SE kicks off the range and comes with dual-zone climate control, rear parking assistance and trailer stability assistance as standard.
If you move up the range to Premium or Premium SE then the Santa Fe steps into price territory occupied by the brilliant Land Rover Discovery Sport – a superior car with a much more desirable badge. Each spec is available with five or seven seats, and the Santa Fe scores some value points with its five-year warranty and great reputation for building solid and reliable cars. It also scored five stars in Euro NCAP's crash safety tests; so family buyers have some peace of mind.