Review

Hyundai Santa Fe SUV

£27,995 - £37,105

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.