Hyundai Santa Fe SUV - Interior & comfort
The Hyundai Santa Fe offers one of the brand's plushest and most impressive interiors yet
While it doesn't exactly set adrenaline pumping on a twisty road, the Hyundai Santa Fe makes amends by being a quiet and relaxing car to travel in when all you want to do is cover long distances. There's a little wind noise from around the windscreen and mirrors once you reach motorway speeds, and the engine can become loud when full acceleration is called for, but cruising is relatively peaceful.
The ride is fairly smooth, too, and this commendable level of refinement gels well with an interior that's among the best-looking and most lavishly equipped yet seen in a Hyundai.
Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard
Beyond the stylish way the door trim flows into the upper dashboard, the Santa Fe is quite conventionally laid out inside, and will be familiar to drivers of other Hyundai models. Good use is made of pleasingly tactile soft-touch materials, which grace all those areas where fingers frequently roam, but there's less visual appeal than in a Peugeot 5008.
The high-mounted infotainment touchscreen – eight-inches in size on all new models – dominates the scene, and is straightforward to use, but its graphics and screen resolution can't match the latest offerings from European rivals.
Premium SE cars also get a seven-inch digital display that takes pride of place in the centre of the instrument cluster, flanked by more conventional dials for fuel level and other info. Other trim levels make do with a conventional analogue display.
The starting price of the latest Santa Fe seems quite steep, shrinking the financial advantage the model previously offered against better-known rivals. However, the standard equipment level is high across the range.
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The entry-level SE is no longer available, so Premium becomes the cheapest way into Santa Fe ownership. It gets an eight-inch touchscreen with sat nav, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the screen also acts as the display for the rear-view camera. Other standard equipment includes a powered tailgate, leather upholstery, LED headlights with auto high-beam, keyless entry, a premium stereo and a heated steering wheel.
An extra safety feature is blind-spot assistance, which can take evasive action if a hazard is detected by applying the brakes to steer your car out of the way of danger. The Premium is available with front or four wheel-drive and with a manual or automatic gearbox.
The top-of-the-range Premium SE is automatic-only. It's distinguished by 19-inch alloy wheels, and has a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats with memory settings, and a head-up display, which is adjustable to suit your driving position. Automatic models also get an around-view monitor to help with manoeuvring.
If the standard leather interior on the Premium SE isn't distinctive enough for you, there's an optional 'Burgundy Pack' that includes burgundy and black leather seats, matching dashboard trim, as well as a headliner finished in black suede. Metallic paint costs £690.