Hyundai Santa Fe (2013-2018)

"The Hyundai Santa Fe is a pretty stylish seven-seater SUV that’s big and practical inside, but also quite expensive to buy"

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Stylish modern design
  • Lots of interior space
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Quite expensive to buy
  • Automatic gearbox is poor
  • Third-row seat access and space

A flagship model for its brand, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a full-sized SUV with enough room for seven occupants, lots of equipment and a decent serving of luxury – although all this does come at a price.

That seven-seat status is one of the Santa Fe’s main selling points, because most similarly sized rivals like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 only come with five seats, although the Hyundai does have other rivals in the shape of the desirable seven-seat Land Rover Discovery Sport, along with the Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sorento, which actually shares quite a bit with the Santa Fe under the metal.

There are just two trim levels, called Premium and Premium SE, with even the ‘entry-level’ model getting leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, Bluetooth, sat nav, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera to name just a few of its features. Premium SE gets luxury items like a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, lane-departure warning and a powered tailgate, but also costs around £3,000 more.

This version of the Santa Fe is due for replacement in the coming months.

Like the Sorento, the Santa Fe only comes with one engine, but we aren’t complaining, because this 2.2-litre diesel with 197bhp is ideally suited to the car. It can get the big Hyundai from 0-62mph in a respectable nine seconds, but while its 46.3mpg economy looks reasonable in isolation, the Discovery Sport has moved the game on and can get 57mpg, while also being cheaper to tax. The Santa Fe has a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional automatic, which suits the relaxed road manners of this SUV, but also dents its performance and efficiency figures a little.

Get behind the wheel and the Santa Fe is great if you want a comfortable, relaxed SUV, but won’t tick all the boxes if you expect your seven-seater to handle like a performance saloon car. The steering is quite vague and even if body lean is fairly well mitigated, you’re always aware this is a big, heavy vehicle, so it’s best suited to cruising along at a gentle pace.

Passengers will appreciate the spacious front and rear seats on longer trips, while the third row of seats is really just for kids (or adults in a pinch) and can be tricky to access if you aren’t flexible. The interior design is reasonable, but is starting to feel slightly dated, even compared to Hyundai’s latest models, which is a shame given the fact it’s one of the most expensive cars in the company’s line-up.

The Santa Fe didn’t feature in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but it’s reassuring to know it comes with a five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty and has a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test score.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 unveiled
2021 Toyota GR86 - front 3/4 view
Toyota
6 Apr 2021

New Toyota GR86 unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021
2021 Skoda Kodiaq Sportline static
Skoda Kodiaq
13 Apr 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks