The Hyundai Santa Fe has been the largest SUV in the South Korean manufacturer’s line-up since the first iteration was introduced in 2000. There have been three generations since, with the latest car being the Mk4 Santa Fe. With each generation, the Santa Fe has become larger and more luxurious; the latest model has taken noticeable steps forward in design, technology and build quality.
The Santa Fe comes with just one diesel engine, a 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 197bhp. There’s a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes also offered. Hyundai has suggested that a plug-in hybrid version is in the works – most likely using similar technology to the tried-and-tested Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in.
There are three trim levels to choose from: SE, Premium and Premium SE. Even the entry-level SE boasts an impressive level of standard equipment, with Premium and Premium SE piling on the kit.
The SE comes as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard, plus 17-inch alloys and a great selection of active and passive safety systems like hill-start and descent control, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking that can pick out pedestrians. Adaptive cruise control is standard on all automatic Santa Fe models, while manual models get standard cruise with a speed limiter system.
The latest Santa Fe feels as big inside is it looks from the outside; there’s a vast amount of space and it’s a very comfortable place to spend time for driver and passengers alike. There’s a welcome feeling of quality, both in the Santa Fe’s build integrity and its composure on rough UK roads, that goes some way to justify its price. There are plenty of cheaper rivals, however, including the Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 5008, which do just as good a job.
Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is among the best in class and judging by the manufacturer’s good reputation for reliability, serious problems are unlikely. However, given the Santa Fe’s considerable asking price, we do have some concerns about depreciation.