Hyundai Santa Fe

11 Jul, 2012 11:30am Luke Madden

The Hyundai Santa Fe has gone upmarket – but it comes with a price to match


The new Santa Fe represents another huge step forward for Hyundai, and is better in every respect than the model it replaces. It looks like a real premium offering and that impression is only reinforced when you drive it. Yes, it’s far more expensive than before, but you’re getting a dramatically improved car for your money.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has always been one of the cheapest seven-seat SUVs you can buy. But now it’s heading upmarket with a price that’s £3,000 higher than before.

We got behind the wheel of an early prototype, and first impressions are good. With a bold front end and cleaner lines, it looks more expensive. The only engine option is a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel which is smooth and efficient: Hyundai claims 46.3mpg and 159g/km of CO2 in the four-wheel-
drive manual model.

Performance isn’t blistering, but the car covers 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. It feels much more grown-up on the move, too. The suspension deals with bumps well – although it’s a little on the firm side – while the Sante Fe is composed around corners. The only complaint concerns the steering, which occasionally feels a little bit vague.

Our pre-production car had soft-touch materials covering the dash, classy-looking dials and solid switchgear, ensuring it felt classy and ready for the showroom. Practicality is as impressive as ever, too: the boot is vast and even the two extra seats that fold up out of the floor are usable for small adults. So the new Santa Fe certainly justifies the increase in price.

Key specs

  • Price: £30,195
  • Engine: 2.2-litre diesel, 197bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed 
manual, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mpg/Top speed: 9.8 secs/118mph
  • Economy/CO2: 46.3mpg/159g/km
  • Equipment: Leather, sat-nav, 
parking camera, heated front seats
  • On sale: October