Hyundai Santa Fe - best 4x4s and SUVs
Like its Kia Sorento sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe is practical and comfortable
Want to see how far Korean car makers have come in terms of quality and desirability? Look no further than the Hyundai Santa Fe. Its stylish lines are a far cry from those of 2001’s boxy original, and while the second-generation model went upmarket with a smoother look and plenty of kit, it’s the current car that’s moved Hyundai to a premium level.
The design is attractive, with a bold chrome grille, angular headlights and a small window area, while black plastic trim adds off-road class. Plus, the high-quality interior is sharply designed and loaded with kit. Go for a Premium model and you get luxuries such as leather seat facings, climate control, auto lights and wipers, sat-nav and a reversing camera. There’s a seven-seat option, too, but we’d only recommend this if the extra capacity is absolutely essential, as the cramped rearmost row is only really suitable for small children. What’s more, the five-seater has a 585-litre boot, which is 69 litres more than the seven-seat model.
The Santa Fe is a practical family car, and the intelligent 4WD system means it feels secure in slippery conditions. Hill descent control helps keep things in check, while a 4WD lock boosts its off-road ability. And the standard ESP includes Trailer Stability Assist, which makes the Hyundai just as easy to drive when towing its maximum 500kg load as it is with only the driver on board.
It all adds up to an unbeatable package – so it’s no wonder the Santa Fe walked away with our Best Large SUV title at the 2014 Auto Express New Car Awards.