Best large SUV: New Car Awards 2014

The Hyundai Santa Fe is the 2014 Auto Express large SUV of the Year, with the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport commended

There have been a number of new arrivals to the large SUV class in the past 12 months, but none has been able to knock the Hyundai Santa Fe off its top spot.

A year on from its maiden win, the stylish and capable Hyundai continues to prove that the Korean brand is now a serious player in the mainstream marketplace. For instance, it has the sort of eye-catching exterior styling you’d expect from a much more expensive premium machine, while the interior effortlessly blends desirability and versatility.

Best 4x4s and SUVs

At the heart of its appeal as a family-friendly SUV is its ability to accommodate seven people, thanks to the addition of a neat pair of rear seats that fold out of the boot floor. If carrying capacity is your top priority, then there’s always the five-seat version, which boasts a vast 585-litre load bay.

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium interior

Yet there’s style to match the substance, because the Hyundai’s interior is eye-catchingly designed and finished with top-notch materials, while all versions come with enough equipment to shame a luxury limousine. And while there’s only one engine option, the 2.2-litre CRDi diesel is smooth, punchy and surprisingly efficient. There’s also a choice of two and four-wheel-drive transmissions – the latter gets useful additions for off-roading, such as a differential lock and hill descent control.

The Santa Fe’s qualities shine through on the road, too, where you’ll discover assured handling, an absorbent ride and decent refinement. Further highlights include a high-set driving position that gives you a commanding view of your surroundings and the choice of precise six-speed manual or unobtrusive automatic gearboxes.

If you’re still not convinced, check out the value-for-money prices and excellent five-year warranty. On this evidence, it’s not hard to see why the Hyundai has maintained its grip on the large SUV class.

Our choice:

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi seven-seat 4WD Premium (£31,220)

The 2.2-litre diesel is the only engine, so it’s just a case of picking the right trim. We think the well equipped Premium model in seven-seat 4WD guise is all the SUV you’ll need.

Commended large SUVs

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery 2014 action

A recent facelift has helped keep the hugely desirable Land Rover Discovery at the top of its game. Imposing looks, an incredibly practical interior and superb off-road ability are the car’s major calling cards. Yet it’s just as capable on the road, and the V6 diesel serves up effortless performance.

Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport SDV8 front action

It’s not the cheapest choice, but the Range Rover Sport’s blend of abilities is hard to ignore. Lightweight aluminium build and clever air-suspension mean agile handling, while the brand’s trademark off-road expertise means few models can compete with a Sport in the rough stuff.

Recommended

Hyundai Santa Fe review
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid - front
Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe review

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a practical, well-built family SUV with seven seats and loads of standard equipment
29 Apr 2021
New Hyundai Santa Fe 2021 review
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid - front
Hyundai Santa Fe

New Hyundai Santa Fe 2021 review

Updates have made the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV better than ever
13 Apr 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe on sale now priced from £40,250
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe

New 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe on sale now priced from £40,250

Updated Hyundai Santa Fe flagship SUV is available to order in the UK now, with the choice of hybrid and PHEV powertrains
2 Mar 2021

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New SsangYong X200 SUV previewed in teaser sketches
SsangYong X200
SsangYong

New SsangYong X200 SUV previewed in teaser sketches

New X200 SUV concept signifies radical new design direction for SsangYong
27 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021