In-depth reviews

Hyundai Santa Fe review - Interior, design and technology

Quality and design have taken a step forward, with all models displaying an impressive amount of tech

With a much bolder appearance than the previous generation Hyundai Santa Fe, the latest facelift moves things on further with a larger hexagonal grille, flanked on either side by new LED headlamps and a new lower bumper design. At the rear, the tail-lamps are now connected by an LED light bar, and there’s also a redesigned rear bumper.

Wheels range from 17 on the Premium to 19-inches on Ultimate spec cars, and sit within obligatory pumped-up wheel arches. The overall look is one of a more upmarket offering than before, and one that compares favorably to handsome, fashion-forward rivals like the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq

The usual array of silvers, greys and blacks make up the bulk of the car’s colour palette, with Lava Orange, Stormy Sea blue and Horizon Red offering welcome splashes of colour. We’re particularly fond of Rain Forest – a greenish-blue metallic grey. Metallic paint is optional across the range; all models get chrome and dark chrome-coloured exterior trim, with Lava Orange and Phantom Black models boasting more dark chrome trim elements.

The makeover continues inside where the Santa Fe’s vast cabin gets a curvaceous dashboard with a swoopily redesigned centre console with new drive mode control and push button gear selector, comfortable seating and up-to-date infotainment displayed on an improved 10.25-inch screen. There’s a new 12-inch configurable digital instrument cluster for hybrid models too, and while many manufacturers are adding more touchscreen menus to move away from buttons and switches for ancillary functions, the Santa Fe has an initially daunting array of switchgear on its console for climate controls, audio and the like - but don’t worry, you soon get the hang of them.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The new hybrid Santa Fe models both feature an upgraded central touchscreen system with sat-nav and online connectivity services on a clear and easy to use 10.25-inch screen sitting on top of the dashboard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and we are impressed with the touchscreen interface which is easy and intuitive to use. There’s a five-year subscription to online services included, plus a wireless phone charging pad. Ultimate models get an impressive Head-Up Display, while images from its 360-degree cameras are shown on the digital instrument panel in front of the driver.

The standard 10-speaker Krell audio system is a premium set-up with an external amplifier and sub-woofer.

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