Why buy the Hyundai Santa Fe?
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a large SUV that’s a great choice if you have a large family or need to carry heavy loads. Most models have seven seats with space for an adult in each. It has a big boot, diesel models can tow at least two tonnes, and four-wheel-drive models are very capable when driving off-road. The interior has the look and feel of a pricier, premium-brand car – especially the latest version – because all models are packed with tech and it’s relaxing for the driver and passengers. Hybrid models are also surprisingly efficient.
Hyundai Santa Fe range and updates
The current Santa Fe has been sold new since 2018 when it replaced a version produced from 2012 to 2018. You can easily tell the two apart as they have different styling and interiors.
The latest version is available with diesel, hybrid or plug-in hybrid power. The diesel model was sold new until 2020, then reintroduced in late 2021, and is available with a manual or automatic gearbox. All hybrids are automatic. If you want four-wheel drive, it’s available with any of the power options, and you can spot it by the ‘HTRAC’ badge on the boot lid. There are several trim levels to choose from – SE, Premium, Premium SE and Ultimate – all of which have seven seats.
All models of the older Santa Fe have a diesel engine and four wheel drive, with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, and five or seven seats. Trims include SE, Premium and Premium SE.
Hyundai Santa Fe tech and features
In the latest Santa Fe, all models will give you a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for your smartphone. You’ll also get climate control, cruise control and a reversing camera. Premium models add sat nav, hands-free boot opening and a heated steering wheel to go with the heated electric leather seats. The top-grade Premium SE was renamed Ultimate in 2021; on top of everything listed above, these models include a 360-degree parking camera, head-up display and an opening panoramic sunroof.
Older Santa Fe are also very well equipped. SE models have air con, cruise control, Bluetooth, heated front seats and rear parking sensors. Premium models will give you climate control and sat nav, a reversing camera, leather seats and front parking sensors. Premium SE models also have electrically adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel and a sunroof.
Hyundai Santa Fe running costs and value
According to official figures, the latest Santa Fe can give you an average fuel economy of 38-44mpg with diesel or hybrid power. The plug-in hybrid can give as much as 173mpg if you keep the battery topped, to maximise usage of its 36-mile zero-emission electric range. The older version can give up to 47mpg. In both cases, Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) and insurance costs are reasonable for a large SUV. Overall, the Santa Fe is very good value considering how much space and equipment you get.
Hyundai Santa Fe vs rivals
Other large SUVs available with seven seats include the Kia Sorento, the Skoda Kodiaq and the Nissan X-Trail. The Kia has a sportier look than the Hyundai, which you may find appealing, the Skoda feels more nimble to drive and the Nissan is more affordable, if less spacious for passengers. In comparison, though, the Hyundai’s premium quality interior, impressive tech and efficiency stand out.