Hyundai Santa Fe | Video Review | CarsIreland.ie

Comfortable, spacious and loaded with tech – new Hyundai Santa Fe still a force to be reckoned with in burgeoning seven seat SUV market

“Comfortable, spacious and loaded with tech – new Hyundai Santa Fe still a force to be reckoned with in burgeoning seven seat SUV market”

  • Spacious, comfortable cabin

  • Premium feeling interior

  • Impressive levels of tech on board


Overall Rating

  • High entry price

  • Touchscreen graphics could be better

  • Not the most exciting drive

Overall Rating


The Hyundai Santa Fe was one of the first affordable seven seat vehicles to give ordinary people with a large family the option to drive a stylish SUV rather than a frumpy people carrier. Competition is now stiffer than ever with the Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008 and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace all now competing in the same space, but this all new fourth generation model has been improved in just enough areas to ensure it remains a firm family favourite.

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Interior Gallery

Space & Practicality

Space is absolutely crucial in this market, and the Santa Fe fares quite well here. The boot, with the rear seats down, is a very generous 625 litres – an impressive load area by anyone’s standards. Unfortunately, when you need to use that back row, it pretty much disappears, a problem it shares with all seven seater SUVS, but you will get a couple of shopping bags in with back seats in place.

The rearmost row is easy enough to get into and feels more roomy than both the Kodiaq and 5008, though still not ideal for an adult on a long journey and like all extra rows in this class, is really only intended for occasional use. The middle row is a much more spacious affair, and one of the areas where the new model has improved most. There is ample legroom in every seat, with no big transmission tunnel for the middle seat passenger to contend with. It falls down slightly by not offering a third Isofix anchor which you do get in the Peugeot 5008, but overall it is a pretty comfortable place to be.

Equipment and Safety

Standard equipment on the Santa Fe is generous, although it’s far from the budget option these days. A starting price of €42,000 does mean it’s now edging toward the premium end of the market but the features and finish on board do reflect that somewhat. All models get the seven seats, as well as alloy wheels and roof rails, a heated leather steering wheel, full automatic air conditioning, touchscreen infotainment and parking sensors as standard. So you do get pretty much everything you need from the entry level Comfort Plus.

If you want more bells and whistles, you can most certainly have them. Executive Plus adds front and rear seat warmers, larger 18 inch wheels, privacy glass, full leather, and a larger 7 inch touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

Premium Plus adds to that again with 19 inch wheels, an 8 inch touchscreen, electric seat adjustment, SatNav, and a panoramic glass sunroof.

The new Santa Fe has yet to get its Euro NCAP safety rating but there is an impressive array of driver assisting features on board. These include smart cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and an innovative safety exit assist system which will prevent kids opening the back doors onto oncoming traffic and cyclists by locking them when it senses objects approaching.

Performance & Running Costs

They’re all powered by a 2.2l diesel engine which is same unit that powered the last model, although Hyundai claim they’ve managed to improve the fuel economy and refinement this time around. It pushes out 197bhp and can be mated to either a six speed manual or eight speed automatic gearbox. It’s also available in both two or four wheel drive. Our test car was the four wheel drive auto. The claimed fuel economy for this model is 6l/100km and while it doesn’t quite manage that – it comes impressively close. We managed 6.8 over about 700km of mixed driving.

It’s an extremely comfortable place to be on a long journey. The high driving position, the great seats, the quiet cabin, and mainly the vast feeling of space on board means you get out as fresh as you were when you got in, and the very competent auto box makes it all the more effortless and relaxing.

Reliability & Residuals

The new Hyundai Santa Fe is still the great family car it always was except now it comes with a newly polished, premium feel that should both keep its existing fans happy and gain itself some new ones. That five year unlimited mileage warranty and trusted reputation might just be the edge it needs to halt the slew of rivals chomping at its heels.

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About the Author:

Sinéad is our resident car tester who has the unenviable (-ok, slightly enviable) task of reviewing all the latest new cars to hit the market. You can follow her on Twitter @smcani and on Instagram @whatshedrives