The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the best SUVs on the market at the moment, thanks to its extensive list of features, good powertrains with all models coming with an on-demand all-wheel drive system, and excellent overall value. Here are the top 10 reasons why the Santa Fe is such great value.
SUVs are notoriously expensive, however, Hyundai proves that is not necessarily the case. Prices for the Santa Fe start at $38,490 and top out $51,990 for the most luxurious and heavily-equipped version. This makes it an outstanding bargain in the large SUV segment, where it goes up against rivals such as the Mazda CX-9 ($44,525-$63,003), and locally made Ford Territory ($39,990-$59,990).
Two engine options are available in Australia, including a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol developing 141kW and 242Nm. It comes with an average fuel economy figure of 9.0L/100km. This rates well against the likes of the 123kW Holden Captiva 7 (9.0L/100km) which is less powerful and only front-wheel drive in 2.4-litre form.
If that's not good enough, a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is available. It produces 145kW and 436Nm, and consumes an average of just 7.3L/100km. Again, this compares well against rivals such as the 135kW Captiva 7 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, which uses 7.6L/100km in front-wheel drive form - the on-demand all-wheel drive version uses 8.1L/100km.
In the back, the Santa Fe offers a cargo volume spanning from 516 litres to 1615 litres with the rear seats folded down. This compares well in the segment, with the best-selling Jeep Grand Cherokee offering up to 1554 litres, and the big Ford Territory opening up to 1153 litres. Legroom and headroom in the first and second row of seats is also impressive considering its medium-sized external dimensions.
Equipped with either the 2.4 petrol or 2.2 turbo-diesel, you're not going to be shortchanged any power when compared with the other offerings in the segment. The 2.4's 141kW makes it more powerful per litre than the thirsty 201kW Toyota Kluger; 57.4kW:1L engine capacity versus 58.7 in the Hyundai. Similarly, the 145kW 2.2 diesel produces more power than the 140kW/440Nm 2.7-litre V6 diesel you get in the larger Ford Territory, not forgetting the Hyundai is only a 2.2 four-cylinder.
Even if you try and stack up some of the more prestigious offerings in the SUV market, the Santa Fe often comes out on top in terms of sheer packaging and equipment. For example, a rear-view camera is standard across the board, which is a must for families with young children playing around. The mid-spec Range Rover Evoque in the segment up from this doesn't come with a camera. Instead, it's a $690 option. Bluetooth is also standard across the board with the Santa Fe, as is seven seats, 11 airbags, and front and rear air-conditioning.
Hyundai seems to be on a winning streak at the moment, with every new model coming out showcasing a sharp, modern design inside and out. From the outside the panels take on a bold and defined theme, with a well-proportioned front end, while the rear is neatly finished off and swoops down nicely to form the tailgate. Open the door and you're greeted with a sophisticated set of controls accented by metal-like trimmings.
Hyundai is one of the benchmark setters when it comes to new vehicle warranty, with the Santa Fe providing customers the assurance of five-year, unlimited-kilometre coverage. Few rivals in the segment offer such peace of mind, including the best-seller in this segment, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which offers three-years/100,000km.
You have probably heard of capped-price servicing by now, with many of the big-name manufacturers offering such a service. Hyundai has been offering it to its customers since 2012 through the iCare program. It means all scheduled services for the first three years of ownership are capped at a set price. This saves you hundreds of dollars compared with if you were to go out and get services done by a local mechanic.
While some of the other more heavy-duty SUVs in this segment might be better off road, the Santa Fe is excellent on road. And let's face it, unless you live in Cape York, the tarmac is where you're going to be spending most of your time. The Santa Fe is a rewarding, compliant, and comfortable on-road cruise. It steers nicely in the corners too, with little body roll and good body composure thanks to its independent front and rear suspension.
The Santa Fe is one of few vehicles on the market at the moment that comes with 11 airbags as standard. This abundance of air-filled cushioning helps give the SUV a full five-star ANCAP safety rating. Other standard features designed to keep you and your passengers as alive as possible in the event of a crash include the rear-view camera, as mentioned, traction and stability control, rear parking sensors, lap-sash seatbelts for all seven seats, and a standard cargo net in the back to stop objects becoming projectiles.