If you were looking for the perfect seven-seat SUV … the one that ticks all the boxes and does everything right for your family then the latest release of the Hyundai Santa Fe … the R Series … is definitely one of the vehicles in this popular market segment that you would have to look at.
The latest version of the Santa Fe comes in three equipment levels. The SLX is the base model and it’s certainly got just about everything that you would want in an SUV including front and side airbags, your choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission, rear park assist, cruise control, front fog lamps, heated rear mirrors, air conditioning, full size spare wheel and an iPod compatible audio system.
The mid-range Santa Fe Elite has all the features of the SLX plus proximity key locking and unlocking, push button start, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, automatic headlights, a cool box between the seats, a conversation mirror, leather steering wheel trim, roof rails and rear air conditioning. And you may think that’s all you need in an SUV but then there’s the Santa Fe Highlander.
The Santa Fe Highlander comes with all the features that you will find in the Elite and then you get a rear view camera, 18 inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming mirror, electric folding side mirrors, a sunroof, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, electrically adjustable front passenger seat, in-dash six-stacker CD player and stainless steel “Santa Fe” embossed scuff plates.
Prices start at $37,990 (that includes GST but excludes on-road costs) for the base-model SLX with manual transmission and rises to $48,490 (that includes GST but excludes on-road costs) for the top of the range Highlander and those prices have got the potential to be great value for your hard earned dollars.
The one engine is used throughout the Hyundai Santa Fe R Series range. It’s a 2.2-litre common rail diesel that comes with a variable geometry turbocharger. It delivers 145kW of power at 3,800rpm and 436Nm of torque at 1,800 to 2,500rpm for the six-speed automatic (421Nm in the same rev range for the six-speed manual).
The fuel consumption figures that Hyundai claim for this engine are 6.7L/100km for the manual and 7.5L/100km for the automatic.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg and an unbraked capacity of 750kg.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a five-star ANCAP rating thanks to its full range of safety features.
There are driver and front passenger airbags, dual side front airbags and front and rear passenger side curtain airbags. Rollover sensors across the range trigger the side and curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners should an accident be imminent.
Other standard safety features include Rear Park Assist, front active headrests and three-point retractable seat belts for all occupants including those in the third row. All models in the range are fitted with Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System, Anti-ski Braking System, Brake Assist System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
More than a soft-roader?
While the promotional photos that Hyundai provide for our use here show the Santa Fe in some relatively rough country the owner’s manual makes a clear statement about the Santa Fe’s capabilities. It says:
“These vehicles were not designed for challenging off-road conditions.”
So don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a vehicle that will take you up through Cape York or across the Simpson Desert … but it will take you off-road as long as the conditions aren’t too rough.
Hyundai sees the Santa Fe competing in a segment that includes the Toyota Kluger, the Ford Territory and the Holden Captiva and against the Santa Fe should do very well against those competitors.
You can read more about the Hyundai Santa Fe in our road test here.