Hyundai’s new SantaFe is very difficult to fault; it’s spacious, drives well, has a pretty good diesel engine and automatic box and prices itself very competitively. You can see why the Koreans are climbing up the sales charts so rapidly, at the launch they even boldly stated that they are pulling sales from the untouchable trio of Germans (Audi, BMW and Merc) particularly in the compact SUV segment.
First look at the new SantaFe is pleasing, Hyundai as incorporated the ix35s curves into the bodywork whilst still making it look like the beefier big brother it is. The new Hyundai family grille is a strong visual mark on the SantaFe and if its latest concepts are anything to go by it is looking to accentuate this grille even further.
Under the bonnet there is one engine derivative – 145kW 2.2-litre turbodiesel throughout the range and runs only of 50ppm low Sulphur fuel. Peak torque is a strong 436Nm that occurs between 1800 and 2200rpm. It’s a very smooth pulling engine and together with the six speed automatic gearbox, works faultlessly in the background.
As usual Hyundai specs its cars fully loaded however we noticed the SantaFe was missing some things, a navigation system is not available standard but Hyundai say that they will fit an aftermarket module if requested that fits into the fascia. There is not a Bluetooth system either but again they are working on bringing a system in at no extra charge if the customer requires.
Models available in the SantaFe start with a 2WD five-seater Premium model, the middle of the range is the AWD seven-seater Executive and the range topper is the Elite AWD seven-seater that gets things like a full panoramic roof, heated seats and an automatic hill hold feature.
Santa Fe also boasts Hyundai’s 5 year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, plus a 5 year /150 000 km roadside assistance and a 5 year/90 000 km service contract. Service intervals are 15 000 km.
Santa Fe R2.2 Premium FWD 5-seater R434 900
Santa Fe R2.2 Executive AWD 7-seater R459 900
Santa Fe R2.2 Elite AWD 7-seater R499 900