As far as seven-seaters go, the Hyundai Santa Fe has held its own in the market since it’s original release in the early 2000’s. Built to be a heavy-duty family carrier, but with style and strength, the Santa Fe finds itself in an extremely competitive market segment. I arrive at the Hyundai Dealership in the Glen to find out more about this vehicle, and get to know it a little better.
The team at The Glen, familiar with all my questions and quizzing, take the time to share their vast product knowledge and enthusiasm with me, noting that the Santa Fe has been a popular choice amongst clients for many years. With it’s strong and bold good looks, it’s easy to see why the Santa Fe makes such a statement: it has been beautifully designed and gives off a sense of powerful and capable strength, whilst it’s fluid lines hint at the comfort and luxury that it provides.
The interior is luxurious and extremely spacious; I love the sense of space and with great visibility all round, the sense of being encapsulated in comfort whilst still being able to connect with the outside environment (a panoramic sun roof most certainly adds to the flair and excitement in this way). Having been designed to improve the driving experience, the Santa Fe’s front seats are very supportive and feel great. Head- and leg-room is ample in the front and the first two rows. The third row is a bit tight (as third rows in seven seaters are prone to being) but in terms of boot space, the third row flips down in a 40:20:40 split that maximises the luggage compartment to the optimal level. This kind of practicality is what sums up the Santa Fe, together with a smart feature that allows the tailgate to automatically flip open on it’s own if you approach with full hands and the key in your pocket – a feature I really like.
Boasting a 5-star Eunco Ncap rating, the Santa Fe is set up with a host of passive and active features for the sole purpose of keeping your family safe. With such electronic programmes as smart Cruise Control which automatically maintains a safe following distance from the car in front of you, Blind Spot Detection and Vehicle Stability Management (to name but a few for the sake of being concise) ensure that all four wheels remain grounded at all times, across various terrains. The team at Hyundai the Glen note that the brand prides itself on designing cars that seek to maintain your peace of mind, and the Santa Fe does this extremely well.
Take-off in the Santa Fe is on par with other big SUV’s in its class – there is a powerful 2.2 litre engine that drives it forward, and although there is slight lag here and there, the designer’s mission was to create a smooth and comfortable driving experience, and in this regard, the car performs extremely well. The cabin is really quiet, and I feel exceptionally well isolated from bumps and road inconsistencies. With a great cornering and handling experience (add Traction Control as a superb feature), the Santa Fe was a pleasure to drive in stop-start traffic, as well as on the freeway.
On home turf at the dealership, I am quite saddened to hear that the Santa Fe is being discontinued for production in the near future. As far as big family SUV’s go, the Santa Fe to my mind is one of the best; backed up by incredible service plans and a well-run workshop, this beautiful vehicle is for sure to be a great asset to your family.
By Desh Bechan