Today’s entrant, the Hyundai Santa Fe, received a major update a year or two ago, which has given the seven-seat SUV even more interior space, clever safety and entertainment equipment, and an updated engine lineup that results in one of the most attractive seven-seat SUVs currently available in Australia.
The question remaining, then, is just how well does the latest Hyundai Santa Fe meet the needs of growing Australian families, and how does it stack up against its competitors when it comes to value for money? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $45,550
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Hyundai Santa Fe - CRDi (AWD) Specifications
|Transmission||8 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3800 / 1750|
|Fuel tank size||67.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.1 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Hyundai Santa Fe car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Hyundai Santa Fe lineup kicks off from $45,550 for the entry-level V6 petrol, with the CRDi diesel coming at a price of $49,050. From here, the lineup moves to the Active V6 and CRDi, which are priced from $49,750 and $53,250 respectively.
The Santa Fe Elite is priced at $56,000 for the V6 petrol, while the Elite CRDi is priced at $59,550. Moving to the range-topping Santa Fe Highlander V6 comes at a price of $62,550, while the Highlander CRDi is priced at $66,050.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Hyundai Santa Fe Have?
The entry-level Hyundai Santa Fe comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, and receives LED headlights with daytime running lamps, a reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, an electronic parking brake, wireless smartphone charging, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control system, as well as an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Stepping up to the Santa Fe Active adds a set of 18-inch alloys, chrome exterior highlights, power-folding mirrors, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front-mounted parking sensors, keyless entry & start, wheel-mounted paddle shifters and rear privacy glass.
Opting for the Santa Fe Elite adds a set of 20-inch alloys, LED tail lights, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, heated front seats, 10-way adjustable powered front seats, a powered boot lift, upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system fitted with DAB+ radio and satellite navigation, as well as a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
Finally, Hyundai’s flagship Santa Fe Highlander variant comes packing a set of LED projector headlights, a surround-view camera, Nappa leather upholstery, panoramic glass sunroof, head-up driver’s display, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, ambient lighting, aluminium interior contrasts and a remote smart parking feature.
Adaptive cruise control
Reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors
Wireless smartphone charging
8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
18-inch alloys (Active)
Chrome exterior highlights (Active)
Leather upholstery (Active)
Dual-zone climate control (Active)
Keyless entry & start (Active) Front-mounted parking sensors (Active)
20-inch alloys (Elite)
LED tail lights (Elite)
12.3-inch digital driver’s display (Elite)
Heated front seats (Elite)
10.25-inch infotainment system (Elite)
LED projector headlights (Highlander)
Surround-view camera (Highlander)
Panoramic sunroof (Highlander)
Nappa leather upholstery (Highlander)
Heated & ventilated seats (Highlander)
Ambient lighting (Highlander)
Hyundai Santa Fe Colours
The Hyundai Santa Fe is available in a choice of colours, including Phantom Black, Horizon Red, Magnetic Force, Rain Forest, Stormy Sea, Typhoon Silver, White Cream and Wild Explorer silver.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The previous Santa Fe was already a hit when it came to easy, effortless driving, and we’re pleased to report that Hyundai has doubled-down on their efforts here and created one of the smoothest, easy-to-drive and most relaxing seven-seat SUVs on the market.
Power for the V6 petrol variants comes in the form of a 3.5-litre V6, which produces 200kW/331Nm of torque, powering the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic. Opting for the CRDi adds an all-wheel drive platform for added stability and traction, with 148kW/440Nm produced from the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel unit that throws power to the road via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Whichever engine you opt for, you’ll be pleased with just how smooth the Santa Fe is to drive on city streets, and how user-friendly the steering design and suspension makes it as an overall package. The transmission and engine combination offers a decent amount of power in a smooth, refined fashion, making the Santa Fe extremely comfortable in all situations.
At low speeds, the steering wheel remains lightweight, making low speed turns and parking a simple process, while offering progressively more feedback as you pick up speed. This gives the driver some added confidence on the highway and while pushing on country roads, particularly in the AWD variant.
Better still, Hyundai is known for testing and revising the suspension systems of its vehicles specifically for Australian roads, which means the Santa Fe is more adaptable than some of its peers when it comes to comfortable country driving.
As a complete package, then, we can see that Hyundai has continued to improve upon its already well-received platform in the Santa Fe, and it remains capable and comfortable on both smooth city streets and rough country B-roads.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Hyundai’s attention to detail extends to the interior design and packaging of the Santa Fe, which is extremely spacious and more than capable of accommodating a growing Australian family.
Up front, the cabin features a clean and modest design in entry-level form, positioning the driver comfortably above the road with a great view out of the windscreen. Higher-spec models receive leather upholstery throughout the cabin, including Nappa leather in the range-topping Highlander variant.
Regardless of which Santa Fe model you opt for, though, you’ll be absolutely thrilled with the amount of space and comfort in the front of the cabin, which also features some of the best and most practical storage options we’ve seen for the segment.
Up front, you receive a large set of door bins either side, a set of cup holders, a folding armrest with a heap of storage inside, as well as a storage tray and wireless charger in the central console, with another large storage tray hidden beneath the transmission tunnel. This means there’s no shortage of practical touches for a growing family and the hundreds of loose items they can accumulate.
Passengers seated in the second row of the cabin are treated to a comfortable bench seat with easily accessible ISOFIX anchors built into the seat, making the process of installing a child seat a simple task. The second row seat is also able to slide back and forth, which gives those in the third row some added space. There’s also a set of sunshades, air vents and a pair of USBs to keep those seated in the rear comfortable and charged-up on holiday road trips.
All up, there’s a huge amount of knee and legroom for passengers in the second row, even while sitting behind a tall driver that needs added legroom. Combined with a healthy amount of headroom, even for variants receiving the panoramic sunroof, the second row of the Santa Fe’s cabin retains all the family-friendly touches that has made the platform a hit.
The third row of the cabin can comfortably seat a couple of kids, and offers more room than a number of its competitors due to the sliding second-row of seats.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has a boot rated at 130L with the third row of seats standing, which increases to anywhere between 571-782L, depending if you’ve slid the second row forward or not. With all the seats folded, you’ll gain 1,649L of cargo volume, which makes the Santa Fe a great option for moving a heap of people and their belongings.
Is it Safe?
The Hyundai Santa Fe has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 94% for adult protection, 86% for child protection, 67% for vulnerable road user protection and 78% for its safety technologies.
As standard, all Santa Fe variants receive autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep and lane follow assistance, a reversing camera with rear parking sensors.
The Elite and Highlander variants receive a blind-spot camera, safe exit assist and front-mounted parking sensors, as well as reverse autonomous braking and a remote parking feature.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
With two engines available, fuel economy in the Santa Fe lineup depends if you’re opting for the petrol or the diesel variant.
The Santa Fe V6 petrol range is rated at 10.5L per 100km on a combined cycle, which is relatively thirsty even for a vehicle of this size, while the CRDi diesel lineup is rated at just 6.1L per 100km, making it by far the pick of the range when it comes to impressive fuel economy figures.
Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Worth it?
While it might be competing in a competitive segment of the market, there are very few cars that can confidently tick as many boxes as the Santa Fe does, especially when you factor-in the value for money on offer in the lineup.
As a complete package, the Santa Fe offers a comfortable driving platform, combined with a huge amount of interior space and comfort, real-world practical elements and a heap of safety and entertainment technology to boot.
As a result, we recommend that the Santa Fe should be atop your shortlist for seven-seat SUVs, and highly encourage you to get behind the wheel for a test drive.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
V6 petrol (front-wheel drive) and turbo-diesel engines (all-wheel drive) available
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty with capped price servicing packages available
10.5L per 100km fuel economy for petrol; 6.1L per 100km for diesel
2,500kg braked towing capacity
Smooth engine and transmission combinations
Impressive fuel economy from CRDi diesel
Comfortable suspension platform
Spacious interior with clever practical elements
Thirsty fuel economy for V6 petrol
Spartan interior design in base model
Some safety features reserved for higher-spec models
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
Hyundai Santa Fe Competition
Hyundai Santa Fe