Driven: Hyundai Santa Fe

1 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Driven: Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe

Joshua Dowling

Hyundai Fe

Meet the latest version of the car is putting the traditional family wagon on the endangered species

The generation that grew up in the back of Ford Falcons or Commodores is now embracing softroaders in a big

#8220;Faux-wheel-drives#8221; are rapidly changing the automotive landscape #8211; and the of cars in driveways and on nature across the country.

Sales of softroaders like the Hyundai Fe are up 30 per cent in the past 12 months (when you exclude their 4WD cousins).

Hyundai says than 70 per cent of Santa Fe are bought by mums and dads either as a private purchase or a lease.

More than 80 per of buyers have just one or two #8211; but they want a because they don#8217;t to leave friends or family

Hyundai was one of the early entrants in the softroader class, with the Santa Fe arriving locally 12 ago.

But despite being for much of the category#8217;s growth, the Fe is still only the fourth-best in its class behind the Ford Toyota Kluger and Holden #8211; all of which sell at than twice the rate of the

With that in mind, has put its biggest effort yet into the third-generation model.

As has been by Drive earlier, all three are better equipped than but pricing remains largely . starting at $36,990 plus costs for the Active petrol (add $2000 for automatic) and to $45,990 for the mid-grade Elite and $49,990 for the top-line Highlander (both of which are automatic

The base model Santa Fe is also available with power from $39,990 on-road costs #8211; but the engine is not available in the top two models, for

As is the case with most in this category, where engines are available they for the majority of sales #8211; is forecasting just 20 per cent of Fe sales will be of the petrol

For now, all models are equipped an on-demand all-wheel-drive system. A front-drive-only version is not available but may be at a later stage.

Hyundai is in no to add a 2WD-only model because it it can#8217;t get enough cars to demand any way.

While the new Fe began arriving in showrooms in numbers this week, Australia hopes supply improve next year.

All Fe models now come with airbags, a rear view and a full-size spare wheel (as mounted behind the rear rather than under the floor).

The two top grade models with a seven-inch touchscreen navigation, as well as leather and other luxuries.

The second-row slides forward or back to way for leg room or luggage in the rear and the seat back reclines at up to 10 positions.

There is ample for the front seat occupants and passengers #8211; but you#8217;ll to be small or tough to handle the row.

The third-row seating is to kids or early teens who are yet to a growth spurt. My 178cm couldn#8217;t fit under the new, roofline without tilting my

The new Santa Fe#8217;s footprint the distance between all four #8211; is but for a few millimetres unchanged before, but the body is wider and

However, the exterior width automatically translated to interior

The interior door panels thicker padding than which means the new Santa Fe is 15mm wider inside up #8211; and 30mm narrower in the

Hyundai also claims the new Fe has a bigger boot than now 537 litres with seats up and litres with the two back stowed flat. (The row splits 40:20:40 for seating and flexibility.)

However, the new Santa Fe has a tailgate opening than the old #8211; a diagonal width of compared to the old model#8217;s 1330mm, is important to know before you any trips to Ikea.

And you better working out because you will to lift the shopping/pram/mountain bike/Ikea kit a higher because the load (top edge of the rear is taller on the new model compared the old (according to our tape measure versus 720mm).

At least you#8217;ll be pampered a better once inside, soft-touch materials on most you come into contact and a well presented cabin.

the trip isn#8217;t as easy as a of a plastic pin #8211; instead got to navigate through a menu by buttons on the steering wheel. Ah,

And only the driver gets an power window at a time most new models have convenience on all four doors. At there are ample door cup holders and 12V power sockets and a deep centre console and

Hyundai Santa Fe

Convex mirrors on both make it easy to see cars, and bikes alongside you. the over-shoulder view when is restricted by the tapering side at the rear; the camera helps some of the guesswork.

On the road the new Santa Fe is a big improvement on the previous

The diesel is eerily quiet and the engine has sufficient urge being only a four-cylinder. The automatic transmissions worked and smoothly with both

Although the layout of the Santa underpinnings are largely the same, the old could feel like a stick on bumpy roads like it was about to launch if you hit a in the middle of a bend.

The new one feels surefooted than before but first impressions are that it isn#8217;t class-leading, despite engineering of the car and benchmarking the top five

It may sound like motoring gibberish #8211; most will have no issue at all the way the new Santa Fe drives #8211; but the is there is still some for improvement should Hyundai to dabble with the suspension and further.

The steering has three Adjusted at the press of a button, the are defined as comfort, normal and but are best described as light, and heavy.

We experimented with all settings and found ourselves on normal #8211; and suspect mums and dads will do the

At least the new Santa Fe is more across the range in the way it drives. model comes with 18-, or 19-inch tyres as the climbs.

The suspension is the same on variant (but the spring are different from petrol to to handle the diesel engine#8217;s weight). They all have a level of grip and comfort not too bouncy and not too stiff.

Hyundai fuel consumption has come (see table below) the new model is 70kg lighter before, and some further have been found in the petrol and diesel engines.

But tells us to wait until an test in the real world. in with us again in a few weeks#8217;

Fast facts: Hyundai Fe

Active petrol:


$38,990 (auto)


Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
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