Hyundai’s latest offering in the highly competitive crossover market is the retooled Santa Fe, offered by the South Korean company in two flavours – the smaller, five seater Santa Fe Sport, and a three row, seven seater offering with a longer wheel base called simply the Santa Fe.
Whilst the major differences between the two models come down to engine size and passenger capacity, both cars share the same front-wheel drive configuration and six-speed automatic transmission. For those that are interested, both the Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport can also be fitted with an all-wheel drive system that Hyundai claims offers superior traction control and a combination of true torque vectoring and torque braking that should result in an improved overall driver experience.
Both models also share Hyundai’s excellent Driving Selectable Steering Modes (DSSM), which allow drivers to choose from three individual power-steering configurations depending on usage. Setting the system to ‘Comfort’, for example, reduces the steering effort to allow for easier parking, whereas the ‘Sport’ setting actually increases the required steering effort, prioritising a smoother ride at higher speeds.
The large 8-inch touch screen incorporating the third generation of Hyundai’s navigation and information is intuitive and easy to use, a clear indicator that the manufacturer has built upon the success of its previous offerings. If you opt for the top range package, you’ll also feel the benefit of an excellent Infinity 550- watt, Logic 7 audio system which provides enough power and clarity for the most uproarious of family outings.
Ride quality for the Santa Fe errs on the firm side, but is well suited to the demands of the modern crossover vehicle as a car for all occasions. Its interior also compares favourably to other comparable models with a smart well designed cabin and a great deal of space for both passengers and driver.
In conclusion, both configurations of the Santa Fe offer a good deal of car for the money with a whole host of standard features such as Bluetooth, multiple airbags and reversing sensors all contributing towards making Hyundai’s crossover a standout affair.