Those who are really important don’t drive themselves. He takes care of things in the back while the chauffeur meanders through the street jungle in front. FOCUS takes a look at the six-seat Santa Fe and what makes it special.
Let’s start with a look at the back seat or two executive chairs is better. The only thing missing is a steering wheel, right? The passengers in the second row, admittedly a bit younger, were thrilled. They especially loved the buttons on the passenger seat that adjust the backrest so nicely. Everyone can imagine how annoyed the passenger was…
But the Santa Fe has other qualities that are more important to the crowd. On the one hand, there is the trailer load of 2.5 tons, which it can pull as a diesel. The petrol engines can be expected to be significantly less (1.65 tons) in both the Santa Fe and the group’s brother, the Kia Sorento.
Speaking of Kia: Hyundai used the technology from the Sorento, which was completely redeveloped two years ago. More visible after the Hyundai facelift are the changes to the radiator grille, which is a massive appearance with its honeycomb look. The rear was modified much more moderately, less has changed here. The rear lights are positioned a little lower, and there is also a new LED bar.
The dimensions: The Santa Fe (named after the capital of the US state of New Mexico with the same name) is 4.785 meters long, 1.90 meters wide (2.15 m with exterior mirrors) and 1.685 meters high.
The cockpit has also been revised and that matches the seats with the premium feel. These are very comfortable, even in curves you don’t slip sideways. The instrument cluster was newly developed and looks very modern, but there are a few switches too many that have to be operated. It would have been less easier. However, the rotary controls are good, for example for the volume. The fully digital TFT display installed in the test car is very stylish and changes its design depending on the driving mode (Eco, Normal, Sporty).
When it comes to space, the car is convincing in almost every respect. People over 190 cm have no problems, the situation is similar on the back seat. With two individual seats in the rear, there is no middle seat, which makes the whole thing even more spacious. In row three it gets noticeably narrower and is only recommended for adults for a short time. All in all, the headroom is very good, the legroom is a bit more limited, but still gets the grade good.
The trunk holds 571-1649 liters when the third row of seats is not installed. Otherwise, about 140 liters remain. In the test car, the tailgate opened automatically and also very high – even people with a body length of 190 cm do not hit their heads. The high loading sill of 78 cm is a bit annoying.
The diesel may feel like it is being phased out, but it is currently a very good choice for the almost two-tonne car. With its 194 hp, it brings the car up to 200 km/h without any problems, with a cruising speed of between 160 and 170 km/h being recommended. The Hyundai takes about nine seconds from 0 to 100, which is good performance for the weight. All in all, it is a perfect travel companion for long journeys.
The pricing of the Santa Fe is curious. If you are satisfied with five seats, you can get a diesel with the “Select” variant from 44,000 euros. Anyone who wants six seats, as in the test car, pays at least 55,700 euros for the “Prime” variant. Then there are amenities such as a radio navigation system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and Krell sound system, a digital cockpit with a 12.3-inch display, head-up display and 20-inch alloy wheels on board. Those who opt for the seven-seater with the “Prime” equipment drive 500 euros cheaper.
If you don’t want diesel, you can alternatively use a plug-in hybrid or a mild hybrid. The plug-in starts at 63,950 euros, the hybrid at 57,600 euros.
Lots of space, high quality – the Santa Fe has developed enormously in 20 years. It usually reads the same, but the Koreans are hardly lagging behind the German manufacturers in terms of quality. The premium providers mind you. And prices around 60,000 euros are compared to Audi, BMW or Mercedes, a sum for which the buyer gets more car for the money at Hyundai. When it comes to image, they haven’t reached the same level yet, but who knows what will happen if the trend towards alternative drives continues to grow. A Kia EV6 certainly has everything but no image problem.