Engine: 2.4-litre petrol four, 141kW/242Nm
Transmission: six-speed auto, all-wheel-drive
Overall fuel economy: 9.0litres/100km
C02 emissions: 209gr/km
Equipment: Includes Bluetooth and reversing camera
Safety: 5-star ANCAP rating
Factory warranty: Three years/100,000km
Things didn’t quite go according to the script when Hyundai Automotive NZ launched the latest version of the Santa Fe SUV, especially with regards to the petrol models. The smallest petrol engine, the 2.4 four sampled here, could only be had in 4wd format, while the largest, a 3.3 V6, was only made available in front-wheel-drive. This meant that HANZ’s usual strategy of making a 2wd four-cylinder petrol Santa Fe the base model was no longer viable. So instead of having an entry price in the low- to mid-50s, the most affordable new Santa Fe is now this $57,990 five-seater. It’s also available in a seven-seat format for $59,990.
The good news is that you get what you pay for. The base Santa Fe hasn’t moved upmarket in price alone, there’s enough extra refinement, equipment, and quality to justify the increased spend. Drive the latest model after getting out of the previous generation vehicle, and you’re immediately impressed by how much quieter the cabin is, how much more space it offers, the sharper steering, and the even more impressive build integrity of the Korean SUV. Performance isn’t bad either, given that there’s 1727kg of capacious lifestyle-wagon for the mid-sized petrol engine to motivate. With the company’s excellent R-series 2.2 litre turbodiesel now costing $63,990 to access in a Santa Fe, the 2.4 petrol is a viable alternative as it offers a similar amount of peak horsepower. For those seeking to take full advantage of the Santa Fe’s ability to tow 2000kg, the extra $6000 needed to access the diesel will be money well-spent, as the compression-ignition engine offers 40 per cent more torque. However those with more modest tasks in mind for their Santa Fe, will find that the base petrol continues to deliver better value.
Bank-vault build of this roomy vehicle
Not so good
Santa Fe’s entry price has risen by $4000