Our cars: Hyundai Santa Fe - February

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  • Santa Fe seems to have survived its high-speed encounter with some debris

    Santa Fe seems to have survived its high-speed encounter with some debris

  • Santa Fe performed faultlessly as a load-lugger when Will had to transport a large flat-pack item

    Santa Fe performed faultlessly as a load-lugger when Will had to transport a large flat-pack item

  • Will thinks the Santa Fe looks great, but the kick in the waistline hampers rear visibility

    Will thinks the Santa Fe looks great, but the kick in the waistline hampers rear visibility

  • Santa Fe's boot is so big that it makes loading or retrieving items from the rear tricky for shorter people

    Santa Fe's boot is so big that it makes loading or retrieving items from the rear tricky for shorter people

  • Auto hold function on our Santa Fe's gearbox makes traffic jams far less frustrating

    Auto hold function on our Santa Fe's gearbox makes traffic jams far less frustrating

  • Our Santa Fe's rear nearside door refused to open - thankfully only for a few days, though

    Our Santa Fe's rear nearside door refused to open - thankfully only for a few days, though

  • Hyundai has been in for its first, free, check at the dealer

    Hyundai has been in for its first, free, check at the dealer

  • Will was glad to have the comfort and warmth of the Santa Fe after the Caterham failed to proceed

    Will was glad to have the comfort and warmth of the Santa Fe after the Caterham failed to proceed

  • The Santa Fe has been proving its abilities as a load-lugger

    The Santa Fe has been proving its abilities as a load-lugger

  • If the key's in your pocket, the Santa Fe's mirrors unfold and puddle lights illuminate as you approach

    If the key's in your pocket, the Santa Fe's mirrors unfold and puddle lights illuminate as you approach

  • Will can't get perfectly comfortable in the Santa Fe as the seat base seems to makes his thighs ache

    Will can't get perfectly comfortable in the Santa Fe as the seat base seems to makes his thighs ache

  • Playing 'I spy' through the panoramic roof is a great way to keep children entertained and occupied

    Playing 'I spy' through the panoramic roof is a great way to keep children entertained and occupied

  • The Hyundai Santa Fe is the latest arrival on the What Car? long term test fleet

    The Hyundai Santa Fe is the latest arrival on the What Car? long term test fleet

  • Sunroof rattle is spoiling Will's hunt for fresh air

    Sunroof rattle is spoiling Will's hunt for fresh air

  • Prefer not to have voice sat-nav guidance? You need to do this for every journey

    Prefer not to have voice sat-nav guidance? You need to do this for every journey

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Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 4WD

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending February 28
Mileage 8907
Driven this week 1057

I've hopped back into the Hyundai after driving various test cars for the past few nights. Although it is nice to be back, there are a couple of minor annoyances that are beginning to have me asking ‘Why was it designed like that?’.

The first is why on earth in this day and age DAB digital radio isn’t offered - even as an option - in Hyundai's £33k flagship model (although we’re hearing this situation may be changing).

The other gripe I have is with the sound settings. Standard FM radio sounds relatively thin and tinny, so you need to adjust the tone settings and increase the bass to compensate - no problem, so far. However, the Hyundai has a very bassy standard set-up for the iPod/CD and streamed music sources, so flicking between radio and iPod then means that the latter sounds unbearably boomy.

Having no source tone memory means that you have to adjust it manually every time - very frustrating, to say the least. On the upside, the sound quality from the external sources is quite decent with the ‘premium’ sound system that’s standard on Premium trim and above. Not all bad news, then.

By Will Williams
Will.Williams@whatcar.com

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending February 21
Mileage 7850
Driven this week 466

First impressions matter, and the Santa Fe makes a concerted effort to make a good one. For such a big car, I think it looks pretty stylish and it manages to hide much of its bulk well.

There's also the nice touch of having the wing mirrors unfold and the puddle lights illuminate as the driver approaches the car. As long as you have the key in your pocket, the Santa Fe recognises you making your way towards it and ‘greets’ you.

It's actually a rather useful feature, especially at this time of year in a dark and wet car park.

By Matthew Burrow
Matthew.Burrow@whatcar.com

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending February 7
Mileage 7384
Driven this week 1184

Only the other week, Art Editor Stephen Hopkins mentioned how the back of his thighs were aching after spending a while at the wheel of our Santa Fe. It's not something that you notice on a brief test drive, but as the miles pile on, it's something that has been niggling me as well, particularly my left leg.

I have the seat set as low as it will go so it shouldn't really dig in, but I guess the elevated seat base is quite firm at its foremost edge, and perhaps this digs in to your legs. It's not hugely uncomfortable, but is less than ideal when on the average day I spend longer behind the wheel of Hyundai's flagship model than I do sat on my comfy sofa at home. A spot-on driving position is therefore one of my priorities.

Let me know if you're experiencing the same problem with your Santa Fe via the email below.

By Will Williams
Will.Williams@whatcar.com

Our cars: Hyundai Santa Fe - January

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