Our cars: Hyundai Santa Fe - May

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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

/

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 4WD

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending May 30
Mileage 18,200
Driven this week 500

In previous reports I've moaned about the lack of availability of DAB digital radio, even in the top-spec Premium SE version of the Santa Fe that we're running.

However, I've done a bit research on the subject and Hyundai has recently started offering DAB on both the Premium and Premium SE models, because they already have a suitable, upgraded head unit. The DAB unit is made by Clarion and can be ordered through your local dealer for £199, although the dealer will charge their usual labour rates and installation will take 'no more than two hours'.

The system also allows you to still use all of the steering wheel controls because it effectively runs as an aux input.

I just wish that it had been launched a few months ago so that I hadn't missed out on my daily fix of 6 Music.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com


Week ending
May 23
Mileage
17,700
Driven this week
750 miles

Here at What Car? we're lucky we're able to jump in and out of different cars most evenings, giving us the chance to sample every infotainment system on the market.

Some are good, some look dated, some are infuriating. The touch-screen sat-nav system in our Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the former. Very good, in fact.

Often, it's my girlfriend tapping in the postcode at weekends before we set off somewhere, so it's always interesting to get her view on how easy a system is to use, especially as she doesn't have the benefit of trying them all the time.

Her report on the Hyundai's system was very positive. Its clear buttons and bold menus are very easy to move through, and from my perspective hitting the individual letters on the move is simple, too.

The on-screen graphics also look sharp, and turning off the spoken guidance is a simple process - one of the most important features.

By Rory White
Rory.White@whatcar.com





Week ending
May 16
Mileage
16,950
Driven this week
910 miles

I've finally had chance to test the Santa Fe's load carrying ability for large, awkward items - well, more than I do every day with camera kit.

The package in question was a very long box filled with a flat-pack swinging garden seat. My concern at the size of the item was quelled immediately - the box fitted lengthways with room to spare, and without the need to slide the front passenger seat forwards.

The seat bases and backrests all fold down to almost flat at the pull of a lever in the boot, and there's no need to remove any headrests thanks to the ample middle row legroom.

In the photograph, you can easily see the C/D pillar blind spot that I mentioned in last week’s update, and this angle also shows how much the waistline rises to the rear of the car.

In any case, the Santa Fe performed faultlessly as a load-lugger, which is more than can be said about my flat-pack furniture building skills.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending May 9
Mileage
16,040
Driven this week
1410 miles

Being a photographer means I'm more of a ‘visual’ person, but let’s face it – we're all suckers for a good design with loads of flair.

So I must admit to having a bit of a soft spot for the way the Santa Fe looks, and not just from one or two angles. The front grille has loads of presence without being too ostentatious.

The rising waistline and crease along the side of the car help make it look much more athletic than it actually is to drive, but it’s also the cause of an everyday niggle. The way that the rear panel kicks up at the back edge of the rear doors might look great, but it reduces your over-shoulder visibility, so much so that it can be tricky to spot even normal-height cars, not just low sporty ones.

I've also noticed that this has an effect on the third row of seats, which can feel quite claustrophobic. Still, this shouldn’t stop you buying one – just consider taking passengers with you for the test drive to see what they think.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Hyundai Santa Fe review

Week ending May 2
Mileage
14,630
Driven this week
1130 miles

The Santa Fe has been busy this week ferrying around friends and family in the West Country, which - thanks to the mysteriously self-curing faulty rear door handle - made the process much easier than it otherwise might have been.

The journey down was very relaxing despite the bank holiday traffic, and allowed me to make the most of the intuitive cruise control. I even managed 34.4 mpg (overall average is currently 30.1mpg).

One thing my mother noticed - as she’s 5ft 4in tall - is that if you are a little ‘vertically challenged’, the back of the boot and parcel shelf are quite hard to reach when you want to load your stash of Cornish bakery treats. It also means that you have to lean up against the grubby bumper, which was a bit frustrating for her. However, I'm 5ft 10in on a good day, so no problems if you're of average height.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

Our cars: Hyundai Santa Fe - April

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