Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
As the Hyundai Santa Fe is a large SUV, it probably won’t come as a huge surprise that taller adults will fit absolutely fine in the front. Yes, a Peugeot 5008 offers slightly more leg room, but the margins are small and the Santa Fe’s broader interior helps it to feel really airy.
There’s plenty of storage, too: the door bins are long, if fairly narrow, the glovebox is a decent size and there's a big cupholder conveniently positioned between the front seats.
Don’t expect BMW X7 levels of space in the third row of seats, but there’s enough for tall(ish) adults as long as the trip isn't too long. Indeed, third row head and leg room is roughly on a par with the Kia Sorento, which is far better than in the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Toyota Highlander.
If you move forward to the second row seats you’ll find roughly the same amount of leg room as in a Peugeot 5008 or Discovery Sport. Head room is compromised a little by the panoramic sunroof that comes as standard on Ultimate models, but a six-footer will still fit just fine – something that isn't the case in versions of the 5008 fitted with a panoramic roof.
Seat folding and flexibility
If you plan to swap seating configurations regularly, the Santa Fe will make your life really easy. Its third row seats can be raised simply by tugging on a cord and, when folded away again, lie flush with the boot floor so you almost wouldn’t know they were there.
The second row, meanwhile, can be folded down electrically by pushing buttons, although you do need to haul the seats back up again manually. The second row seats also recline and slide back and forth, which is handy because it allows you to balance leg room in the second and third rows depending on how tall your passengers are.
With all seven seats raised, the Santa Fe has roughly the same amount of space left over for luggage as the Kia Sorento – so more than you get in the 5008 and Discovery Sport.
Fold those rearmost seats away into the floor and luggage capacity (below the load cover) is similar to that in the Sorento, 5008 and Toyota Highlander. Indeed, the Santa Fe managed to swallow an impressive 10 carry-on suitcases in our tests.
If you fold down the second row seats as well, you’re left with a van-like load bay that’s almost completely flat, with no annoying steps or ridges and barely any lip at the boot entrance.
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