Used Hyundai Santa Fe 2018-present review

Category: Large SUV

Section: What is it like?

Hyundai Santa Fe front
  • Hyundai Santa Fe front
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard
  • Hyundai Santa Fe third row seats
  • Hyundai Santa Fe side
  • Hyundai Santa Fe rear
  • Hyundai Santa Fe third row seats
  • Hyundai Santa Fe front
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard
  • Hyundai Santa Fe third row seats
  • Hyundai Santa Fe side
  • Hyundai Santa Fe rear
  • Hyundai Santa Fe third row seats

What's the used Hyundai Santa Fe 4x4 like?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is aimed at those wanting a large SUV with seven seats and a reasonable price tag. This latest, fourth-generation model has a capacious interior, handsome exterior look and upgraded tech compared with the previous-generation model.

There was only one engine option when it arrived back in 2018: a 197bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel that received subtle upgrades over the previous-gen car in order to make it more efficient. With this engine, there is the option of front or four-wheel drive and a choice between a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

On the road, the Santa Fe feels like a large and relatively heavy car, despite the healthy low-down torque of its diesel engine. There’s sometimes an annoying delay between putting your foot down and the car actually responding, especially away from a standstill after the stop/start system has cut the engine’s power, but on the whole it’s a tidy enough performer.

It handles corners fairly well, too, though of course it’s no sports car. The steering is rather heavy, but there’s a good amount of grip available and the car's behaviour is predictable in most situations. Around town, its ride can feel slightly agitated, however, and can be caught out by large potholes and ruts, although it does settle down at speed.

Inside, the Santa Fe has a good driving position, with plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat. All versions come with full lumbar adjustment. The dashboard is logically laid out with clearly marked, well-spaced buttons and dials, making it really easy to use – even when you’re driving. Visibility is good, especially to the front and sides, while the rear view is hampered slightly by the thick pillars, although all versions come with a reversing camera and parking sensors as standard.

Where the Santa Fe really scores is in interior space. The front is roomy and airy, with plenty of storage bins and spaces for odds and ends. The second-row seats are wonderfully spacious, too, with room for three abreast, while the two rearmost seats are big enough for moderate-sized adults for shorter journeys, and older children won’t complain. It’s easy to fold away or pull up those third-row seats, too, and the boot space left when they're down is vast. Fold the second-row seats down as well and you could house a baby elephant in there without too much trouble. The second-row seats slide back and forth and recline, so the whole Santa Fe experience is one of flexibility and immense practicality.