Hyundai Santa Fe long-term review

Hyundai's latest Santa Fe is now fighting in the same territory as premium rivals from Audi and BMW. Is it worth your money? We've got four months to find out...

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John Bradshaw
28 May 2018

Hyundai Santa Fe long-term review
  • The car: Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 
  • Run by: John Bradshaw, chief photographer
  • Why it’s here: The appeal of an SUV still remains after my time in an estate
  • Needs to: Offer plenty of space for all my photography gear, provide a comfortable ride on long journeys and have a raft of equipment and modern safety tech

Price £43,295 Price as tested £43,985 Mileage 10,382 Official Economy 38.7mpg (WLTP combined) Test economy 36mpg Options fitted Earthy Bronze metallic paint (£690) 


28th May 2019 – Safety first

Hyundai Santa Fe long-term review

Read any brochure of any car on the market today and you’ll find several pages talking about the raft of safety technology and features included. My Hyundai Santa Fe is no exception, with its spec sheet showing off automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, blindspot monitoring, hill descent control and rear cross-traffic alert.

There’s also ABS, DAA, ESC, HAC and TSA (that’s an anti-lock braking system, driver attention alert, electronic stability control, hill start control assistance and trailer stability assistance, of course), and these all helped the Santa Fe achieve the full five stars in Euro NCAP’s stringent safety tests last year. Naturally, this is only a good thing. But if I had been struggling to decipher some of the acronyms, trying to decipher some of the systems themselves sometimes proved just as confusing. 

The lane-keeping assistance, which guides the car to sit between the white lines of a lane, is particularly intrusive and can often pull you across the lane to keep you central rather sharply. While it never feels dangerous, it can be annoying when you're trying to avoid a wide lorry or make room for motorcyclists. Thankfully, this system can be turned off at the press of a button to the right of the steering wheel, but it reactivates every time you restart the engine, which is a little frustrating. 

The blindspot monitoring, though, is particularly helpful, although it's only available on Premium and Premium SE models. It displays lights on the door mirrors that flash when there’s a hazard you might not be able to see, which provides extra piece of mind, especially when you're looking for overtakes on the motorway.

A plethora of surround-view cameras are also a good option to have, even if I rarely need to use anything other than the usual rear view. The 360deg camera, which shows a bird's eye view of the car, has come in handy on a few occasions, though, when I've been parking up against trees or in gravel car parks, for example. 

Hopefully, I’ll never have to fully experience the capability of all these safety aids, but it’s great that there’s so much technology on hand to make you feel more secure and comfortable on the road. 

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