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...

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 Miles covered 7884 Official Economy 38.7mpg (WLTP combined) Test economy 35mpg Options fitted Earthy Bronze metallic paint (£690) 


17th April 2019 - A full house

Hyundai Santa Fe tip run

When picking my next long-termer, I was intrigued by the third-row seating that comes standard on the Hyundai Santa Fe. A third row of seats is not something I’ve had to use in a while, now my children are all grown up, but it’s good to know the option is there should I have a particularly big airport run or chauffeur duties to do. 

Our Used Car Deputy Editor Mark Pearson has already made the most of the Hyundai’s seven seats, having borrowed it one weekend for a family birthday outing. Mark is currently running a used five-seat Volvo XC60, and wanted the Santa Fe specifically for the extra passenger power.

Mark loaded it up with a middle row of elderly mothers-in-law and family, with his two teenage girls perched happily on the rearmost seats. While being cramped in the boot is normally an uncomfortable experience for any, the girls had no complaints, and with individual climate control plus a 12V socket for charging gadgets, Hyundai has done all it can to encourage you to make the most of the rear space. There’s even a couple of cupholders back there. 

Wanting to make the most of his time with the Santa Fe, Mark also took a leaf out of my book by using the Hyundai’s enormous boot for a run to the local tip. With the second row folded and the passenger seat pushed forward, the load bay is more than two metres long – big enough for a single bed frame (dismantled!) to fit with room for a bedside cabinet and plenty of Farrow and Ball paint, too. 

Hyundai Santa Fe long-term review

I, on the other hand, favoured some dismantled decking for my tip trip. As I’ve previously mentioned, the boot floor is quite high set – part of the characteristics of an SUV. This could be difficult if you were trying to lift a large, heavy item to load in, but with day-to-day boot use, it’s quite helpful to have it easily reachable, and also means you don’t have to bend too much to get things in and out.

I’m sure I could write plenty more updates talking about the Santa Fe’s capacious boot, but it’s still good to know that these SUVs are still just as much substance as they are style. 

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