Hyundai Santa Fe vs Land Rover Discovery Sport vs Ssangyong Rexton
With £40k to spend on a seven-seat SUV that can pull your caravan, you aren’t limited to Land Rover...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
At first glance, each of these cars appears to have a classy ambience befitting their price tags. But while all three feature plenty of squishy plastics and metal-effect trims, some key differences emerge when you look closer.
The Santa Fe certainly has the most modern-looking dashboard, thanks in part to a big digital display in the centre of the instrument cluster and a large infotainment touchscreen, but there’s some disappointingly scratchy plastic around the door handles that you’re reminded of every time you get in or out. It’s a shame, because all of the switches work with precision and most of the hard plastics are out of sight.
Although the Discovery Sport is well screwed together for the most part, with a luxury edge, it feels rather dated in this company. That’s partly because its displays are laggy and have fuzzy graphics. They feel more Nokia than Apple, especially next to the Rexton’s bright, crisp screens. Then again, the Rexton features more cheap-feeling switches and materials.
There’s no doubt the Rexton gives the most commanding view of the road ahead, and it benefits from electrically adjustable heated seats up front, just like the Discovery Sport. The Santa Fe may not sit quite as tall, but it adds a memory function and ventilation to the front seats. Each car gets reach and rake adjustment for its steering wheel and a good range of seat movement, but it’s the Discovery Sport that has the most comfortable driving position.
All offer good forward visibility, too, although the Rexton suffers from thick rear pillars that block your over-the-shoulder view. To help matters, each gets parking sensors all round and cameras. But whereas the Discovery Sport and Rexton have only a rear-view lens, the Santa Fe has several that combine to give a 360deg picture.
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