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...

Hyundai Santa Fe back seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

No one is likely to complain about space in the front of any of our contenders, because each is wide and has plenty of leg room. And while the Santa Fe has less head room than the others, only the likes of Dennis Rodman are likely to complain. If that’s you, know that the situation is improved without the sunroof, which is fitted only on the pricier trims.

It’s the Discovery Sport that has the most space in the second row; head and leg room are the best of the bunch and there’s no hump in the floor for the central passenger to deal with. Try to get three adults side by side and they might feel a little squeezed, though, because it’s easily the narrowest car here.

Land Rover back seats

The Rexton doesn’t have quite as much head and leg room, but six-footers will still have space to spare, even if their knees are a bit closer to the front seats. The Santa Fe runs the Discovery Sport exceedingly close for rear leg room, but tall adults will find their heads nearer to its roof.

In the third row, the Discovery Sport’s size deficit becomes very apparent; indeed, it’s so cramped that it’s akin to a torture chamber for taller adults. The Rexton has more head room, but it’s actually the Santa Fe that’s the comfiest, because its roof doesn’t suddenly drop down where the back of your head wants to be. Its third-row seats are also the easiest to erect, fold away and clamber into. 

Ssangyong Rexton rear seats

The Rexton has the largest claimed boot volume, but we actually fitted the most carry-on suitcases (10) into the Santa Fe in five-seat mode. That’s because we load up to the parcel shelf, which is mounted unusually low in the Rexton. The Discovery Sport matches the Rexton by taking eight cases despite being the smallest, but the latter’s boot is the biggest when all seven seats are in place.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe boot

Seating flexibility is a real strength of the Santa Fe. The third row is easy to erect and you can electrically fold the second row from the boot. The panoramic roof restricts head room, though.

Boot 547-1625 litres Suitcases 10

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport boot

It may be easy to raise the third row of seats, but it’s very cramped back there. Only a tiny hump in the centre of the floor makes life easier for a middle passenger, but this is still the narrowest car here.

Boot 479-1698 litres Suitcases 8

Ssangyong Rexton

Ssangyong Rexton boot

The second-row bench doesn’t slide, but leg room in rows two and three isn’t bad at all. Erecting the third-row seats or tipping the middle ones to gain access to the rear requires the most muscle.

Boot 649-1806 litres Suitcases 8

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