New Nissan X-Trail vs Hyundai Santa Fe: interiors

With hybrid power and seating for seven, these family-friendly SUVs both marry practicality and efficiency. But which of them does it better?...

Nissan X-Trail dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Both cars have electrically adjustable front seats, so getting comfy behind the wheel is a cinch. Each car has a sound driving position, too, with a commanding view out and large glass areas to ease all-round visibility.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has a camera on each door mirror so you can see what’s in the blindspot; their images pop up on the instrument panel as soon as you flick the indicator. Both cars provide front and rear parking sensors, along with a 360-degree bird’s eye view camera to help out when parking.

An extra trick up the Santa Fe’s sleeve is that you can drive it in and out of car park bays remotely via the key fob, so occupants can get in and out more easily in tight multi-storey car parks.

Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard

Both cars have head-up displays that place vital driving information in your line of sight, allowing you to keep your eyes on the
road more, and they have 12.3in digital instrument panels behind their steering wheels.

The Nissan X-Trail’s dashboard is more logically laid out and immediately easy to get to grips with, thanks in no small part to having plenty of physical buttons for the climate control and other commonly used functions. By comparison, the Santa Fe’s button-heavy centre console looks a bit of a mess at first glance, although the buttons are at least organised into clusters, so it doesn’t take too long to get familiar with the layout.

Each of our contenders is trimmed attractively inside. The materials used on the doors and dashboard are generally soft to
the touch, while contrasting stitching and glossy trim finishers lift the ambience. However, the Santa Fe’s steering wheel buttons are slightly better finished and it feels a little sturdier overall.

Infotainment systems

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan X-Trail touchscreen

Being larger, the 12.3in screen in the X-Trail is easier to read at a glance when driving than the Santa Fe's, while a column of shortcut keys down the side nearest the driver and a row of big physical controls for the stereo and parking camera earn points for user-friendliness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, with the latter connecting wirelessly. The optional 10-speaker Bose audio system (£590) is worthwhile, even if it could be punchier.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe touchscreen

The Santa Fe’s 10.3in infotainment touchscreen looks slick and its graphics are sharper than the X-Trail’s. Physical buttons below the air vents make it easy to hop between menus, and it’s packed with features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The home screen shortcuts aren’t customisable, though, and the icons could be bigger to make them easier to aim for. The 10-speaker Krell sound system is impressively immersive.

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