There are three engines to choose from – two diesels and one petrol. The 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel unit has enough power to breeze you along at a leisurely pace and hang on to the coattails of motorway traffic, but it’s definitely not the sprightliest SUV out there; for similar money, some of the X-Trail’s rivals come with peppier diesels.
Meanwhile, the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel has better low-end pulling power but it’s quite a bit more expensive. So unless you plan on towing every weekend or filling all seven seats most days, it’s hard to justify.
The 1.6 petrol is the least recommendable engine. It makes less noise under load than the diesels, but it lacks their low-down grunt, forcing you to rev it harder to achieve a similar turn of pace, especially with the car loaded up. This hurts fuel economy badly.
Diesel versions with a manual gearbox can tow up to 2000kg. That should be plenty for most horse or caravan fans, although the Hyundai Santa Fe’s limit of 2500kg might make the difference for some buyers. Choose the petrol version or an automatic gearbox with the diesels and the towing weight drops to as low as 1500kg.