You’re looking at latest and largest version of Hyundai’s SUV range, launched in 2001 and now moving into its fourth generation.
These days there’s an air of confidence about everything Hyundai does with the Santa Fe. This seven-seater has been the marque’s SUV flagship and has sold around 1.6m examples in Europe as well as scoring even bigger successes in the US, so its creator has known for a long time that it is on the right track. Which is why this latest iteration, unveiled at the Geneva motor show last March and in UK dealerships now, is pretty similar to previous versions, only better in nearly every way.
It’s an imposing design, and modern-looking against its peers, conforming well enough to the company’s claims to an “impressive presence” and a “powerful, wide stance”, although the one about “athletic lines” is stretching the friendship just a bit. The new Santa Fe is palpably about generous cabin space and carrying capacity, and is none the worse for that.
The new interior is dominated by an impressive two-level fascia featuring a prominent and unusually easy-to-use central screen. Details like switch lighting, instrument graphics and the location of USB ports are unusually thoughtfully handled, and there’s an impressive feeling of completeness throughout the car. To back that up, our Santa Fe Premium SE came without a single extra-cost option, because nothing needed adding.