Streetwise Santa Fe in SA
CAPE TOWN - I’m not really surprised to find that Hyundai have worked their way to the number four spot in the global top vehicle manufacturer’s list in such a relatively short space of time.
With a great product like the latest generation Santa Fe SUV that was launched in South Africa in January 2013, interestingly, the car companies above them in ascending order are Toyota, Volkswagen and GM, have every right to be nervous, reckons the writer.
‘VERSATILE BEAST OF BURDEN’
An overview of the all-new and extremely versatile all-wheel drive Sante Fe comprises three derivatives known as Premium, Executive and Elite, in five- and seven-seater guise.
There’s also a choice of auto transmissions, the common denominator being the rather good 2.2 four-cylinder turbodiesel featuring an advanced third-generation common-rail fuel injection system and a high efficiency electronic turbocharger.
Buyers in this premium segment are given a choice between the front-wheel drive Santa Fe Premium and the two, all-wheel drive derivatives called Executive and Elite.
When carrying more passengers becomes a priority, the Executive and Elite with their third row of seats that fold away into the cargo floor in the rear, offers another option to make it an even more versatile “beast of burden.”
A closer look at the gem of a motor reveals a 16-valve 2.2 engine with double overhead camshafts delivering 145kW at peak power output of 3800rpm, and sizeable levels of torque that reach its maximum of 436Nm when the engine runs between 1800 and 2500 rpm.
Fuel consumption figures, according to the manufacturer of 8 litres/100 km for the Premium FWD and 8.3 litres/100 km for the AWD Executive and Elite derivatives, have been recorded in combined European testing cycles.
The all-wheel drive system in the Executive and Elite versions deliver power through the front wheels under normal road conditions for optimum economy and fuel efficiency, but engages automatically when conditions demand it.
Additionally, there is a 4WD lock mode selector which distributes power in a 50:50 ratio to both front and rear wheels for increased off-road ability, while automatically switching to Auto mode for protection of the drive system when the vehicle speed increases to 40 km/h.
IDEAL FAMILY CAR
One thing that’s very noticeable – and much to the chagrin from the German trilogy of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW apparently – is an almost non-existent options list from this Korean manufacturer because the Sante Fe really does come full house.
To sum up, what you see is what you get, while admirably managing to combine cutting-edge modern style with class-leading standards of comfort and practicality, making it an ideal family car.
In line with Hyundai’s “Modern Premium” brand direction, the car exudes a sense of quality and luxury that may well put rivals in the shade and impress anyone who gets up close to it.
Santa Fe 2.2 Premium FWD 5-seater a/t - R434 900
Santa Fe 2.2 Executive AWD 7-seater a/t - R459 900
Santa Fe 2.2 Elite AWD 7-seater a/t - R499 900
The new Santa Fe also boasts Hyundai’s five-year/150000km manufacturer’s warranty, plus a five-year/150000km roadside assistance and a five-year/90 000km service contract.
Service intervals are set every 15 000 km