Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a big wagon that starts like a true 4WD, not simply an SUV. The Korean company understands how buyers’ preferences are heading and it has become a comfortable SUV, but retains some capabilities that are not guaranteed.
Hyundai Santa Fe first came to Australia in 2000. While some saw it to be a bit too cool when others appreciated that Korean designers are making a difference.
However, the completely new and larger model, launched in 2006, has followed the safer styling path, which is a more mainstream trend. The change in shape paid off and got more buyers’ attention.
The third generation Santa Fe came to us in October 2012. It’s longer and wider than previous versions, once again it is marketed as an actual wagon not 4WD. It received a mid-life makeover in November 2015 but we have yet to see these on the used car market.
Input from Australian suspension engineers has been integrated into Santa Fe. Even so, Donith expects a cheap BMW or Merc.
There is good legroom at the back of the original model, but some of them are due to legroom limitations in the front seats. The Santa Fe from May 2006 is larger than its ancestors and the third row option is offered as an option.
There is good luggage space, including side bins and storage space hidden under the floor panel. As is often seen in this class, the third row steals a significant amount of boot. A retractable curtain and luggage net improve security and safety.
Ride comfort is generally good and is noticeably improved with each new model. Over the years, more and more inputs from Australian suspension engineers have been incorporated into Santa Fe. Even so, Donith expects a cheap BMW or Merc. In the bush, Santa Fe copes well with creases on dirt roads. Off-road it offers quite good comfort if the driver behaves in an easy to understand manner.
The Santa Fe initially only came with a 2.7-liter V6, but the range was expanded in 2001 when a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine was added to the choice. However, four-cylinder engines were not popular and were removed from the Australian market in late 2003.
Since late 2006, Hyundai has provided Santa Fe with a turbo-diesel engine. Potential fuel economy makes it worth the hunt.
The four-cylinder engines in the new-generation Santa Fe line of 2012 are special units, with a loud squeak in gasoline, and even more in turbo-diesel engines.
Santa Fe is simple in mechanical design and good family workers will find that they can do many things. It always pays to have a good workshop guide on hand. But please do not try to repair related safety unless you really know what you are doing.
Hyundai’s dealer network is very large. The agent is uncommon in the bush, but the number is increasing steadily. Check your local area to make sure the parts and service provided are very handy.
Spare parts prices are about average for this class and we rarely encounter any real problems with them being in stock.
Insurance premiums are moderate, although there appears to be a larger difference than the average of premiums between companies. I am worth taking the time to shop around for the best deal, since always making sure you make an accurate comparison.
What are you looking for
Build quality is generally good, but sometimes there can be a rough one.
Check if the engine starts up easily, does it pull well and hesitates when sudden acceleration.
Look for good scratches in paint where Santa Fe has been squeezed through a tree branch on road trips.
Make sure the transmission works smoothly and easily and there is no hilarious noise from the universal drive and coupling.
Looking inside to look for signs of it having had a hard time in the hands of heartless children.
Look for good scratches in paint where Santa Fe has been squeezed through a tree branch on road trips. Deeper scratches are likely to be caused by trees or rocks and may require expensive panel repairs.
Body angles and thresholds are often the first to suffer. Also look at the motor protection plates for damage.
White stains on or below the body can be a residue of salt water collected during a trip to the beach. Salt water can create corrosion very quickly if it is below the paint.