Use the Active voice
Base Santa Fe diesel is a clarion call for value and is a smart family choice
THERE always seems to be a deal in Hyundai showrooms, a tactic that helped the brand to clear the 100,000 sales mark for the first time last year.
This month it’s a free diesel upgrade on the Santa Fe, which gives me a good reason to jump into one.
But this time around I’m not opening the door on the topline Highlander, which draws more than half of Santa Fe buyers despite its $54,000 price tag, and instead I go for the starting-price Active.
The current deal means a Santa Fe diesel manual starts at $38,490, the basic petrol price, with the auto jumping to $40,990. It’s pretty tasty stuff in a class where its only real sevenseater price rivals are the Ford Territory, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Kluger and — no surprise, in the South Korean clone car wars — Kia’s Sorento.
In a world that’s overstuffed with SUVs, the Santa Fe is a nice surprise. What it says on the box is what you get.
It’s a big, family-friendly SUV with good cabin space and the stuff you really need.
It would be better if the tow rating was higher than two tonnes but it’s not the sort of serious four-wheel drive you would take on a big trip into the outback. For city and suburban use it’s fine. The view is good, it’s relatively easy to park considering its heft and there is good access to the three rows of seats. The luggage space is impressive as a five-seater but — and it’s not remotely alone — I wouldn’t want to carry seven people and their gear for more than a few kilometres.
The CRDi Active, as it’s called, comes with a six-speed auto and a diesel that makes 145kW/436Nm. It can be a bit sluggish at times but there is solid pulling power and it is easy to resort to the manual side of the shift even without flappy paddles when you need to go.
The economy is good and the noise levels are fine, for the class and price. It’s definitely not the quietest diesel I’ve driven this year but it’s all right.
One thing I love is the suspension. It’s been properly