SANTE FE BECOMES A SANCTUARY
HYUNDAI SANTA FE II HIGHLANDER
YOU know something’s up when you crave the comfort of a diesel-powered sevenseater over the keys to a Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini.
Supercars are fine to drive but they’re often more hassle than they’re worth.
By the time you’ve walked around the car, checking for prior damage before you drive away, it’s almost time to hand it back — and then you repeat the process before you’re allowed to leave.
That is why, over its time with us, the Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander began to feel like a sanctuary.
Sure, it had faults: a flickering touchscreen that worked intermittently (but was at least functional most of the time), overzealous rear parking sensors, Bluetooth that worked so poorly I used headphones instead — and it lacks Apple Car Play.
These first world problems apart, the Hyundai Santa Fe is close to ideal.
It sipped an average of 8.0L/100km over 4000km of driving, the radar cruise control and automatic stopand-go traffic assistance worked flawlessly and, overall, it was a pleasant place to be.
I will sorely miss the cooled seats, digital speedo, sensor key, brilliant high and lowbeams, precise brake pedal feel, light and easy steering and comfort over bumps.
So why on earth is Hyundai not selling more of these? Probably because most of its discount money is being funnelled into pushing hatchbacks out the door to hit ambitious sales targets.
At the moment, the price of the range-topping Santa Fe has just risen to $57,090 plus on-road costs, making it nearly $60,000 drive-away.
It might be the best car in Hyundai’s range but that’s crazy money.
Make it $54,990 driveaway (or less), watch it bolt out the door and have a new generation of families experience what Hyundai is capable of.