SANTE FE BE­COMES A SANC­TU­ARY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - IN THE GARAGE - JD

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.

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