HYUNDAI SANTA FE ELITE DIESEL
These two SUVs from sister brands have much in common but feel very different. sweats the details.
The Elite is the middle of the Santa Fe range and comes with leather seats, navigation, sensor key with push button start, automatic tailgate, and a chilled glovebox. Servicing cost over three years is $1137, about $200 cheaper than the Kia. The service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km. Note: the fouryear/60,000km service jumps to $499.
The 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder has been around since the previous generation Santa Fe but is still a good operator. It delivers decent power (145kW/436Nm) and good economy (7.3L/100km combined). Against this company, however, it’s
a little noisy.
The Santa Fe was designed by Hyundai’s US styling studios and still looks fresh after three years on sale. It has one of the most upmarket interiors in the Hyundai range, with good quality switches and dials. There’s plenty of oddment storage and a decent sized cargo area (516L front two rows of seats up, 1615L back two rows of seats down). The only thing missing: a digital speed display.
Six airbags and a five-star safety rating. A rear-view camera and sensors are standard fare. It also has good road holding for a sevenseat SUV.
The SantaFe feels secure on the road and the suspension copes well with bumps and thumps. It has nicely weighted steering and the turning circle is surprisingly tight (10.9 metres). Towing capacity is limited to 2000kg, but the down weight on the tow ball is only 100kg, which towing experts say, in effect, limits the towing capacity to 1000kg, as the down weight on the ball is supposed to be 10 per cent of the load.