Hyundai Santa Fe


Cit­roen-spe­cific graph­ics, mean­ing the revcounter is an an­noy­ingly tiny bar graph, be­cause you aren’t sup­posed to be feel­ing sporty.

The steer­ing has a far more re­laxed re­sponse rate than, among oth­ers, the 3008. It’s light in your hands. The body rolls a lot, though it’s pro­gres­sive and the Air­cross ac­tu­ally fends off un­der­steer well, es­pe­cially if it isn’t car­ry­ing the heavy 2.0 diesel en­gine.

As promised, pay­back comes as a gen­tle ride. The trick is ex­tra hy­draulic reser­voirs act­ing pro­gres­sively as the damper reaches the ends of its travel. This al­lows su­per-soft springs, un­con­strained in the mid­dle travel, but it main­tains con­trol when things are re­ally rough. Sure enough, much of the time it wafts along as if borne on air, es­pe­cially on medium-smooth sur­faces. It’s an odd mix, though, be­cause bad sharp edges send a clang into the body, and some steer­ing-col­umn quiver.

It’s quiet. At a cruise, that’s down to well­sup­pressed tyre noise, and on ac­cel­er­a­tion the en­gines keep their peace. There are 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre petrols, and 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesels. We had a go in the top pair. Both make 180-ish bhp and have an 8spd auto, which is fid­gety in the petrol. They both do 0–62mph in the eights, but it’s the petrol that feels the more ea­ger. Not no­tably ea­ger, though. That’s not the choir it’s join­ing.

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