Hyundai’s 3rd Generation Santa Fe Test Drive Review – Drive Safe and Fast


Published on October 17th, 2013 | by Admin


Hyundai’s 3rd Generation Santa Fe Test Drive Review

Hyundai’s styling themes have taken a real stylist twist in recent years with the launch of their Fluidic Sculpture design language. Now comes a 3rd generation Santa Fe SUV that provides a look that is a well-balanced combination of aggression and style; it’s muscular and yet appropriately refined. This latest version benefits from a larger grille and different headlight design to freshen the face whilst more body coloured mouldings and chiselled contours around the body sharpen the look. It’s a very attractive and rather handsome looking SUV.

Hyundai has made real progress in interior execution over the last few years and this Santa Fe now boasts an interior to challenge for class honours. It manages to blend technology, ergonomics and quality as effectively as any of its European competitors have to offer. It offers virtually everything an owner could realistically expect. It is also very roomy and the boot is on the up side of being massive with the 3rd row seats folded down.

Hyundai’s interior planners have installed full leather seats, a 12-way driver power seats, reclining angle comfort rear seats, a cooling glove box and a rear window curtain. The 3rd generation also Santa Fe offers a seven-seat arrangement courtesy of two additional foldaway seats in the boot. There are separate air-conditioning vents and controls for the rear for passenger comfort. The 3rd row seats are comfortable enough and are a welcome addition when situations arise but space can be a little tight for adults on long distance runs. The luggage compartment itself has two neat storage areas under the floor and provides a huge 585 litres of storage space. The tailgate is powered for easy use.

Looking at the sheer size of this Santa Fe one may envisage a heavy driving experience where mass dominates performance. In actual fact the big SUV handles with an accomplished confidence at odds with its appearance. For sure, the driver is aware of the weight at times, most noticeably under heavy braking, but in terms of the way it steers and corners there is precious little to fault thanks to taut body control and an accurate helm. Under the hood there are 2 engine options available. A revised petrol engine that has been developed recently and the previous popular diesel engine that has been revised to offer better performance and class leading fuel economy.

First we try the diesel powered Santa Fe. This diesel engine pumps out 197hp and a prodigious 436Nm of torque on tap from only 1800rpm and channelled to all four wheels via a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox. On the road the powerplant makes light work of the Santa Fe’s well proportioned bulk and will hurl the big SUV down the road with aplomb, reaching 100km/h from rest in just over 10 seconds. As ever, the benchmark undermines the actual real world strength of the Santa Fe’s diesel performance, which is impressively muscular. The 6-speed gearbox suits the engine perfectly and keeps it spinning in the heart of the torque curve smoothly and efficiently. It also works well to give the Santa Fe class leading economy and emissions. Delivery is smooth at all gears and even in heavy traffic the diesel clatter is negligible inside the cabin. All in all, this is Hyundai’s world class engineering excellence in full effect.

The 2.4L petrol engine is smooth in its power delivery where it goes from rest to 100km/h in just 10 seconds. It shows a little lack in enthusiasm with its 176bhp engine as the 227Nm of torque if low for a SUV of this heft. Still, it is no slouch when on the highway when the engine spools up to a higher revolution under a heavy foot. In town traffic ‘the get up and go’ nature is sedate and needs more enthusiasm from the driver’s right foot. The suspension set-up of front Macpherson struts, and a rear multi-link along with Dynamic dampers delivers a saloon car-like comfort and control with minimal body roll, whilst the new steering design offers improved precision and feel.

One of the new available options in the new Santa Fe, the Flex Steer system also enabled the driver to change the steering set-up and feedback according to road and driving conditions. The Flex Steer system offers three steering modes – Comfort, Normal and Sport, which can be accessed at a push of a button on the steering column.

Hyundai is proud to get a 5-Star rating from Euro NCAP for the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe offers a wide array of safety features to keep the driver and occupants’ safe at all times. Active safety systems available include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist (BAC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) to keep drivers in check. The 3rd generation SUV is kitted out with up to six air-bags and boasts an ultra-high strength steel body structure, making it one of the most safest SUV’s in the market.

Other innovative features that Hyundai have included in the new Santa Fe are, Electronic Parking Brake (on GLS models), with Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH) and a Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS),  which uses ultrasonic sensors to determine the proximity of vehicles or objects behind. The vehicle also sports a state-of-the-art audio system, which features Multimedia compatibility (AUX, USB and iPod ports) and quality sound capability and Bluetooth hands-free functionality and steering wheel controls.

With a strong after sales network and a warranty program like no other manufacturer, 5 years or 300,000 kilometres, this new Santa Fe is already a best seller and will stay desirable with its evergreen looks.

Hyundai Santa Fe PETROL Specifications

Engine: Theta II 4-cylinder MPI

Capacity: 2359cc

Power: 176hp @ 6000rpm

Torque: 227Nm @ 3750rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Speed 190 km/h

0-100km/h 10.2 seconds

Price: From RM163,888.00

Hyundai Santa Fe DIESEL Specifications

Engine: CRDi 4-cylinder

Capacity: 2199cc

Power: 197hp @ 3800rpm

Torque: 436Nm @ 1800-2500rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Speed 190 km/h

0-100km/h 10.2 seconds

Price: From RM176,888.00

About the Author is a service to the public and other website owners. is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site While the information contained within the site is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and up-to-date. is not responsible for the accuracy or content of information contained inside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Back to Top ↑