Firstly introduced in 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe was based on Sonata's platform. This mid-size crossover fitted perfectly into the market niche. It fell right between the Tucson and Terracan. Well priced, easy to drive and good equipped, It became serious competitor to other SUVs in this segment.

Because of the reasons above, Hyundai Santa Fe caught our attention and we decided to test drive it. Hyundai Santa Fe Comfort 2.2CRDi, manual 5 speed gearbox. When we took the first look, it captured our attention with the awesome body shape. I thought "if it goes like it looks, it will be perfect". SUVs seem to look prettier in black, I do not know why people buy big cars in other colors. 17 inch rims are nothing special, with their 235/65 tires, but they fit good at this vehicle. All in all it is off road SUV, not sport type car.

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Inside the SUV

The interior is made from quality materials, there is no annoying noises even on the bumpy roads. Driver's position is excellent, also the ergonomics. Dashboard looks little harder to our taste, but the silver applications make it look sweet. The equipment is not amazing, but it is good enough for this type of vehicles and it is very functional. From the "options list" we recommend

- Metallic paint

- Automatic Air Conditioning

- Solar Front Windows

- Cruise Control

Although the vehicle is 6+1, I think that the 3rd row seats is very uncomfortable. Besides that, there is enough leg room on the 2nd row seats even for people taller than 185 cm. The rear seat can be split 60/40, double folding and totally flat floor. Trunk capacity compared to other mid-sized SUVs is enormous 774 liters. And 2274 liters maximum.

Rearview mirrors help driver a lot with the parking backwards in tight places. Windshields are big enough and you can see where you drive.

On the Road

It is extraordinary nice to drive with good handling, direct and informative steering and excellent road behaviour, thanks to the good balance and the stiff suspension. Although it is four cylinder diesel, the big SUV does not feel sluggish. It goes round the corners easy, there is enough power to overtake at the straights and to continue accelerate up to the hills. We loved the manual gearbox. Nice and easy to use, smooth changing, it is not going like ordinary SUV.

It goes amazing 8.3 liter per 100 kilometers combined cycle (28,3 miles/gallon).

Off the Road

Although the owner didn't let us to drive her SUV over the rocky hills, we tried a dirt road with a lot of mud. TCS helped us very much. It comes in standard and in my opinion, it is very useful. The system adjusts the throttle and apply brakes to prevent wheel spin, priceless, when you go steep hills. It also lets us drive with more confidence on wet surfaces. Helps you to maintain the traction, when you accelerate. It is not very complicated, when a wheel begins to slip the system reduces the engine power and/or applies the brakes to that wheel, effectively rerouting power to the wheel that has greater traction.


In conclusion, I would like to say that everybody from our team loved the Santa Fe. Great SUV at great price. We hope that Hyundai will continue to make customers happy by making good cars.

Technical Data

Body Type SUV
Doors 5
Passenger seats 5
Length 4650 mm
Width 1890 mm
Height 1725 mm
Wheel Base 2700 mm
Front wheel width 1615 mm
Rear wheel width 1620 mm
Ground Clearance 201 mm
Trunk Capacity maximum 2274 l
Trunk Capacity minimum 774 l
Engine Position Front, transversely
Engine 2188 cm3
Max Power 150 h.p.
RPM 4000
Torque 335/1800 N/m
Fuel Diesel
Turbocharger Turbocharged
Engine type In-line
Cylinders 4
Cylinder diameter 87.0 mm
Stroke 92.0 mm
Valves per cylinder 4
Wheel drive AWD
Gears 5
Front suspension Independent
Rear suspension Independent
Front Brakes Discs
Rear Brakes Discs
V-max 179 km/h
0-100 km/h 11.6 s
City Cycle 9.6 l/100km
Highway Cycle 6 l/100km
Combined Cycle 7.3 l/100km
Ecology Standard EURO III
Fuel tank 75 l
Automobile weight - equipped 1823 kg
Maximum weight 2520 kg
Tires 235/65 R17