The Santa Fe is a good looking SUV. The Elite variant is the mid-spec and has a few little extras over the Active base model, like 18-inch alloy wheels, stamped scuff plates and chrome finishes on the exterior.
Climbing into it for the first time, the first thing I noticed was the huge air-vents bordering the sides of the seven-inch display – they look like alien-insect eyes. The interior features satin-chrome touches, carbon fibre effect finishes and large, easy to use buttons, leather seats and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. Though the buttons are big, the shape of the dash and centre console remind me of Robert Downey Jnr’s Iron Man mask.
The styling is a little unnerving and though distinctive, it’s very angular and dominates the interior. The cabin is large and airy, with plenty of space for passengers of all sizes with luggage of all shapes. Lucky, because my first job was to collect a bunch of 13-year-olds and deliver them to their chosen location to film a school project.
The 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine purred along nicely, it produces 145kW and 421Nm of torque and is no slouch. Our test model had a six-speed automatic transmission with on-demand all-wheel-drive.
There are four variants in the Santa Fe range, a 2.4-litre petrol only in Active spec, and a 2.2-litre diesel engine in Active, Elite or Highlander spec.
There are a few perks with the Highlander, like 19-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, park assist and lane departure warning, but the Elite still gets extras like an electronic park brake, auto dimming rear-view mirror, push button start, satellite navigation, rain sensing wipers and LCD centre display, as well as the rear-view camera and rear park assist that’s standard across the line.
Published: Monday, January 12, 2015