Road Test: Hyundai Santa Fe [2011-2014]

Faithful Rendition:top

 

After a successful stint in the small car and premium hatch market in India, Hyundai came out with its Crossover SUV, the Santa Fe recently. Our first impressions about the car gave you a fair idea as to what the car is capable of and what it lacks. The Santa Fe makes for a great urban SUV and comes in both 2WD as well as 4WD variants. Hyundai plays it safe and leaves it upon the buyers to choose from both the variants. In our First Drive experience we did say that it was an urban SUV. We drove the 4WD version and found out how different this car was from the others in the segment.

To begin with the comfort for the driver as well as the passenger in the car is addictive and the SUV glides around the city without a hiccup. Both, the 2WD and the 4WD variants, get the 10-way electronic seat adjustment for the driver seat and the four-way adjustment for the passenger seat. It becomes easier for the ones occupying the respective seats to choose their seating comfort. The fit and finish of the seats and interiors is good. The 6 CD changer MP3 player with USB, AUX in and iPod connectivity takes care of the entertainment on the run and the steering mounted controls help you navigate through your song selection. The cruise control selection too finds its way on the steering wheel. Simple and easy to set, the cruise control just puts the car in auto-pilot mode. We do miss Bluetooth facility in the in-dash music system and also wish to see a Navigation system in place too(may be in a facelift?)

The dual-zone climate control is unique to the Santa Fe and so is the third row air-conditioning blower speed control. The blue and white backlit lighting for the instrument panel and the centre console catches up in the Santa Fe as well and do give that underwater feel, so to say. Apart from this, there is space, for you, and for the things you want to carry along. Take the large chiller compartment in centre armrest for example and the plentiful in-dash storage and dual-sunglass holders. There are thoughtful reading lights for the middle row as well and the Santa Fe is quite practical as a vehicle. Both sun-visors (driver and passenger) get vanity mirrors with lighting too. All this makes the Santa Fe a practical, more usable car and hence yet again we can call it an urban SUV.

 

Faithful Rendition contd...:top

The diesel heart that the Santa Fe beats is a 2199cc, four-cylinder, DOHC, CRDi motor with a special turbocharger that Hyundai like to call the eVGT. It is essentially a electronically controlled and actuated Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) which delivers seamless performance. The car that we got had a two-tonne clutch but and that I believe was unique only to the car that we got and does not find its way in the others, for Hyundai cars have been known for their light and smooth clutch operation. The R2.2 engine pushes out a very healthy 197bhp @ 3800rpm and a very meaty 420Nm of torque @ 1800- 2500, giving the Santa Fe segment leading power and torque outputs, no wonder the 0-100 kph was achieved in 9.2 seconds. The quarter mile run took 16.82s, which just reinforces one’s belief in it being a fast car. 

The car was sluggish when it ook 6.01s for the 30-50kph run in the 4th. The power in the engine though is a little unassuming. In city traffic conditions, when you may try to step on the gas to make the car move, the sudden surge of power may catch you unawares. What we dearly miss though is an automatic transmission (or Shiftronic for Hyundai).The six-speed manual gearbox does not disappoint as the gear-shifts are slick and is typical of most Hyundai vehicles. But if you plan to pay about 21 lakh for an SUV, you do tend to expect an automatic option as well.

The complete CBU import into India, is a tech carnival, if one can say that. The missing components in the 4x2 are the ESP, cruise control and active headrests and it is hence priced at Rs. 20.95 lakhs. Pay an additional 2 lakh and get the 4x4 version of the car. The Hyundai SantaFe will compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Captiva, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail and the Skoda Yeti. Besides being just fast, Hyundai has been successful in bringing in some uniqueness to the car, but we still think that the tech carnival could have done with a few more rides. Hyundai cars in India being known for their excellent aftersales service, low cost of ownership and reliability, the SantaFe seems like a very sensible choice in this segment and it’s worth every penny if you are an urban SUV user. If you are still comparing the predecessors to the SantaFe, then it is time to get out of that phase. The SantaFe is a whole new ball game (not to be mistaken as a game changer) and as its name suggests restores one’s faith in the company’s product.

 

Test Data

Engine Specifications

Add engine specifications View specifications

Speedo Error

Speedo Reading (kph) Actual Speed (kph)
40  -
60  - 
80  -
100  -
120  -  
140   - 

Max in Gear

Gear Speed (kph)
1st  -
2nd  -  
3rd  -  
4th  -  
5th  -  
6th -

Performance Test Data

Top Speed     190kph        
0-60kph      3.9 s
0-100kph      9.0 s
Quarter Mile (402m)  16.82s@133.2 kph
Braking 80-0kph  2.8 s
30-50kph in 3rd  2.91 s
30-50kph in 4th  6.01 s
50-70kph in 5th  3.74 s

Fuel Efficiency

  City Highway Overall Worst
Mileage (kpl)  10.3  11.3  10.8  10.3

 

 

 

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