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Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017]

7 reviews | Write a review
Discontinued
Last recorded price : 27.87 - 31.07 Lakhs
Hyundai has discontinued the Santa Fe [2014-2017] and the car is out of production.

Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] Review

We take a spin in the all-new Santa Fe among the lush greens of Kerala to see what changes Hyundai has given its flagship vehicle in India.

...Read full review

Introduction

What are the options if someone is looking for a seven-seater premium SUV under Rs 30 lakh? The Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero and Ford Endeavour are big and spacious, but they don’t look and feel premium, neither do they offer enough features that come along with the ‘premium’ tag. Audi, BMW, Renault and Mini each have a utility vehicle in this segment, but all of them are five-seaters and offer only so much in terms of off-road capabilities. Hyundai then is probably the only manufacturer offering a proper SUV with three-rows in the Santa Fe – unless one decides to up the budget by at least Rs 10 lakh and look at the Volvo XC90 or the Mitsubishi Montero.

However, despite limited competition all hasn’t been hunky-dory for the Santa Fe in India. It received a warm welcome, but the numbers steadily dropped to a point where sales were negligible. Hyundai is now addressing this issue with the introduction of the new Santa Fe facelift.

Looks and Styling

The Santa Fe facelift gets an extension of the fluidic design sculpt called the Storm Edge. It is the last of the Hyundai cars to don the trademark design theme with hexagonal front grille, sharp headlamps and multiple creases running across its side profile.

The Santa Fe facelift is very smartly designed to hide its size; from no angle it looks like a seven-seater SUV. The blacked-out B-pillar and C-pillar along with small third-row window cleverly camouflage the length of the car. This is probably the best angle to look at the SUV with the sloping roofline, ten-spoke diamond- cut alloy-wheels and stretched tail lamps adding to its character.

There are certain angles from which the new Santa Fe looks nice, like the front three quarters. However, I am not a big fan of the new Sante Fe’s design. There is too much chrome up front for my liking and the design philosophy does not suit the SUV as much as the sedans and hatchbacks. Nevertheless, the xenon headlamps, LED DRLs, large fog lamps, silver bash-plate, wing mirrors with turn blinkers and sculpted bonnet make it look premium.

Keeping with the times, the tail lamps get part LED lights and there are reflectors on either side of the bumper. The roof mounted spoiler is sleek and has another strip of LED lights embedded as a stop light. The silver bash-plate at the back also hosts the chrome tipped twin exhaust.

The overall design of the Santa Fe should appeal to Indian buyers; it looks big, aggressive, premium and also important with HIDs and DRLs.

 

Interiors and features

The interiors of the Santa Fe are welcoming in dual-tone beige and brown colours, aluminium accents and similar door levers add to the overall premium feel. The front seats are wide and comfortable, there is ample leg room, but the same cannot be said about the other two rows. The middle row can slide to increase or decrease the leg space, but it is inversely variable with already limited space available in the third row. The third row in most SUVs is generally meant only for children, but in the Santa Fe hardly anyone else can access it. Since the middle row has slide function, it misses out on the tumble function that is seen in most of the three row utility vehicles – this means that if you aren’t tiny enough to go through the gap between the second row and C-pillar, you have to climb over the folded middle row. The design with sloping roofline generally reduces headroom for third row and Hyundai has tackled this issue by lowering the seats.  Now there is ample headroom, but a full-sized adult has to sit in a position that can be best described as squatting.

The boot can take only two suitcases with the third row up. However the seats are smartly designed – last row has 50:50 split that folds flat, while the second row can also be folded in 40:20:40 ratio to fit oversized luggage.

Hyundai cars are always feature loaded and the Santa Fe facelift gives a similar impression. The xenon headlamp, fog lamps with cornering function, diamond-cut alloy-wheels, cruise control, touch screen display for music system, six speakers, rear parking camera and sensors, climate control, dual-zone AC, vents for second and third row, cooled glove-box, folding mirrors, puddle lamps, 12-way adjustable driver seat, middle row curtains, rain sensing wipers and push button start are standard features across the variants. Dual airbags, ABS-EBD and Brake Assist are standard safety features, while the top-end trim also gets six airbags, ESP, hill assist and rollover sensor.

The list might seem exhaustive, but Hyundai has applied some cost cutting measures to keep the price under Rs 30 lakh. The co-driver’s seat has to be manually adjusted, front seats are perforated but not ventilated like in the Elantra, one-touch down function is available only for the driver window, and the cabin mirror is not monochromatic. I won’t complain much about the other three, but the omission of automatic day-night cabin mirror in a car (Hyundai!) costing over Rs 25 lakh feels a little unjust.

 

Drive

The Santa Fe facelift is available in three variants, all powered by four-cylinder 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine pumping out a hefty 194bhp. The base version gets a six-speed manual transmission that delivers power and 420Nm of torque to the front wheels. The mid and top-end trims get six-speed automatic and develop 436Nm of torque; the four-wheel-drive system is available only with the latter.

I drove the 4WD AT variant of the Santa Fe on a dual-carriage road and through couple of narrow twisty sections in Kerala. What surprised me the most is that the gearbox is very responsive compared to the six-speed units of the Elantra and Sonata. The performance, however , does not seem adequate considering the power figures. It is still a very quick car and has sufficient grunt to tackle almost every situation on the Indian road. The NVH levels are also quite brilliant, there is absolutely no noise in the cabin up to 120kph. This is where the Hyundai makes up for few missing features, the drive is very pleasurable for a big SUV and is worth the investment.

The 4WD system comes into action only when the car senses slippage at the front wheels. There is an option to lock the car into AWD mode, but here as well all four wheels will continue to get power only till 40kph after which the car will move to FWD unless there is a loss in traction.

The suspension of the Santa Fe is soft and tuned for comfort – this is probably the best thing about the SUV. It is undoubtedly the most comfortable SUV in the segment; all the European models in this price bracket have a stiff suspension setup and that makes their ride very harsh on Indian roads. That also means it does not handle as well as the Europeans through the twisties, but still manages to maintain its composure all the time. The steering has additional comfort and a sport mode. The comfort mode makes the steering light for city drivers, while in the sport mode it weighs up for aggressive driving but that does not improve the feedback. The ORVMs are too big – they do their job pretty well, but coupled with the thick A-pillar create a big blind spot while taking turns.

Verdict

     

The Santa Fe does not have a competition as a seven-seater premium SUV; but considering that the top-end costs well over Rs 30 lakh (on-road), there are things that buyers may ponder over. Hyundai badge is not considered to be premium enough and the features list needs to be fine-tuned and the third row seating is strictly for children.

Having said that, let me accept that there is no better option in the sub Rs 30 lakh segment. It is big, comfortable, has low ownership cost and is actually a better option than the entry-level variants of the European models. Also it is unfair to compare the Santa Fe with the Toyota Fortuner, the latter may be more affordable, but this is far more premium and feature loaded.


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Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] Colours

Santa Fe [2014-2017] is available/sold in the following colours in India.

* Colours shown are indicative and may vary slightly from actual car colours.

Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] Expert Reviews

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe

We take a spin in the all-new Santa Fe among the lush greens of Kerala to see what changes Hyundai has given its flagship vehicle in India.

18 Feb 2014 by Ninad Mirajgaonkar | Read more

Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] User Reviews

sante fe a great car

for Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] on 12-Jul-2019 by nilesh

I had a great and awesome experience of driving. so we loved driving the Car. feels like heaven so suggest to buy the car. once you own there is no need to change The car. recommended

Money hai funny hai

for Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] on 15-Jan-2019 by Shakti Kumawat

This car is very amazing and nice looking. It's function was very smart and simple. In this car big space and very much safety features and much more. I have want to buy that's car...

Beast of a SUV

for Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] on 14-Dec-2018 by Sumant

Awesome suv with superb power its a beast and luxurious at the same time no other car in this segment can match it,this car is made for class loving people not for mass,so well planted...

Amazing !

for Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] on 19-Nov-2014 by Sunil

Exterior Looks European.Does not look like a car made by Hyundai. Best looking car in the range. Wine Red and White are the dieal colours. LED's are a good addition to the look....

Best SUV

for Hyundai Santa Fe [2014-2017] on 01-Nov-2014 by Sinan

Exterior  great, beautiful, awsome looking exterior which has a powerful look and forces anyone to look at it Interior (Features, Space & Comfort)  it has great list...

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