Santa Fe is a crossover SUV based on the Sonata platform and produced and marketed by South Korean car maker Hyundai Motor Company. The first generation of Santa Fe was launched in the year 2001 in the international market while in India the vehicle was launched in 2010. The second generation of the vehicle was launched in the year 2007 and the third in 2013.
Ever since its launch the SUV has bagged several awards like `SUV of the Year` by Business Standard Motoring Awards 2011, `SUV of the Year` by Car India Awards 2011, `Import SUV of the Year` by CNBC TV18 Overdrive Awards 2011, and `Full size SUV of the Year` by NDTV Car & Bike Awards 2011. The SUV is facing stiff competition with the likes of Chevrolet Captiva, Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota Fortuner, Nissan X Trails etc.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is comes with 3 different engine options namely R 2.2 CRDi 6 Speed Manual, R 2.2 CRDi 6 Speed Manual 4WD and R 2.2 CRDi 6 Speed Automatic 4WD. All the three engines has a displacement of 2199 cc and has comes with 4 cylinders and 16 valves. The engines can churn out a maximum power of 197 PS @3800 rpm and maximum torque of 44.5 kg.m @1800 rpm the only exception beign the R 2.2 CRDi 6 Speed Automatic 4WD engine which can deliver maximum torque of 44.5 kg.m @1800-2500 rpm. The front has MacPherson Strut Type suspension while the rear has Multilink Type. The vehicle is equipped with Ventilated Disc in the front and Solid Disc in the rear. The car has a fuel tank capacity of 70 L and can deliver fuel efficiency of around 8.5 kmpl in city road conditions and 13.4 kmpl on the highways.
‘Bold Yet Delicate, Voluminous Yet Balanced’ this is how Hyundai explains this SUV. The Hyundai Santa Fe has got a stylish fluidic sculpture design. The front chrome radiator grille with triple bar has a hexagonal shape and wide design that gives it an authoritative look. The high intensity discharge head lamps look good and have got bright lamps against rectangular projection lens. The silver colour roof rail projects the dynamic look and imparts a touch of luxuriousness to the vehicle. The roof also sports a Micro Antenna that improves reception and gives an impression of sportiness. On the side profile, the Hyundai Santa Fe sports a heated outside mirrors and stylish side repeaters with thermal wires built into the mirror to remove frost or fog. The glossy black garnish frame looks classy and luxurious while the large aluminium wheels enhance its high performance image and sporty & elegant flair. The chrome accent door handles look good and highlights the stylish waistline. Moving on to the rear profile, the LED enhances safety while it also adds to the aerodynamic rear spoiler and sleek tailgate. The rear also has a wiper that covers larger area. The horizontally aligned rear tail lamps look quite attractive. The twin exhausts in the rear hints of the thrilling design and adds dynamism to the SUV. The rear bumper skid plate highlights the sporty and stable design cue of the SUV.
The inside of the Hyundai Santa Fe is as sporty and dynamic as the exterior is. The interior has stylish design and elegant leather upholstery. The vehicle comes with three rows in terms of seating arrangements and is quite spacious and comfortable. It can easily accommodate seven people and can be reconfigured to enjoy greater comfort when on long drive. The driver seat can be adjusted in 10 different ways as per our convenience thus adding an enhanced pleasure while driving. The dashboard looks excellent along and the centre fascia catches the attention immediately after entering inside the cabin. The vehicle has an audio system that has 6 CD changer MP3 player with USB, AUX in and iPod connectivity. The vehicle has a dual zone fully automatic air conditioner that adjusts the interior temperature to match the setting made by the occupant. It also has a built in cluster ionizer that improves interior air quality. The steering wheel is telescopic and can be tilted as per the driver’s convenience. Besides the steering wheel also houses several control buttons adding to the convenience. The chrome rings adds style to the supervision cluster and the shift indicator. The shift indicator helps in properly timing the gear changes and enhances the fuel economy. The interior also has features like 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, 2 & 3 row A/C vents with independent 3rd row controls, outside mirrors - electric retractable, electric adjustable, heated, integrated turn indicators, 6 speaker system with amplifier, woofer and tweeters, cool box in central console armrest, driver window with pinch guard, autodown and up, front center armrest with storage, 60:40 split folding 2nd row seat, rear center armrest with cup holders, 3rd row seat 50/50 split folding with flat bed platform, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and extensions, dual sun glass holder, intermittent wiper and washer, front and rear power windows, tachometer, trip computer with distance to empty, front up-down & tilt able head rest, all head rests with up-down adjustable function, luggage net & hooks and smart key with push button start.
When it comes to safety, the Hyundai Santa Fe has an Electronic Stability Program that controls the vehicle during any traction lose. The ESP integrates along with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) system, ABS (Anti lock-Braking System) and TCS (Traction Control System) to provide better driving stability while driving through curves or on slippery road surfaces. Other safety features of the vehicle include advanced 6 airbags technology, disc brakes, rollover sensor that detects vehicular angle and predicts a rollover activating the side and curtain airbags, safety power window, active headrest, silica tires, parking sensor, impact sense door unlocking, height adjustable front seat belts, engine immobilizer, keyless entry with security alarm, central door locking, door courtsey lamp, child seat anchor and driver seatbelt reminder.
Overall the Hyundai Santa Fe scores quite well in terms of its exterior, interior and safety features. The only thing where the vehicle looses itself is the high cost of maintenance and high price tag.