Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe

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The little problem with the Hyundai Santa Fe

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-test

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Stormy, stormy – like so many SUVs, the Hyundai Santa Fe is not a real off-road vehicle. He has no reduction gear, and…

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-problem Combined with the 2.2-liter diesel, all-wheel drive is mandatory. ">

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… it is also available as a simple front-wheel drive model. Combined with the 2.2-liter diesel, however, all-wheel drive is mandatory.

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-problem

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One of the strengths of the 4.69 meter long car is not only its modern design…

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-hyundai

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… the spacious interior with plenty of space for luggage. If you fold down the back seat, 1680 liters are available.

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-hyundai

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The material and workmanship of the interior leave little to be desired, Hyundai no longer wants to offer cheap cars.

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-series

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The standard equipment of the 42,870 euro Santa Fe Premium with 197 hp diesel and all-wheel drive also includes the navigation system.

Source: Hyundai

Test series: The small problem of the Hyundai Santa Fe-test

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In terms of design, the Santa Fe fits in with Hyundai‘s current model family, but not in terms of the name. It is located between ix35 and ix55, so it would have been more like ix45 kcan.

Source: Hyundai

The Korean manufacturer Hyundai recognized the SUV boom early on. Initially with old-fashioned models, but the current Santa Fe looks sporty and wants to be an alternative to the BMW X3. Really?

L.The Koreans came to stay with fear. As the first European car boss, VW boss Winterkorn not only recognized this, but also publicly confirmed it with his famous video from the IAA 2011 (“There is nothing rattling”). Hyundai and its sister brand Kia are no longer satisfied with the few customers who need cheap cars, they really want to play along.

They are consistently working on the design, which shows a lot of family resemblance from small cars to SUVs. At Hyundai, they give similarly consistent model names in the style of German premium brands (i10, i20, ix35 etc.).

Those responsible are only sentimentally inconsistent at the Santa Fe. That was the name of their first SUV, which looked old-fashioned but was well received in the USA. And this is also the name of the current model, although it fits perfectly with today’s Hyundai brand design line and should therefore be called the ix45.

Powerful diesel with 197 hp

Whoever wants to understand that, but at least nothing rattles. If you move the Santa Fe (there used to be a Hyundai Tucson) for a few days, you learn to appreciate this well-made mid-range SUV as a pleasant companion.

Because the car not only looks contemporary and even a bit sporty in the parking lot, but also because attention has been paid to the details in the interior. The choice of materials and design are so good that the ix45, sorry: the Santa Fe, is a pleasure to deal with.

Although the final touches still separate it from its German competitors BMW X3 and Audi Q5, that is a rather venomous sin.

The technical differences become clearer. In the Santa Fe, for example, a sturdy 2.2-liter diesel engine grumbles under the hood, offering 197 hp and a torque of 481 Newton meters.

The steering as a weak point

Nevertheless, the 1843 kilogram car does not look particularly lively. And that the top speed is limited to 190 km / h is also rather unusual.

The chassis of the Hyundai Santa Fe was designed for travel comfort rather than agile handling – that’s okay because the synthetic steering is a weak point of this car. The three options for steering characteristics (normal, comfort, sport) do not change anything: Tightly coordinated springs and dampers would not fit the Santa Fe.

On the plus side, there is a certain off-road capability. First, the all-wheel drive in conjunction with the 197 hp diesel engine is installed as standard. And secondly, there is the option of not leaving the power distribution to the electronics, but of taking it into your own hands.

Normally, the Santa Fe drives – like so many all-wheel drive models – with pure front-wheel drive, and only when there is too much slip on the front axle is part of the engine power directed to the rear, up to 50 percent.

Lots of space and flexibility in the back area

This 50:50 distribution can also be set at the push of a button and thus has traction advantages on loose or muddy ground. The lock remains active up to a speed of 40 km / h, after which the car automatically switches back to automatic power distribution, which offers safer road holding at normal speeds.

One of the advantages of the Hyundai Santa Fe is its generous amount of space on all seats and in the trunk. The 4.49 meter long car offers sufficient knee and headroom and provides 534 liters of space for luggage, with the rear bench seat folded down it is even 1680 liters.

The rear area is also very flexible: While the entire bench can be divided in a 60:40 ratio, you can only fold the backrest forward, but then also in a 40:20:40 ratio. And overall, the rear bench seat can still be moved lengthways, and the backrests can be tilted.

At 42,870 euros, the Santa Fe is not a bargain, but the tested combination of top diesel and all-wheel drive is only available in the top premium equipment.

In addition to seven airbags, ESP, ABS and the usual comfort details, it also includes extras such as a navigation system, CD radio, automatic air conditioning, parking aid, heated seats, alloy wheels and much more.

So this Hyundai is no longer a cheap home, either in one way or the other. The Santa Fe does not come close to Audi and BMW, but this Hyundai has definitely come to stay.

"world"-Reporter Stefan Anker regularly tweets spontaneous car news and observations from everyday driving and testing and is pleased if you are here click and follow him. Or check out his Facebook page past.

Co-comments from the editorial team

I know I always get scolded when I praise rear view cameras. I am not ashamed, however, that I rely on them to reverse parking. Then I always get comments like “If you can’t reverse into parking, you’d better hand in your driver’s license right away.” I see it differently. With the Hyundai Santa Fe, this massive SUV, I would have felt completely helpless when parking without this aid. I could have turned my head like that. The all-round view is far from ideal here. As with so many new cars, design beats functionality. But at least Hyundai does not offer the reversing camera as an expensive extra, it is standard on board in all versions. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to look at the screen.

Denise Juchem, Engine editing

Somehow clever that Hyundai gave the Santa Fe a steering wheel with a fine leather cover. When you first touch it, you think, huh, but that feels high-quality. Unfortunately, the rest of it feels pretty cheap. The seats are also made of leather, but it feels like the coarse cowhide that can be found in some mountain huts as rugs. And the storage compartment between the seats is made of plastic and is as bulky as it was 30 years ago. As far as Korea, word has not got around that the feel can also be a sales argument?

Robert Dunker, Engine editing

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