Launched in April 2006 the all new Hyundai Santa Fe replaced the outgoing model which was introduced to the UK in 2001.
The new Santa Fe is larger, better equipped, features new transmissions and unlike some manufacturers petrol and diesel variants are the same price.
Also now available in both five and seven seats Hyundai have pinned their hopes on the new Santa Fe to elevate them as a manufacturer of quality, desirable vehicles at a competitive price.How It Drove - Performance
In the UK we have a choice of two engines: a 148 bhp (150 PS) 2.2 litre VGT common rail diesel and a revised 2.7 litre V6 petrol engine, which has been tweaked to increase the power to 186 bhp (189 PS).
We chose to drive the diesel powered Hyundai Santa Fe which in our opinion makes better sense than its petrol sibling.
This 2.2 diesel engine has a power output of 114bhp @ 4,000rpm and 343/253 @ 1800 - 2500rpm allowing the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in 12.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 110mph.
In practice it is quicker and certainly more economic, we returned approx 35 mpg when touring. We have to say the diesel engine is fantastic it is so refined and very quiet, easily a match for Honda’s acclaimed 2.2 i-CTDi diesel power plant. There is little vibration, forget diesel engines of the past and with the Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) technology power delivery is smooth. Speed wise the Santa Fe is not going to set the world alight but with little turbo lag it is well paced and quite capable in normal driving conditions.
The optional five-speed automatic gearbox is well mated to the engine and rarely missed a beat, occasionally changing up or down when we would prefer it didn’t. You can manually change gear in a Tiptronic fashion, knock the lever over to manual mode and simply push it forward or back to change gear (no need to lift off). To be honest we only used this option when descending demanding twisty hills.
In summary the diesel engine is very good which probably makes the petrol option redundant.
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