For those out there not familiar with the Hyundai Santa Fe, in short it is basically a larger version of the ix35/Tucson but it feels a bit more luxurious.
The Santa Fe is not very popular here in SA and does not sell well at all. This however does not make the Santa Fe a bad vehicle at all. Its biggest downfall is the price.
The Elite 2.2 5-seater diesel comes in at around R700k and the 7-seater version sells for around R740k.
Many of the South African car buyers are passionate about what they drive and quite brand-concise, that is why most buyers in our market would rather buy a German-brand equivalent for the same price. For example a BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC or even a Lexus RX. At the price you could also consider a new Ford Everest or Toyota Fortuner!
Yes you might argue that the Santa Fe is much more standard equipment and is a bit larger than the SUV’s mentioned above (except for the Ford and Toyota), but in reality you do not always need all the extra tech.
However I still think the Santa Fe is a great buy, but definitely not new. If you buy a used Santa Fe the price reduces considerably (2 year old models sell for around R450k) and then the Santa Fe becomes hard not to consider.
The 2.2-litre CRDi turbo diesel engine is good for 145kW and 436Nm, which would satisfy most. Hyundai claims a fuel consumption figure of around 8l/100km but rather expect 10l/100km. The fuel consumption is actually really not bad considering the size and weight of the Santa Fe.
Where the Santa Fe trumps the Everest and Fortuner is with its car-like refinement, luxury and on-road dynamics. It also has real off-road ability as a bonus.
It is also practical and a comfortable drive, the boot is massive at around 1003 litres and expand to a very generous 2025 litres with the back seats folded down.
In general the Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi is quite reliable but remember to stick to your regular maintenance intervals. Here in SA our diesel is really not the cleanest so make sure to regularly change the oil and filters.
One problem I regularly see with the Korean brands and also the Santa Fe is that the interior finishes does not age well at all, the plastics and fake chrome scratches quite easily, this makes the vehicle look older than it is and might also look like the vehicle was not well looked after.
Overall if you can get a decent second hand model you will not be disappointed.