31 August 2016

Hyundai Santa Fe Elite 2016 Towing Review

Hyundai’s new Santa Fe is a sophisticated SUV with all the attributes of a capable, dependable tow vehicle.

Santa Fe 1
Hyundai Santa Fe
Santa Fe 2
Hyundai Santa Fe
Santa Fe 3
Hyundai Santa Fe
Santa Fe 4
Hyundai Santa Fe

With its smooth appearance, silver and chrome exterior touches and sleek, shallow roof racks, the Hyundai Santa Fe is one SUV that looks great. Inside, it's comfortable and has a fancy wrap-around style instrument cluster giving it a nice inside/outside balance. In face, aside from the risk of sun bouncing off the glossy plastics and mirrors, it's hard to fault at all. 

At a glance
Model Hyundai Santa Fe Elite 2.2D
Engine 2.2L Turbo Diesel
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Star
Power [email protected] rpm
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 9L/100km
Body Style SUV
Towing Capacity Braked 2000kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross mass 2600kg

Backing up to our test boat was easy with the Santa Fe’s rear-view camera, which gave a good, wide-angle vision, including the towball.There are a few towing recommendations when you delve into the Santa Fe’s owner’s manual: Hyundai recommends that you don’t tow for the first 2000km of the vehicle’s life to allow everything to bed in and that you shouldn’t go faster than 100km/h (or 70km/h up steep hills)

On the move, the Santa Fe towed the boat well, with a good hill climbing ability. We accelerated up to 80km/h hitting revs of 3300rpm, but once we reached 90km/h the six-speed slipped back into low at 2500rpm and didn’t sound stressed at all.

The Hyundai performed well on uneven surfaces, and while cornering the load was very stable with no swaying and very little pitching. At a steady 60km/h the Santa Fe was rock-solid in still air, with minimal movements in strong crosswinds.

The Santa Fe’s cabin is comfortable and spacious and is well equipped having the versatility of seven seats. Our test vehicle came standard with a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. The infotainment system is intuitive, and the physical controls for climate and audio settings are easy to use and have a straightforward layout. There is plenty of room in the vehicle and even the third row had reasonable space however I would leave it for the kids.

As a tow car, the Hyundai Santa Fe has many strengths. It’s heavier than most rivals, and the 2.2-litre engine is bulky and strong. It’s not quite as secure as our favourite SUV of this size, the Land Rover Discovery, but it’s a relaxed and unflustered car suitable for long-distance towing with the family on board.  

Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter SF600LE 1500kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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