Back in 2013 the AA reviewed the then new third generation Santa Fe and was impressed with its modern fluid design language - what Hyundai referred to at the time as the “Storm Edge” design concept. We also loved the new large hexagon grille, the bigger body, and the sleek new sculptured body lines. Unsurprisingly, having ticked so many boxes at the time, this generation had a long run spanning from 2012 - 2017.
We picked up a late model Hyundai Santa Fe (Series II) from Advantage Cars in the last year of its generation, to see if it was still a good buy.
Smart and Slick looks
The Series II Santa Fe had received a bit of a spruce up. Some of the touches included a new squared-off tailpipe assembly, along with a revised headlight design with new separate LED running lights. The grill also showed off a new three-bar hexagonal look.
The model we reviewed included factory 17-inch alloy wheels, which looked impressive and were not over stylised; it’s always nice to see original wheels still together with their vehicle from factory. During the last year of the third generation model there were quite a few wheel options. It’s worth noting that the Elite model received larger 19-inch wheels for the year.
The front standard fog lights are also nicely cocooned with a matt silver accent. The Series II also received newly designed front and rear bumpers that added some extra style.
Overall, it’s a very well-appointed vehicle with nothing out of place, we could certainly see the continued appeal with its timeless design.
The Santa Fe features second row seats, which offer the flexibility and convenience of sliding, reclining, and one touch folding from the rear. You can also configure the seats in numerous ways. The 40:20:40 split folding second row seats are perfect for adapting the seating layout for carrying passengers and long gear like skis and snowboards.
With the second row of seats in place there is a sizable 516L of capacity, and with the seats lowered there are even more options with 1615L of space available.
The auxiliary audio and USB inputs allow iPod connectivity and connection to other external audio devices so you can listen to your favourite tunes. The Bluetooth hands-free function on the Santa Fe is still very good, the system downloads your contacts from your smartphone so you can make calls directly from the steering wheel controls without touching your phone.
Another great feature is the factory standard darkened privacy glass on the rear and back windows, this reduces glare and protects your possessions from prying eyes.
There is also a total of 4x 12-volt power outlets in the front centre console, rear centre console and boot. So, there are plenty of options to plug in inexpensive USB chargers to keep the family’s devices powered up.
The Santa Fe we tested featured the popular 2.2 litre R-series diesel engine which delivers a respectable 147kW of power. Improved overall fuel efficiency and lower emissions were achieved with the series II Santa Fe and it has a combined fuel consumption of just 7.7-litres per 100km with a CO2 emission rating of 203g/km.
The Santa Fe uses a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential sport shift that lets you enjoy a manual style of driving which is great for descending hills. The transmission also improves fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions. Having a sixth gear means closer spacing between gear ratios for better performance and fuel economy.
The Santa Fe we tested features an Electronic torque-on-demand 4WD system. This clever system ensures that the Santa Fe stays in 2WD mode for maximum fuel economy. When it needs to, the system will switch to 4WD mode automatically, sending torque to the rear wheels. If required, you can engage permanent 4WD on the go.
Behind the wheel of the Santa Fe is a great place to be - there is plenty of visibility and it’s still a quiet ride which is one of the things that we loved about this generation in 2013. It felt safe and secure on the road and had very good road holding thanks to Hyundai’s Flex steer system which allows you to customise the weight of the steering.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has always been a popular model and Hyundai’s SUV range today continues to grow. Their Santa Fe offers a perfect fit for the Kiwi lifestyle especially with its seven seats and enviable towing capacity. Even this model years on is still very well equipped and impressively spec’d with desirable features.
At a glance
Model and year
Hyundai Santa Fe 2017 (Series II)
$36,995 + (ORC)
2.2-litre Diesel Turbo
Six Speed Automatic
Fuel economy, CO2
7.7L/100km (203 grams/km)
Unbraked 750KG Braked 2000KG
Safety features include:
- ABS braking with Electronic Brake-Force
- Brake Assist System (BAS)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Traction Control System
- Advanced Traction Cornering Control (AT CC)
- Downhill Brake Control (DBC)
- Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
- SRS driver and front passenger front airbags
- SRS driver and front passenger side airbags
- SRS dual (front to rear) roof curtain airbags
- SRS driver knee airbags
- Front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters
For more information on safety ratings visit rightcar.govt.nz
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Thank you to AA Preferred Dealer Advantage Cars for supplying us with the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe for review.