Driven: New Hyundai Santa Fe

First impressions count, so they say. And the new Hyundai Santa Fe certainly delivers on this front.

Just walking up to it in the metal, the new Storm Edge styling as part of the Korean firm’s Fluidic Sculpture design language looks effortless and makes what is a large, practical and versatile car look very elegant. It hints at how the thing drives, too.

Underneath that new can’t-take-your-eyes-off-me body, the Santa Fe gets a new chassis reducing weight by 100kg compared to its predecessor, but increasing stiffness and safety. Another point to the Santa Fe then…

New Hyundai Santa Fe front

And the new chassis certainly makes its presence felt from behind the wheel. The Santa Fe feels safe and assured with the option of four-wheel drive traction, and the bespoke UK tuning for the chassis gives a taut, lithe and agile sensation from the helm.

The steering is direct and body roll is kept to a minimum. It’s engaging to drive when the mood takes, but can quieten down into a peaceful and serene family car for when you need it.

It’s extremely comfortable too and makes for a great cruiser. With the powerful 197hp 2.2-litre turbodiesel and smooth six-speed automatic, it’s effortless to drive – but there’s plenty of performance when needed.

The new Hyundai Santa Fe will dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in 9.4 seconds, but it’s the 311lb ft of torque (322lb ft for automatic models) that gives stunning in-gear acceleration, making overtaking and pulling out into faster streams of traffic a breeze. All that easy thrust and the option of self-leveling suspension makes it a great towing vehicle, too.

New Hyundai Santa Fe rear

Despite strong performance, the Santa Fe is an efficient machine. It’ll carry untold amounts of clobber or you and six of your friends and family in brilliant comfort, yet will return a best of 47.9mpg combined with 155g/km CO2 emissions.

The new cabin is a real improvement and cements Hyundai’s premium aspiration. It really is a class act inside. All the materials are much more tactile and the abundance of soft touch plastics and the excellent levels of refinement give a very refined and grow-up atmosphere.

Equipment levels are strong too, with a plethora of options available that’d embarrass much more expensive vehicles.

There’re three trim levels on offer – Style, Premium and Premium SE – with leather coming as standard on the mid-level model.

Prices start from just £25,495 and there’s the option of sat-nav, electric seats, Bluetooth connectivity with voice control, all-round parking sensors and a rear view camera.

New Hyundai Santa Fe interior

Add in Hyundai’s Five Year Triple Care warranty and the new Hyundai Santa Fe becomes an even more appealing and complete package.

For more information on the new Hyundai Santa Fe, why not visit our dedicated Hyundai showroom in Weybridge, Surrey or contact the sales team on 0844 558 2170.

Do you have an opinion on the new Hyundai Santa Fe’s bold looks, or like something in particular about the vehicle? We want to hear from you below.