You are here

To some, looking at an old Santa Fe was a bit like staring into the eyes of a cow - its expressionless face somehow combined vague approachability with a terrifying lack of soul.

But this one’s shiny. It’s new. And, for the first time in history, a Santa Fe’s been bestowed with some charisma. Hyundai call the new look “strong, dynamic and refined… drawing inspiration from the shapes created by nature during the formation of a storm.” We prefer “it makes driving a new, reasonably-priced Korean SUV much more acceptable”.

Underneath the new look, there’s a choice of one petrol and two diesel engines, with outputs ranging from 148bhp to 197bhp. The range-topper is still the 2.2-litre ‘R’ all-aluminium diesel engine. CO2 emissions have been dialed down from 194g/km to 145g/km, but the variable geometry turbo engine still produces a healthy 318lb ft of torque, even if it is down 4lb ft from its predecessor. The smaller 282lb ft 2.0-litre diesel engine belches just 155g of carbons every kilometer, and the 2.4-litre petrol makes a not entirely awful 190bhp.

They’re mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto ‘box, both fitted with an extra tall cruising gear. The latter’s quite clever, too - it’s got a flat torque converter and re-jigged layout, so it’s the most compact six-speed unit currently built, weighing 12kg less and boosting fuel economy by up to 12% compared with a conventional automatic.

Inside, it looks marginally less vanilla than its forbear, but just as practical. The second row of seats slides and folds with a one-touch control, front and second-row legroom’s been increased by 38mm and 45mm respectively, there’s a 37mm deeper boot (meaning luggage capacity’s swollen to a thrilling 534 litres) and there’s a big sunroof.

So, slightly less like a cow and a bit more frugal.

Pricing and final Euro specs yet to be confirmed, but it should be in dealerships by 2013. D’you dig it, TopGear.commers?

Share this page: 

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear’s code of conduct (link below) before posting.

Promoted content