What if I said you could have a BMW X5 or Audi Q7 with one third off the price?
You’d be very tempted wouldn’t you?
That is essentially what Hyundai is offering with its Santa Fe.
The South Korean company’s largest and most luxurious SUV is a very impressive car.
A new generation Hyundai Santa Fe was launched last year. It offers a new range of hybrid powertrains as well as an interior that’s more luxurious and technology packed than ever before.
Prices start at around £40,000. You’ll need close to £60,000 to pick up an Audi Q7 or BMW X5.
And as long as you can get over any feelings of badge snobbery, there isn’t an awful lot of difference – certainly not £20,000 worth of it.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is as roomy as they come. There’s room for five tall adults in the front and middle row of seats. A pair of extra seats pop up from the boot floor and are fine for children to use.
I drove the new plug-in hybrid version. It can be charged at home or at public charging stations and can drive in pure electric mode for up to 36 miles.
Santa Fe is better than ever
The latest generation Hyundai Santa Fe has moved forward a step in terms of ride quality and refinement. It’s an extremely quiet and comfortable car that can eat up long journeys.
The 1.6 litre petrol engine pairs well with the battery motor and supplies plenty of power. It’s not a proper off roader in the way a Land Rover Discovery is, but with four-wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance and some terrain modes it will handle far more than the average owner is ever likely to need.
The cabin feels extremely high quality, with seats that are as comfortable as your favourite armchair.
The high spec version I drove had cream leather seats and an excellent panoramic glass roof.
Lower spec Santa Fes have two-wheel drive and a six speed manual but the four-wheel drive model paired with the automatic gearbox is the best choice if you can afford it.
Tackling some roads round Edinburgh, the Santa Fe was whisper quiet and composed. It doesn’t handle as sharply as a BMW X5 but few people will fault it for that.
It’s hard to believe this is a car by what was once a budget car maker. If you want space, luxury and value for money, this is the car for you.