Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander: Tested and prices

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HYUNDAI now makes the highest quality vehicles on the earth, in keeping with the business benchmark JD Energy Preliminary High quality Examine (IQS) for 2018. It’s a shocking coup for Hyundai, which took the primary three locations in a 31-brand contest — its luxurious model Genesis topped the IQS, its subsidiary Kia got here second and Hyundai itself was third.

JD Energy surveyed greater than 75,000 car consumers within the US, asking them about points with their new automobile within the preliminary 90 days of possession.

Japanese makers — together with Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi and Subaru — which for many years set the requirements for high quality, sturdiness and reliability, all completed on the underside half of the IQS ladder, as did Audi and Volvo.

So somewhat than asking your self why you’ll spend $60,500 on a Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander, the query now turns into why wouldn’t you?


The Highlander is a totally loaded, seven-seater SUV, the highest of the 4 grades of Santa Fe. The mannequin opens at $43,000 for the Energetic, with 2.Four-litre petrol engine and six-speed computerized.

Powering the Highlander is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, matched with a brand new eight-speed computerized and all-wheel drive, with selectable modes that embrace front-wheel drive for optimum gas effectivity if you’re tooling across the ’burbs.

This fourth-generation Santa Fe additionally will get a lighter, bigger and stronger physique, domestically tuned suspension and new rack-mounted electrically assisted steering with variable weighting.

The spec sheet for the Highlander is big-bucks deluxe. It will get leather-based upholstery, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled entrance seats, heated outboard seats within the second row, sunroof, two recollections for the motive force’s seat/facet mirror/head-up show settings, wi-fi telephone charging, LED headlights that flip to light up your path by corners, LED inside lighting, computerized parking and an influence tailgate with proximity key sensor.

Our take a look at automobile additionally included the $295 “beige/burgundy inside.” Sorry, however the aesthetic deserves of two-tone turd brown stay a thriller to me.

In contrast to most different manufacturers, Hyundai doesn’t have stand-alone voice management, so it’s important to function navigation, audio and telephone capabilities by contact. The maker assumes you’ll join your smartphone through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and discuss to it as an alternative.

This protects Hyundai big infotainment improvement prices, as a result of it’s glad to let Google and Apple present the interfaces. Through your smartphone, Hyundai’s Auto Hyperlink Premium app additionally permits you to lock or unlock the automobile, begin or cease the engine and monitor all types of driving and car information.


That is one severely luxurious machine, with snug, supportive entrance and second two seats, a easy, compliant experience and wonderful suppression of noise, vibration and harshness — although the two.2 emits the standard diesel grumble underneath acceleration.

Within the second row, the smaller part of the 60-40 split-fold bench is kerbside. Its easy, one-touch launch/slide/fold mechanism permits entry to row three, although climbing into the again stalls nonetheless entails squeezing by a decent opening.

The 50-50 cut up third row seats are simply raised from the ground and, in widespread with different seven-seater SUVs, are nice for pre-teen youngsters. The sliding second row permits sufficient legroom for adults to tolerate a brief journey.

Massive home windows, loads of storage, seize handles all over the place, window sunshades, aircon temperature controls and two USBs within the center row, plus vents for rows two and three (with a fan pace management right here as properly) additionally assist make the Santa Fe’s cabin a cheerful child place.

In five-seater mode, boot house is affordable, although on the tighter finish of the category.


Hyundai’s Sensible Sense driver help security package deal is complete. Within the Highlander, it’s supplemented by 360-degree digicam protection, an alert that permits you to know should you’ve left a child within the again seat (I can see a couple of pleas to sellers to show that one off) and one other if anybody’s about to open a driver’s facet door when one other car is approaching from behind.

Hyundai’s lane protecting units up a really aggressive, swerving monitor to maintain the automobile between the white strains. If the constabulary had been behind you, you’ll absolutely be pulled over for a breath take a look at.


The Santa Fe continues to be determinedly unsporty but its dynamics are tightly managed, responsive and assured for a two-tonne seven-seater, significantly in Sport mode which sends 50 per cent of drive to the rear wheels and provides heft and precision to in any other case over-assisted steering.

Roadholding on tough roads is rock stable at pace.

The low-revving 2.2 is getting on a bit nevertheless it delivers grunt in abundance and works intuitively with the eight-speed computerized, although the transmission can hunt a little bit between the 2 high ratios at 100km/h.

Gasoline economic system averages 7-8L/100km on the freeway and, in Eco mode, 9-11L on the town.


I noticed that Santa Fe advert with the children going feral within the automobile. My youngsters are like that they usually drive me up the wall, so the “Peace at Final” punchline virtually offered the automobile by itself.


Hyundais at all times outperform the market on a price for cash foundation. The Santa Fe Highlander is a $60,000 SUV with a $100,000-plus automobile’s customary tools checklist. Greatest within the enterprise high quality, an extended guarantee and low operating prices seal the deal.



Haven’t but pushed this however should you’re purchasing the category it’s best to. Runs a 140kW/450Nm 2.2-litre twin turbo diesel with higher gas effectivity than the Hyundai. Longer and barely narrower within the physique.


The smaller, 265kg lighter Skoda is an interesting, agile drive with a punchy, frugal 140kW/400Nm 2.Zero-litre turbo diesel. A number of kid-friendly options, too. Add $6000 on security and luxe choices to get comparable spec with the Hyundai.


Four stars

Hyundai is displaying different makers the way it ought to be finished, with premium high quality, low-cost, grief-free possession, pointy-end security tech and unbeatable worth for cash in a no-options-required luxurious household freighter.


PRICE $60,500 (nice worth)

WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 years (lengthy); $2095 for five years/75,000km (whole lot)

ENGINE 2.2-litre Four-cyl turbo diesel, 147kW/440Nm (common)

SAFETY Not but rated, 6 airbags, AEB, lane maintain help, blind spot help, adaptive cruise, rear cross visitors alert (finest in school)

THIRST 7.5L/100km (thirsty-ish)

SPARE Full-size alloy (wonderful)

CARGO 547L (under common)

Supply hyperlink –

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