2014 Hyundai Santa Fe | new car review
Price doesn't seem justified
The Santa Fe has recently grown out of puberty and blossomed into a much more alluring vehicle. The dull circular shaped grille, headlamps and overall body have been sharpened for a more linear approach. Up front, the SUV stands taller with a wider and longer grille. The lower bumper gets an aluminium guard for tricky situations which you’re unlikely to encounter in the Santa Fe. Strong character lines swoop across the car’s profile and meet the back’s dagger like tail lamps that slice their way through the boot. Rear windows get a standard “solar tint” which is standard for all Gulf spec Santa Fe’s and ideal for keeping the interior cooler on scorching days.
The interior is very contemporary. The cabin is home to arrow shaped AC vents and a funky two tone dashboard and door panels. Subtle wood trims on the dash add a touch of elegance to the car and multi-adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support ensures passenger comfort. The massive panoramic sunroof extends to cover it all. The glass panel spans from the front right to the end.
The Santa Fe is equipped with adjustable steering modes. This system allows drivers to select between Comfort, Normal and Sport and accordingly adapts the Santa Fe’s steering characteristics to match driving preferences and road conditions. Additionally, all Santa Fe variants come with a FWD or AWD option, standard Bluetooth, USB & AUX, and 7 airbags.
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The Santa Fe is offered with a 3.3L V6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with “SHIFTRONIC” for manual like shifting. The Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology allows the car to deliver 266 horsepower and 318 Nm of torque giving it a towing capability of 2.2 tons. Other new technologies that instill Hyundai’s commitment to going greener is an ECO mode button that can be engaged to help improve fuel efficiency.
New for 2014, Hyundai introduced the Grand Santa Fe, which has a longer wheelbase to house in the 3rd row seats – starting at AED 107,000 and topping up at AED 138,000. Some of the options include the 8” touch screen, panoramic roof, blind spot detection system, back up camera, keyless entry, and start-stop ignition. Despite the extra room, the Grand Santa Fe offers, the 3rd row seats are still too tight for anyone planning on sitting back on long trips.
The starting price for the Santa Fe is AED 84,000 for the 2.4 litre 4 cylinder that produces 174 horsepower and 227 Nm of torque. Once the 19” rims and a V6 come into the picture, the price spikes to AED 101,000. However, if you want the fully loaded variant with all the bells and whistles, it will set you back AED 126,000.
The big question is whether the Santa Fe lives up to the name as a genuine off-roader or is just a sheep in wolf’s skin? Overall, there are hints that it can handle a little off-roading on the beach with bumper guards and AWD, but it will most likely be used solely as a family car.