The all-new fourth generation Hyundai Santa Fe R 2.2 litre CRDi turbodiesel is a seven-seater with the looks, power and safety features to entice your hard-earned money from the competition.
The review unit we tested is the top specced Premium variant priced at RM213,888. It is also available in the Executive variant for RM193,888.
Read more: Off the beaten path with the Santa Fe
All prices are on-the-road without insurance.
While it is a substantial price difference between the two variants at RM20,000, Hyundai adds more equipment in the Premium variant and some extra safety features well.
This seven-seater SUV is built for the family in mind and with that, let's have a look at what's on offer.
The Premium turbodiesel SUV comes with more enticing kit compared to the Executive such as the free-standing 7inch display for the audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7-inch Supervision TFT LCD instrument cluster, wireless phone charger, an 8-way power seat for the front passenger, power tailgate, rain sensor, bi-function LED projection, LED lamps, dynamic bending light, bigger 19-inch wheels and safety systems such as rear cross traffic collision warning, blind-spot collision warning and the innovative rear occupant alert.
The latter has been developed by Hyundai to monitor the rear seats and prevent children as well as pets from being left behind or forgotten and from locking themselves in.
It also has the standard safety features including six airbags, back warning camera and parking distance warning for the front and rear.
As for the upholstery, the Premium variant allows you to choose between black or burgundy leather. For the ultimate driving position, the driver gets a 12-way power seat.
Rear passengers get to stretch their legs as there is copious amounts of legroom in the Santa Fe with a wheelbase measuring 2,765mm. An increase of 65mm over its predecessor.
Read more: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is coming
Getting in to the third row is also convenient with a one-touch tilt and slide of the second row seats. And if its space you are after, folding the third row gets you 547 litres and if that is not enough, you can also fold the second row for whopping 1,625 litres.
One can also configure the space in the rear as the second row is split 60:40, so with the third row folded, one can leave a single seat up at 40% or double seat at 60%.
This is a bold looking SUV with creases along the body and large wheel arches that it gives it the right amount of character and comes out looking refined. The 19inch wheels fills out the wheel arches nicely without leaving too much of gap.
The front fascia is especially eye-catching with the large radiator grille and the wide chrome trim above it. The LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) at the sides is slim and sleek while right below it is the tall, pentagonal LED Headlamp unit.
On the top is the roofrails which gives a robust presence and the rear is complimented with the boomerang-shaped wraparound tail-lights and dual tailpipes for that sporty effect.
This turbodiesel generates 193PS at 3,800rpm and a powerful 440Nm from as low as 1,750rpm to 2,750rpm which makes it really torque-y.
On top of it it comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and has Hyundai’s HTRAC variable all-wheel drive system which delivers 35% to 50% of power to the rear-wheels making this a formidable vehicle on and off-road.
It also has a driver selector mode for Comfort, ECO or Sport depending if you want stable driving in comfort, more efficient fuel economy in ECO and an exciting drive when you switch to Sport.
There is also a Smart function which recognises your driving style and switches modes automatically.
I found myself using Comfort and ECO with the Smart function around the city and urban areas and didn't really need to switch to Sport because if I wanted a boost, I just stepped on the accelerator and the early torque kicks in and with the ample horsepower, the Santa Fe just lets loose.
Its straight line acceleration is steady and for a big SUV it handles really well, hugging bends and turns which makes one very confident behind the wheel.
The all-wheel drive system is probably responsible for this.
The cabin is also quiet with minimum noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) although you can hear the clatter of the diesel engine when idle but it is not too obvious or distracting. Most importantly, it is a comfortable and cosy interior well-suited for the whole family.
In conclusion, the Santa Fe turbodiesel is a good looking, well-equipped SUV which offers space and seats and effortless driving on the road and even offers a sense of adventure by being able to go off the beaten path. It is only the price tag which one has to contend with being over RM200K.
Hyundai Santa Fe R 2.2 CRDi Premium
Engine: 2,199cc R CRDi turbodiesel
Maximum power: 193PS at 3,800rpm
Maximum torque: 440Nm from 1,750rpm to 2,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic and HTRAC variable all-wheel drive system
Features: Keyless entry, push-button start, cruise control, dual-zone climate control with ioniser, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, black leather upholstery, a freestanding seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a reverse camera, adaptive LED headlights, LED tail lights, LED fog lights, 19-inch alloys, leather dashboard trim, an eight-way powered passenger seat, a seven-inch instrument display, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and powered tailgate
Safety features: Six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, vehicle stability management, hill-start assist control, downhill brake control and ISOFIX second-row child seat anchors, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and Rear Occupant Alert
Price: RM213,888 (on-the-road without insurance)