Road Test

New Hyundai Santa Fe 2014 SUV First Drive Review

By   |   22 January,2014

New Hyundau Santa Fe side view

In our SUV crazy market Hyundai till now does not have a hugely successful product. It had earlier launched the Terracan, Tuscon and the Santa Fe but high pricing (especially Santa Fe) marred an otherwise very good product. Now all that is going to change as Hyundai has launched the new Santa Fe. This time the new Santa Fe is armed with the right weapons namely a more aggressive price-tag thanks to the fact that it is now locally assembled.

In every aspect the new Hyundai Santa Fe is is a massive improvement over the earlier generation featuring new styling, more features and yes more value than ever before. We have driven this SUV and are impressed with it. Read on to know why.

New Hyundai Santa Fe front view

New Hyundai Santa Fe Looks

Park the new Santa Fe and the earlier gen side by side and the difference is huge with the new Santa Fe having a swagger that the earlier gen lacked. This new one is a bold design that continues on the successful Fluidic Sculpture design language of Hyundai. The front especially is aggressive and our best bit of the SUV with its hexagonal-shaped grille and tear-drop headlights.

The new Santa Fe is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, with the same 2700 mm wheelbase. The rear styling just like the front is sharp and well styled without going overboard with it. The earlier gen lacked presence but this new especially in the flesh looks fantastic. The 18 inch diamond cut alloys help here too.

New Hyundai Santa Fe interior

New Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

Inside again it is one a different planet compared to the previous gen. The quality is very good and the general fit and finish is top-notch plus being a Hyundai its loaded with features. The new Santa Fe has more space now with legroom having been increased by 38mm and 45mm respectively in the first two rows when compared to the previous gen model. The headroom/legroom is very good on both the front and second row seats plus the luggage area is bigger now. The three row seats is very important to this SUVs appeal and the Santa Fe also has third row seat split 50/50 and can be folded flat. The second row is 40:20:40 split.

When it comes to features there is a lot on offer with stuff like 4.3” TFT LCD Touch with Rear Parking Camera display, Bluetooth, USB, MP3, CD compatibility and Aux-in connectivity along with Steering Mounted Audio Controls. You also get Dual Zone Fully Automatic Air Conditioning, Dedicated Rear Manual AC for rear passengers .

New Hyundai Santa Fe seats

New Hyundai Santa Fe Engine

There will be only one engine option in the new Hyundai Santa Fe which is the 196 bhp 2.2 diesel which has been carried over from the earlier gen model. The new Santa Fe will also have 4WD but it is not a hardcore off-roader but will handle most of the rough stuff thrown at it.

New Hyundai Santa Fe

The New Generation Santa Fe is available with a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission. We drove the automatic version and we thought it could have been more responsive though in the city it feels reasonably good and overall this SUV is best for cruising. 

New Hyundai Santa Fe fuel economy

The Santa Fe manual does 14.74 kmpl mileage while the automatic does 13.01 kmpl which are good figures for a big SUV.

New Hyundai Santa Fe rear view

New Hyundai Santa Fe Verdict

The last gen or the current Santa Fe 2WD has no similarity with the new one and thus its a big change. The new Hyundai Santa Fe looks great, is feature loaded and drives well. The prices start at Rs 26.3 lakh for the 2WD manual variant and Rs 27.15 lakh for AT variant while the 4WD AT starts at Rs 29.25 lakh. It will not have it easy though as the SUV segment at this price is densely populated with the likes of the Audi Q3 on one hand and the Toyota Fortuner on the other.