Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Active.
Australian car buyers are flocking to medium sized SUV’s and manufacturers are doing a great job of responding with well-priced, feature packed models.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe is certainly one of the ‘leaders of the pack’ when it comes to seven seat, all-wheel drive soft-roaders.
Available in three trim levels – Active, Elite and Highlander, the range starts at $36,990 and that gets you an Active petrol Santa Fe mated to a six speed manual transmission.
The diesel range starts at $39,990 for a manual; I had the auto option which takes the price up to $42,490.
In all, I’m pleased to say that the Santa Fe left me quite impressed.
With attractive styling accentuated by some nice chrome work and standard 17”alloy wheels, the Santa Fe more than holds its own in the looks department.
On the road the diesel engine is surprisingly quiet and with 436Nm of torque delivers plenty of low down grunt. Around town the 145kW at your disposal does an adequate job of moving the seven-seater around though acceleration at low revs is not exactly ‘sports car like’, especially if you engage ‘Eco’ mode.
Fuel consumption is more than reasonable though – I averaged 8.6L/100km in city driving, again utilizing that ‘Eco’ mode option.
The 65 series tyres fitted to the alloys do a great job of soaking up the bumps, but expect a fair bit of body roll from the big Hyundai in the bends.
The cabin though is where most prospective Hyundai Santa Fe buyers will direct their attention and Hyundai has again done a tremendous job of delivering a quality look and feel to a well-priced vehicle.
Inside you will find firm but nicely shaped seats, generously sized cabin storage areas, excellent sound system and (a must in my opinion) rear air-conditioning vents and controls.
In saying that I was a touch disappointed with front and rear leg room and this shortage of space flows through to the third row of seats which are only going to be an option for children aged under ten or so.
In saying that if you don’t utilize the third row then the cargo area is quite generously proportioned, the Santa Fe also does offer very good headroom and visibility all round is good from the driver’s seat – this is particularly aided by generously sized wing mirrors.
Being a Hyundai even the base model Active gets a healthy list of standard features, including – reversing camera, auto headlights and wipers, tilt and reach adjust steering, flex-steer steering adjustment, Bluetooth and cruise control.
Disappointingly though this grade of Santa Fe only features a slightly busy and quite dated driver info screen – while the upper models get a much more attractive colour system. The Active also doesn’t offer satellite navigation even as an option.
As you would expect the Hyundai Santa Fe range boasts a full five star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up – it’s not hard to see why families are drawn to the Santa Fe; the pricing is sharp and the equipment levels generous. To complete the package the fuel consumption is good and the overall look and feel impressive.
On the downside some buyers will feel a bit let down by the leg room all-round and access to the third row of seating.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Active
Engine: 2.2 litre turbo diesel delivering 145kW and 436Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Five years
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $36,990