Review: Why the Hyundai Santa Fe is the Perfect SUV for Families on the Go

FOR FAMILIES ON THE GO, THIS SUV KEEPS UP!

As a busy parent, I understand the importance of having a reliable and spacious vehicle to keep up with family life’s demands. That’s why I highly recommend the Hyundai Santa Fe as the perfect SUV for families on the go. In this article, I will discuss the various features and benefits of the Santa Fe, including its spacious interior, luxury features, value, and safety ratings.

The seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe Elite looks good on any street.
The seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe Elite Hybrid looks good on any street.

Introduction to the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite Hybrid

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-size SUV that has been a popular choice for families since its introduction in 2001. The latest version of the 2023 Santa Fe, introduced in 2019, has been updated with new features and design elements that make it an even better choice for families on the go.

An ideal SUV for busy families.
An ideal SUV for busy families.

Several trim levels are available, starting at around $50,000* for the base model Santa Fe and rising to $75,000* for the seven-seat Highlander. Each trim level offers different features and amenities, so you can choose the one that best fits your budget and needs.

Our test model is the Santa Fe Hybrid (HEV) Elite seven-seater finished in Magnetic Force (brown) metallic paint. The interior is Cognac Brown Leather which exudes a very luxurious feel.

Overview of the Santa Fe’s Features and Benefits

One of the standout features of the Hyundai Santa Fe is its spacious interior. With seating for up to seven passengers, the Santa Fe is perfect for families transporting kids and their friends. The second-row seats can slide and recline, providing extra legroom and comfort for passengers.

Complementing its spacious interior, the Santa Fe also offers a variety of luxury features that make it stand out from other mid-size SUVs. These include 5x USB ports, heated front seats, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Optimising the interior space means that every available nook and cranny is used well. There’s no excuse for anything rolling around in the cabin – there’s a storage spot for everything.

The Santa Fe’s Spacious Interior and 7-Seat Capacity

As a parent, I know how important it is to have a vehicle that can accommodate my family’s needs. With its spacious interior and 7-seat capacity, the Hyundai Santa Fe is the perfect choice for families on the go.

Seating positions for the driver and front passenger are well balanced. Every button and switch is within easy reach, thanks to the tall centre console.

Easy to use buttons and switches in the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.
Easy to use buttons and switches in the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.

Headroom is plentiful in the second-row seats of the Santa Fe. The seats slide and recline, providing extra legroom and comfort for passengers. The third-row seats are easy to access and accommodate two (smaller) passengers comfortably. Foldable third-row seats create extra cargo space when not in use.

The Santa Fe’s spacious interior is also great for families who need to transport large items, such as sports equipment or furniture. With the 2nd and 3rd-row seats folded down, the Santa Fe offers up to 782 litres of cargo space.

Luxury Features That Make the Santa Fe Stand Out

In addition to its spacious interior and 7-seat capacity, the Hyundai Santa Fe also offers a variety of luxury features that make it stand out from other mid-size SUVs.

The luxurious Cognac Brown Leather interior of the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.
The luxurious Cognac Brown Leather interior of the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.

These features include:

  • Powerful Harmon Kardon premium sound system with 10 speakers that makes every song memorable
  • A very clever vertically mounted Qi-standard wireless smartphone charger.
  • 10-way electric heated front seats for year-round comfort on any type of drive
  • A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that provides information in an easy-to-read format
  • A 10.25-inch touchscreen display with Apple Car Play and Android Auto that allows you to easily access and control the Santa Fe’s various features and functions
  • Privacy glass for the rear passengers including integrated blinds in the rear doors
  • Simple switches to fold the second-row seats flat from the boot.

These luxury features not only make the Santa Fe more comfortable and enjoyable to drive, they also add to its overall value.

The Santa Fe’s SUV Value for Families on the Go

With a family, value is an important consideration when choosing a vehicle. The Hyundai Santa Fe offers excellent value for families on the go, with a starting price of around $50,000*.

LED daytime running and high beam/low beam lights on the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.

In addition to its competitive price, the Santa Fe Elite HEV offers outstanding fuel efficiency. The official numbers indicate Combined city/freeway fuel consumption of 6.0 litres/100km. In our week with the Santa Fe, we covered 312 km and averaged 6.8 litres/100km. Very respectable numbers without the EV charging hassle. Like all Hyundai group cars, the energy recovery system is very well calibrated.

The 67-litre fuel tank is a proper size to cover long distances.

The Smartstream G1.6T-GDi turbo-diesel HEV engine.
The Smartstream G1.6T-GDi turbo-diesel HEV engine.

The Smartstream G1.6T-GDi HEV direct injection 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivers power and fuel efficiency. The 44.2 kW motor adds a further 264Nm of torque at full power. The environmental impact is just 137 CO2 g/km compared to 244 g/km for the Smartstream 3.5-litre V6 petrol variant.

The Santa Fe elite HEV comes with Hyundai’s industry-leading warranty – highlighted by 5 years and unlimited kilometres. An 8-year / 160,000km replacement warranty backs the battery and electrical system. All giving peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is covered for many years.

19" alloy wheels with Continental PremiumContact tyres provide a very comfortable ride.
19″ alloy wheels with Continental PremiumContact tyres provide a very comfortable ride.

The towing numbers vary across the range, with the Smartstream G3.5 petrol and Smartstream D2.2 turbo-diesel offering 2,500kg of braked towing capacity. Our Smartstream G1.6T-GDi hybrid turbo-diesel offers only 1,650kg.

Safety Features and Ratings of the Santa Fe

For families, safety is always a top priority when choosing a vehicle. The Hyundai Santa Fe Elite HEV offers a variety of advanced safety features, including:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • 7 airbags, including curtain and side-impact chest protection airbags

In addition to these features, the Santa Fe received excellent safety ratings from ANCAP. Appropriately, the Santa Fe range achieved an overall safety rating of five stars.

Like & Dislikes

What we liked 👍

Exceptional build quality that delivers a luxurious feel every day.

The Harmon Kardon sound system is next-level impressive.

Responsiveness from the diesel engine working with the electronic powertrain.

Attention to detail for families: 10 cup-holders, 2x ISOFIX, and Passenger Talk intercom.

Boot space. An impromptu carriage of excess bathroom tiles was effortless.

Plenty of room in the back of the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.
Plenty of room in the back of the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid.

What could be better 👎

The kerb-side exterior mirror doesn’t dip when Reverse gear is engaged.

No Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) in the external mirrors on the Elite model.

A car this big needs a 360° camera view. Surround View Monitor (SVM) should be standard.

A sunroof would amplify the interior space even more.

Conclusion: Why the Hyundai Santa Fe is the Perfect SUV for Families on the Go

In conclusion, the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite HEV is a very strong choice for families on the go. With its spacious interior, 7-seat capacity, luxury features, value, and standard safety systems, the Santa Fe offers everything you need in a family vehicle. And with its affordable price and excellent warranty, you can feel confident that you’re making a wise investment in your family’s transportation needs.

So if you’re in the market for a new family vehicle, I highly recommend checking out the Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s a great choice for families who need a reliable and spacious vehicle that can keep up with their busy lifestyle.


* For full pricing and specifications, visit the Hyundai website.

About Author
Mike is the Australian editor of SonnyDickson.com with a lifelong passion for cars, technology and engineering. He reviews and writes about all kinds of motoring and tech products for our readers. Follow Mike on Instagram or send him an email: mike@sonnydickson.com