New Santa Fe on sale
13 April 2006

Hyundai’s new Santa Fe off-roader is now on sale. It’s priced just above its stablemate the Kia Sorento (which starts at £19,995) from £20,995 on the road. The Santa Fe is likely to offer more sophistication, however. The Santa Fe will feature a four-wheel drive system that sends power to the front wheels only in normal driving. The diesel is a 2.2-litre common-rail four-cylinder unit, which puts out 148bhp and 247lb ft of torque. The petrol is a 2.7-litre V6 with 186bhp and 183lb ft of torque. Hyundai claims the diesel will take the Santa Fe to 62mph in 11.6 seconds; the petrol in 11.7 seconds. There’s rather more of a difference in other kinds of output, with the V6 emitting 252 g/km of CO2 to the diesel’s 193 g/km. Combined cycle mpg figures are 26 and 38 respectively. Being sold only with a four-speed automatic gearbox does not help the V6; the diesel can be had with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Going for seven seats costs £600 extra, though standard equipment is generous. As standard comes ESP with ABS and brakeforce distribution; six airbags (eight – two extra in the rear roof – on seven-seaters); a roofrack; air conditioning; a CD player and electric windows. The base GSI costs £20,995 in five-seat manual diesel form.

Spending £23,420 gets you into a seven-seat CDX diesel with a manual ‘box. Your gains: dual zone climate control (with controls for the third row of seats); heated front seats; leather; a six CD autochanger and a front screen wiper de-icer, not forgetting the auto-dimming rear view mirror with compass.

Seven-seat versions also get self-levelling suspension, which is MacPherson strut at the front and multi-link at the rear. Hyundai says the Santa Fe can tow a braked trailer weight of up to 2,200kg.

The range is topped at £25,240 by the seven-seat CDX+ V6. Hyundai is drawing attention to its sixth place overall in the J D Power reliability and service survey and to its transferable five year unlimited mileage warranty.

Our Verdict

Ford S-Max 2006-2014

The Ford S-Max a highly accomplished car, but it needs to be cheaper when demand for MPVs is being eradicated by the high-riding SUV competition

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