The UK market does without the long-wheelbase variant that the US market gets; Hyundai says there would be no demand. Instead, the Hyundai Santa Fe offered in the UK has three rows of seats, as before, and the same 2700mm wheelbase as its predecessor.
Given that the length is only marginally increased and the roofline has actually decreased, it’s a credit to Hyundai’s interior packaging that there is 11mm more headroom and 45mm of extra legroom in the middle row.
That the three-wide bench slides fore and aft is definitely an advantage. Occupants in the front and middle rows will have no complaints about spaciousness, but a failure to install tumbling seats in the second row means access is hampered.
The third row, located in the boot where the seats can fold flat into the floor, is fine for occasional use. Once folded, the boot retains a decent size; it’s over a metre long with the central row of seats in place, rising to almost two metres with them folded.
One of the things we liked about the old Santa Fe was its straightforwardness. Its interior wasn’t appealing in a conventional, perceived quality sense, but it was laid out very clearly and was comfortable over long distances. This new variant differs most from its predecessor on the inside, where little chrome-effect inserts and modern touches abound.
Material choices are better, too. There are perhaps a few too many different finishes but, by and large, the cabin’s perceived quality is vastly improved.