The Santa Fe’s cabin is one with more of the functional than the ornate. As such, you can expect to find seven seats as standard; a second row that can slide backwards and forwards and fold down flat at the touch of a button; and a boot that’s now larger than that of its already impressively roomy predecessor.

With those rearmost seats stowed away, boot space stands at 547 litres – a figure that can be increased to 1625 litres by collapsing the 60:40 split-folding second row. This makes the Santa Fe a considerably more useful load-lugger than a seven-seat Nissan X-Trail (445 litres), but not quite as voluminous as the Skoda Kodiaq (560 litres).

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The instrument binnacles are a curious-looking mix of the analogue and digital with some fussy styling elements, but I’ll celebrate it for the sheer size and easy legibility of the fuel and temperature gauges

Still – with a handsfree tailgate offered as standard on Premium and Premium SE models; a large boot aperture (1100mm wide, 760mm tall) that’ll have little trouble swallowing particularly bulky items like bikes or furniture; and a flat load bay floor – there’s little ground for criticism over a lack of practicality.

The same can be said for passenger space. Even with the panoramic sunroof that comes as standard on our Premium SE model, head room in the second row is more than acceptable, as is leg room. An all-but-flat transmission tunnel makes the middle seat that much more accommodating than it might otherwise be, although this is still best reserved for children.

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The same can be said for the third-row seats, though they make for more space than in most seven-seat SUVs at the price. A mass of USB and auxiliary charging points, meanwhile, will no doubt come in handy for keeping any tablet- or smartphone-obsessed family occupied on longer journeys.

Despite the focus the Santa Fe’s cabin places on ease of use and versatility, material appeal and overall finish haven’t been forgotten. The leather-upholstered seats look smart and are easily adjustable, if a little firm; and while plainer moulded plastics have been used fairly liberally throughout, there’s a pervading sense of solidity about the manner in which everything has been screwed together and some richer materials. Meanwhile, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a wireless smartphone chargepad add to the impressive roster of creature comforts.

Anyone familiar with other Hyundai and Kia vehicles will instantly recognise the software employed by the Santa Fe’s infotainment suite. On entry-level SE models, this is housed within a 7in touchscreen, while cars with Premium and Premium SE trim levels gain a larger 8in screen with built-in satellite navigation.

All the expected features are present and correct, with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and multiple USB ports included as standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also feature on every Santa Fe, making up for the lack of factory navigation software in entry-level models. The software itself is intuitive enough to use but, as has been our experience of other Hyundai and Kia products, it’s not the most graphically sophisticated.

Mid-range Premium Santa Fe models and above get a wireless smartphone charger as standard, as well as a Krell premium audio system. The sound quality is perfectly acceptable but not particularly memorable.

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