Making gains in handling response and stability while improving rolling comfort, as Hyundai aimed to do with this car, wasn’t ever going to be straightforward.
The Santa Fe’s spring rates have been increased, but of greater significance is the fact that Hyundai has opted for longer-travel suspension here than it did with the last-generation car. When combined with the 19in alloys of our Premium SE test car, however, the Santa Fe delivered a low-speed ride that wasn’t quite as convincing as the accompanying marketing literature led you to believe it might be.
The car’s ride can feel slightly agitated around town, amplifying the impacts and vibrations imparted by rutted Tarmac to a degree that few testers considered appropriate for a big, comfort-oriented SUV.
Were this a properly capable 4x4, the heavy-duty, agricultural dynamic undertones would perhaps be easier to forgive; as it stands, though, the laid-back, comfort-first dynamic character of the old Santa Fe seems to have been lost a little here, and little of worth has been gained in the trade. Increasing the pace does smooth things out a bit. The Hyundai has settled vertical body control at open-road speeds, and deals with undulating surfaces with greater comfort and suppleness than it does low-speed ruts and bumps.