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Hyundai’s latest Santa Fe: Style, safety and connectivity standard

Talking further on the latest fourth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe all-wheel-drive 7-seat SUV – one 2.4-litre six-speed auto model- the Active at $43,000 and three 2.2-litre turbo-diesel 8-speed automatics, the Active at $46,000, the Elite at $54,000 and the Highlander at $60,500.

I drove the petrol Active automatic and was disappointed with its lacklustre performance.  However, the turbo-diesel Highlander is a gem, polished with superb suspension and steering tune, with all seven-seats occupied a wonderful family carrier, roomy, highly equipped, superbly finished and detailed and with a strong gutsy performance.

Safety and connectivity with this latest series has been a real focus. A full suite of driver assist technology with only one annoyance – that being the lane keep assist – far too intrusive, constantly tugging the steering wheel and thankfully it has an off button.

The all-wheel-drive system apportions drive to the rear wheels depending on the drive mode, be it Comfort, Sport or Eco. My only gripe is engine noise particularly at idle.

The quality of this latest Hyundai Santa Fe deserves special note – fit, finish and choice of materials and their texture particularly noticeable.

The overall style of this SUV tends to vary depending on colour, but overall it’s very appealing visually.

Safety is a big emphasis on this latest model with standard reversing camera and rear parking sensors while top Elite gains front parking sensors, the Highlander further gaining a 360-degree camera.

The petrol Santa Fe didn’t excite, however, spend the money on the diesel Elite and Highlander and you will be very happy.

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