Hyundai’s Sante Fe SUV a great allrounder especially in diesel
Today, driving the fourth-generation Hyundai Sante Fe, a good looking slightly larger but leaner seven-seat SUV – first, the 3.5-litre V6 petrol 8-speed auto front wheel drive Elite at $57,800 and the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel 8-speed auto four-wheel-drive Highlander at $65,200. Forget zero emissions, the biggest selling new Sante Fe by a country mile is the turbo-diesel and in top grade Highlander representing over 90 percent of sales – the reason, its superb drive-ability with very usable low end torque, its frugality and its all-wheel drive – petrol models front drive only.
The diesel Sante Fe also gets a new 8-speed dual clutch automatic which Hyundai claims not only improves fuel economy by 19 percent but also lifts its drive-ability, the gear shifts super smooth – it utilises a wet clutch, oil-submerged and is said to offer better durability while the 3.5-litre petrol Sante Fe with less torque gets a conventional 8-speed automatic – a smooth quiet performer but despite being a new generation V6 its not as fuel efficient – in the petrol I managed 14.1 L/100 with a lot of city driving, in the diesel just 6.6 L/100. The diesel won me over in so many ways, few gripes, lane keep assist still annoyingly intrusive – while in high points the interior in the top three grades, the best for layout and ergonomics I’ve come across.
I’m David Berthon
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