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  • Cheaper and better equipped than Territory, with a nicer interior and standard seven seats; turbo-diesel is punchy and effortless
  • Doesn\'t ride as well and isn\'t as dynamic as Territory; turbo-diesel four is noisier than Ford turbo-diesel V6; urban fuel consumption

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four

Our Hyundai Santa Fe long-termer is now into its fifth month, and continuing to clock up the kays without skipping a beat.

After deputy editor DeGasperi travelled from Sydney to Canberra and back for our last update, the past month has seen the large SUV reverting to typical everyday duties.

SUVs such as the Hyundai Santa Fe are sometimes disparagingly referred to as ‘soccer mum’ vehicles, and coincidentally enough the seven seats have allowed us to ferry our six-a-side office football team to the park in just the one car.

It’s a short-straw scenario for the third row, though the enforced knees-up position for adults is easily bearable for short trips. And good of Hyundai to put air vents back there when some SUVs don’t even place them in their back seats.

Heavy urban use has had a noticeable effect on average fuel economy. Where the Santa Fe averaged 7.0L/100km for our last report after that Hume run south, the past month it’s used 61 litres to go 496km – at an average of 12.3L/100km.

The latest role for the Santa Fe is to become the temporary family vehicle for the Spinks clan while we go through the process of buying our new car (which I’ll also report on).

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four


Above: Hyundai Santa Fe interior

The little one’s only a few days old as I write, so more on that in our next report – and we’ll get Mrs Spinks contributing the mother’s perspective on the Santa Fe.

For now, we previously said we’d try to get a Ford Territory diesel into the office for a natural comparison.

Rather poignantly, our Territory arrived in the same week that Ford announced it will kill off the home-grown SUV as we currently know it, as well as the Falcon large car on which it’s based, when it shuts local manufacturing operations in October 2016.

Our RWD Titanium TDCi is the second-most expensive Territory at $58,060.

Already that’s a fair jump over our mid-spec Elite AWD Santa Fe that’s priced from $45,990, and even jumping into the range-topping Highlander you’ll find Hyundai asks only $49,990.

The Elite has includes standard features such as 18-inch ally wheels, seven-inch touch screen with satellite navigation, premium audio, leather/leatherette seats, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, tinted rear glass, cooled glovebox, auto-dimming rear view mirror, keyless start, heated and folding electric side mirrors, and with all Santa Fes coming with full-size spare, rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth with streaming, seven airbags and five-year warranty.

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four

Highlander adds bigger, 19-inch alloys, glass panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, electrically adjustable front passenger seat and memory driver’s seat, and heated front seats.

The Territory matches virtually all of the Highlander’s features but has smaller, 18-inch alloy wheels and misses out on rain-sensing wipers, auto-dipping side mirrors.

Our test ‘Tezza’ was also in five-seat-only guise with the no-cost delete option on the third row ticked .


Above: Ford Territory interior

Its key interior extra is an Alpine rear DVD system with 10.7-inch screen, but the value battle here is a clear win for the Hyundai – especially when you throw in the Santa Fe’s warranty that lasts two years longer (five) than the Ford’s.

Add in a far more resolved and nicely proportioned exterior design for the Santa Fe, as well as a more contemporary-looking interior, the Hyundai further presses its subjective showroom appeal.

Both offer comfortable and clever interiors.

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four


Above: Hyundai Santa Fe boot space

We’ve previously spoken about the practical and smart touches of the Santa Fe in our long-term report one, such as the cargo blind that stows away under its own cargo floor section, release levers for the second row seatbacks, and large cargo capacity.

The Territory makes use of its bigger dimensions – 193mm longer and 36mm taller – to offer even vaster boot space (with no dual-seat third row here, remember).

There are no handy seat release levers, though the rear seatbacks fold completely flat unlike the Hyundai’s – and the operation (up/down) is by a simple lever on the side of the outer seats.


Above: Ford Territory boot space

Ford’s neat tricks are a hidden compartment particularly useful for wet gear such as towels and swimmers, and a two-piece reversible cargo floor with one side carpet, one side grippy plastic. (Ford Motor Company should have perhaps involved its Australian engineers more on the US-Euro-developed mid-size Kuga SUV that lacks such Eureka moments of practicality.)

If there’s little to separate the big Australian and South Korean SUVs in this area, however, the Ford emphatically trumps its Hyundai rival for on-road manners.

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four

Where the Santa Fe’s suspension constantly fidgets and allows excessive body movement, the Territory’s underpinnings – while not always quiet when doing their work – make the cabin a picture of relative of calm when travelling over rough patches of bitumen.

You may hear the suspension working at times (as you do with the Santa Fe), but you won’t feel the dips and bumps it’s coping with.

Steering, too, is terrific – superior to the Hyundai’s regardless of driving scenario. It’s been that way since the Territory was launched in 2004, though for the 2011 update Ford Australia’s engineers made it even better by removing the touch of sharpness just off centre

The Territory is simply a joy to drive whether in the city – where it shares a good turning circle with the Santa Fe but does feel its bigger size – or on freeways or country roads.

It’s a tougher call between the two diesel engines – as both perform well.

Ford’s 2.7-litre V6 and Hyundai’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder produce similar amounts of power and torque – with the Santa Fe edging the former (145kW v 140kW) and the Territory edging the latter (440Nm v 436Nm).

The V6 has an extra 200kg to haul, but the Territory still moves around with ease and is the quieter diesel of the two.

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four

Officially, the Territory Titanium RWD diesel uses 8.2 litres per 100km versus the Santa Fe diesel’s 7.3L/100km.

Strong and weak points for both models, then. For the perfect affordable large SUV, you need the Hyundai’s overall design, cabin presentation and perception of quality mixed with the Ford’s stand-out ride, steering and handling.

If we were to make a pick, though, it would be the Territory for its higher levels of driving satisfaction. The Santa Fe, however, is the vehicle that will still be around come 2017.

Hyundai Santa Fe Elite CRDi
Date acquired:
 January 2013
Odometer reading: 4938km
Travel this month: 496km
Consumption this month: 12.3L/100km

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report three
http://www.caradvice.com.au/219637/hyundai-santa-fe-review-long-term-report-three/

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report two
http://www.caradvice.com.au/219637/hyundai-santa-fe-review-long-term-report-two/

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report one
http://www.caradvice.com.au/214011/hyundai-santa-fe-review-long-term-report-one/


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HYUNDAI SANTA FE BREAKDOWN

Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Long-term report four
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  • Muppet

    This review pretty much underscores our recent buying choice where we went with the Territory. In the end, the trinkets in the Santa Fe weren’t enough to overcome the Territory’s better ride comfort and handling, as well as the DVD player which we wanted and the towing capacity/towball weight limit. It really is swings and roundabouts with these two cars. No mention of towing capacity in the article I see. The Santa Fe is still a very nice car though. And I couldn’t care less if the Territory wont be here in 2017, we will be and so will our Territory.

  • galaxt

    I’ve owned a Territory in the past and nothing since has come close to the ride comfort of it – including Kluger and a regular car. My only problem with the Tezza was the poor quality interior fit with uneven gaps in the dash area including a glove box light that would not go out. Electrical gremlins just plagued the Tezza, from non-locking rear doors, power window failure from all four windows over a 5 yr period. Was glad to get rid of it. In the long term, I was far more impressed with the fact the Kluger was going to be a long termer vs what else the Tezza had install for me post 5 years.

  • Martin

    I think the design of the Santa Fe will date far quicker than the restrained styling of the Territory. We’ve already seen it with the i45, IX35, the Accent and now the i30 is starting to look a little dated.

    • racrepus

      This current territory looked dated the moment it was released. Inside and out it looks at least 5 years older than the Sante Fe.

      • Sumpguard

        I agree the ford has aged poorly.

  • Sumpguard

    It’s interesting to note that most reviews I have read in the past pick on the diesel noise of the territory and yet most of recent reviews of the Santafe say it is hard to pick that the car is a diesel behind the wheel.

    This quote below is from a review of the Territory diesel highlighting its negatives.

    “Cheap interior feel; noisy diesel engine; underwhelming audio system; expensive”

    and….

    “While a large number of modern cars have become rather proficient at exploiting the benefits of diesels and at masking their sound – Audi and Mercedes-Benz for example – the Territory doesn’t fall into this category”

    ………..IT’S FROM CA just last November and reflects my neighbour’s sentiment before selling his as his misses hated the clatter.

    Meanwhile Carsguide paid particular attention to just how quiet the diesel is in the santafe as did several other reviews.

    You should probably check that the electronic handbrake isn’t stuck on in the santafe too because there is a forum full of owners doing a lot better than you with their fuel consumption around town. The worst are claiming 10.5 with a heavy right foot.

    I think the territory is a good vehicle but something is amiss here.
    I’m not sure about the new ones but some of the early ones had persistent electrical and rust issues also.

  • marc

    I agree with the author’s sentiments after driving both. The Hyundai covers the checklist until you get behind the wheel where the Territory is far more enjoyable drive.

    • Cars

      I don’t think anybody is questioning that. When you look at the price premium for the Territory it really looks like a bad deal compared to the Hyundai. No one would buy a SUV purely on its handling (or everyone buying SUVs would probably be in BMWs) and everywhere else the Terry is behind the Santa. Not a compelling argument for the average buyer.

      • marc

        average buyer for an average car

  • Cars

    “After deputy editor DeGasperi…….”
    YESSSIRRRR!
    That is comical.

    • Daniel D

      Its a term thats been used in newspapers from at least the late 1800′s. Your being unfamiliar with it, doesn’t make it comical.

      • Cars

        Sorry, but it appears pretentious and superfluous on Car Advice. Even if that is only my opinion. It is not to question Daniel’s competence, rather an observation that the use of “deputy editor” is rare in most publications unless it is linked to an editorial, a bio or a staff contact page.

        I have no doubt Alborz regards this as a professional Car Website. I doubt he wants it to be regarded as conceited.

        • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jez Spinks

          Hi Cars, a strange thing to pick up on as the title of deputy editor is a title you will find in virtually every modern media organisation/publication. But we can assure you there’s no intention to be pretentious – and we’d like to think the way we write about cars supports that.

          • Cars

            Hi Jez,

            for the most part I agree and think you guys usually do a fantastic job. This is why I regularly come here and why I refer your site to colleagues and customers that are interested in cars or looking to buy.

            I wasn’t bothered by the title, it was the fact it was dropped into the piece and seemed totally unnecessary. If it was written “Car Advice’s own Daniel DeGasperi…….” would have come accross a lot more palatable. Again, just by 2c – we will probably agree to disagee.
            FWIW keep up the good work. It is among the best car sites around.

  • Cars

    The Elite has includes standard features such as 18-inch ally wheels,
    seven-inch touch screen with satellite navigation, premium audio,
    leather/leatherette seats, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, tinted
    rear glass, cooled glovebox, auto-dimming rear view mirror, keyless
    start, heated and folding electric side mirrors, and with all Santa Fes
    coming with full-size spare, rear-view camera, rear parking sensors,
    Bluetooth with streaming, seven airbags and five-year warranty.

    Highlander adds bigger, 19-inch alloys, glass panoramic sunroof,
    xenon headlights, electrically adjustable front passenger seat and
    memory driver’s seat, and heated front seats.

    The Territory matches virtually all of the Highlander’s features but
    has smaller, 18-inch alloy wheels and misses out on rain-sensing wipers,
    auto-dipping side mirrors.
    AND you pay a $8000 premium for the Territory!?!?

    That is part of the reason why Ford is shutting it’s factory doors here. Premium pricing, not a premium product.

    • Troll No. 56

      And how many people do you know that have paid full RRP for a Territory?

      • Cars

        How many people pay full RRP for a Santa Fe? Same argument applies nullifying your statement.

  • merc

    The real world price difference of these 2 is as follows.
    1-2 k dearer for a titanium diesel then an Elite diesel.
    The highlander was 3-5 k dearer then the terri.I dont know why these reviewers cant quote accurate drive away prices.

  • Dysik

    12.3L/100km is quite hefty for a small 2.2L diesel.

    I know a friend which has the Kluger Grande and it drinks the same amount and that thing is 4.0L petrol. It’s also quite fast and extremely smooth

    • Damian

      The Kluger has a 3.5L V6…

  • effingpond

    Interesting about the drivability vs (perceived) reliability thing. We bought a kluger 2006 back in 2007 when looking at tezza v kluger bc of reliability although the tezza was a much nicer drive. The kluger has now gone to car heaven bc some old codger cleaned it up in a car park while I was at work. In that time and 140000+ ks it performed perfectly.
    It’s replacement is a new Santa Fe highlander. I was a little concerned re resale/reliability etc but so far so good. The car has a slight nervous demeanour on the freeway but a little section in the strezleckis showed reasonable agility.
    My last family trip (4-up) from Melbourne to ocean grove to sorrento and back to Melbourne has returned 6.5 l/100 km…I’m pretty chuffed with that

    • Miss my Santa Fe

      My previous model Santa Fe used an average of 6.9 l/100km over 60,000km in a mix of speed limit highway and city driving. I now unfortunately drive a work Craptiva which does the same driving in the high 9s, with less comfort, woeful auto, difficult controls and a struggle to keep it on the road in any side wind. You can do a lot worse than a Santa Fe.

  • Kon Wai Luen

    I had a chance to drive the Territory recently, but it was immediately after trying the Kuga, so when I first got on board, I found the interior quality to be shocking and quite obviously exposing Ford Australia’s lack of resources. Overall, however, I agree with the writer’s findings, and I think the Territory’s driving dynamics are quite a revelation and the availability of small item storage spaces are certainly better thought out here than in the glitzier Kuga where there wasn’t enough space for my phone and keys.

  • Zaccy16

    shows how far behind hyundai are in steering, ride and handling when they are a huge global company when the territory is a locally built car just for our market and underneath is from 2004! the territorys ride and handling is a credit to what aussie ford engineers can do! thats why i bought my territory in 2005

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jez Spinks

      Quite right, Zaccy16 – Ford Australia’s engineers are a talented bunch, and they’re reflecting Ford Motor Company’s general excellence when it comes to making vehicles good to drive. It can only be hoped that they continue to have greater involvement in developing Ford’s global products – such as the Ranger – once the Falcon and Territory disappear.

      • Zaccy16

        yep i completely agree, people need to drive the territory and falcon to see how well they handle and ride on our roads, the current fg falcon specially with the lighter ecoboost engine handles fantastically for the size of the car, i owned a first gen territory and the ride and handling were great for a 2 tonne suv

  • Dieseltorque

    I have driven both and the Territory is a better drive but its diesel is way off the mark compared to Hyundai. I’m surprised this wasn’t mentioned in the review as I found the Santa Fe Diesel far more potent. The Territory was quite laggy and felt it was struggling to overcome the Territory’s weight.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jez Spinks

      Have to disagree with your “way off the mark” comment, Dieseltorque. The Territory does have a bit more lag than the Hyundai’s and the Santa Fe does feel more nimble around town, but the delay is less noticeable than it was in the likes of the Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar XF, it’s impressively quiet unless accelerating hard, and you can still get good momentum from standstill – from junctions, for example. Hyundai (and Kia) diesels are highly likeable, though, and we now just need them to make their petrol offerings as consistently good.

      • Dieseltorque

        No problems here Jez with your assessment of my comment. My opinion still stands from my test drives and your agreement above that the Territory is ‘Laggy’. It drove like an old school diesel, waiting waiting then on boost. Reminded me of the old TD Jackeroo’s! Agree Hyundai need to work on their Petrol engines but I am suitably impressed with their R series Diesels.

      • Dougal

        I’ve been following these long term reports keenly Jez as we are weighing up these 2 models for our next family car. When can we expect your next instalment?

    • Sumpguard

      My neighbour who recently sold his territory diesel (after just 6 months of ownership) said the same thing Dieseltorque after testing the santafe. Very laggy and loud at idle . For the record he brought a new sorento .He was torn between it and the santafe . He preferred the styling of the santafe but liked the DLR’s fitted on the KIA and the darker interior.

      • Dieseltorque

        Hi Sumpguard, are you agreeing with Jez that the Santa Fe is laggy or was it the Territory. I also prefer the Sorrento for its better access to the third row seats and better rear vision. It’s probably not any larger than the Santa Fe but it does look that way by its layout. I’m not overly fussed on the starship dashboard of the Santa Fe either.

        • Sumpguard

          I was agreeing with you. Though I prefer the interior of the santefe. The red lighting is hard to read in the kia.

          • Dieseltorque

            Maybe he drove a very good Territory diesel as I’m quite sure after driving both Santa Fe and Sorrento I found them smoother with excellent punch off the line and very good mid range power for overtaking. Yes, you are spot on, the red lighting is certainly not my preferred colour!

          • SANTA CLAUS

            owned swb jackaroo,two pajeros,pathfinder,frontera and now a prado and santa,it drives better than most cars(esp a4 b7 crap)bonus its better in sand than most,can seat 7 to pubs etc.diesel is unbelieably responsive worst figure 8.4l/100k,dont see how youd get 12+.good looking,easy to drive,reliable(5year warranty+cap service.would not give ugly tezza a second look,its the new look crossover with balls(436Nm).guess who killed off dicovery’s attempt to win 9 years in a row,not evoke not taureg ,not Q5 MIGHTY 3.O DIESEL.MOST CERTAINLY NOT A DATED SUSPECT OLD BLOODY TEZZA!

Hyundai Santa Fe Specs

ELITE CRDi : 2.2L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
HYUNDAI
Model
SANTA FE
Variant
ELITE CRDi
Series
DM
Year
2013
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
7
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.2L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO 4
Max. Torque
435Nm @  1800rpm
Max. Power
145kW @  3800rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
79.2W/kg
Bore & Stroke
85.4x96mm
Compression Ratio
15.0
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
ALL WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.195
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
64
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.3L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1830
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1580mm
Length
4690mm
Width
1880mm
Ground Clearance
185mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:2000  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.9
Front Rim Size
7.5x18
Rear Rim Size
7.5x18
Front Tyres
235/60 R18
Rear Tyres
235/60 R18
Wheel Base
2700
Front Track
1628
Rear Track
1639
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seat Driver
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hill Holder
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Leather Trim
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Protective Glazing
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-H-12
Country of Origin
KOREA