Best SUV over $40,000

Launched in September 2012, the new Santa Fe brought with it sharply styled bodywork (to match the design language of the rest of the Hyundai range) draped over the company’s familiar and excellent 2.2-litre R Series engine.

The turbo-diesel pumps out 145 kW of power

at 3000 rpm, along with a hearty 436 Nm of torque available from 1800 rpm. It makes acceleration from standstill smooth, effortless and efficient and that muscular torque helps the Santa Fe maintain good progress off road.
The power plant sends its grunt through a six-speed automatic. Combined fuel economy is 7.3 litres/100 km.

Standard safety equipment includes rear view camera and rear parking sensors, seven airbags, automatic dusk-sensing headlights and all wheel drive.

The Elite has all the electronic safety helpers you would expect, plus a couple more. These include ESC, ABS with EBD, traction control and a torque vectoring system that monitors and mechanically controls the torque going to each wheel to improve the vehicle’s stability. Safety is five stars.

Air-conditioning vents have their own fan speed controls for the third row of seats. That third row is also of the split fold variety and, importantly, folds flat. The second row can be folded from the rear cargo space with the pull of a lever.

Australia's Best Cars Best SUV over $40,000 Hyundai Santa Fe Elite

Manufacturer’s List Price: $45,990

Hyundai Santa Fe Elite - Criteria out of 10


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  8H
Depreciation  8M
Running Costs  10H
Fuel Consumption  7C
Warranty and dealer access   9H
Insurance  6L
Standrd Features  8H

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  9C
Environment  6C
Comfort  8H
Space  8M
Practicality  9H
Ergonomics  8H
Build and Finish  8H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8M
Ride  8M
Handling  7H
Braking  7H
Smoothness and Quietness   8M
Off-road ability   9M

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.