2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Active Review

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Active Road Test, Review

Hyundai just keep getting better and better solidifying its place as one of Australia’s favourite car brands.

Already changing the game, along with Kia, in terms of quality, inclusions and price at their end of the market, the latest Hyundai Santa Fe offers even more value for money.

As we’ll soon find out, it’s amazing what is included for $43,000 in just the base level Santa Fe Active.

It’s hard not to be smitten with the seven-seater SUV.


It has been a while since I was in a Santa Fe and in those three years there have been a few changes.

Generally with the same overall shape, the nose has been blunted and capped off with a honeycomb style grille in place of the horizontal lines.

The rear has more definition and I love the large smooth door handles that provide something nice and solid to grip onto.

Underfoot are 17” alloys; the smallest in the range but offering better ride comfort.

Hyundai Santa Fe Active interiorInterior

As I said, both South Korean manufacturers have come leaps and bounds in recent years and although Hyundai sales are superior, I’ve always preferred Kia models purely based on their interiors.

But now the new line up including the Hyundai Santa Fe are in line with Kia with a simplified layout and similar details right down to the same modern font on their buttons.

There’s a good mix of varied materials on the dash and doors (including a stone effect for a bit of interest), but the grey fabric seats are the standout, so refined you won’t care they’re not leather.

And, as I discovered by accident (ie. via infant), they are water resistant!

The defining feature of the large SUV is of course the two extra seats in the back which at first glance don’t appear to be there with a floor mat to conceal and protect.

Access and conversion are a cinch with quick release buttons in the boot and a one-touch ‘walk-in switch’ on the middle row to propel the seat forward saving some muscle.

Third row passengers are made as comfortable as possible in the confined quarters with their own air vents, cup holder and storage recesses, and their own A/C control dial.

Hyundai Santa Fe Active seatsFeatures

In the entry level Hyundai Santa Fe you get a beautiful touchscreen, a colour instrument cluster, logical steering wheel controls, and a bucket load of storage and auxiliary inputs.

Sat-nav, DAB+ and powered seats can be found in higher models but probably the only disappointing thing about the Santa Fe Active is the lack of push button start and a proximity smart key.

  • Electric park brake auto hold
  • Camera view button rear camera
  • AWD
  • DRLs
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • 4 drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport, Smart
  • Cargo cover, luggage net, underfloor storage
  • Tyre pressure monitor

Drive and Engine

The Santa Fe is what we’ve become accustomed to with Hyundai SUVs and their car-like handling.

On the road comfort matches the perceived comfort of the cabin with a quiet and steady ride, though the brakes could have a bit more bite.

You can hear the 2.4 litre naturally aspirated engine rev a bit but it’s got good power there coupled with a seven-speed sports automatic transmission,

Sport mode makes full use of the 138kW and 241Nm but can be almost too much at times.

For a car this size, the petrol consumption was a reasonable 10.4L/100km.

Hyundai Santa Fe Active 3rd row seatsSafety

  • Downhill brake control
  • Blind spot warning
  • Forward collision avoidance
  • Lane keep assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control/speed limiter

Good Bits

  • Value for money
  • Base inclusions
  • Fabric seats
  • Rear seat functionality

Not So Good Bits

  • No smart key
  • No push button ignition

Hyundai Santa Fe Active rear

Facts and Figures: 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Active

  • Engine: 2.4L four-cylinder petrol producing 138kW/241Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: South Korea

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