We drove the Hyundai Grand Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi: a stunning SUV flagship from the orient…

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Impressive. That’s how one can best describe this Hyundai. Earning very high marks in style and engineering, in mechanical refinement and perfection, in roominess, finish and build quality.

We drove this Grand Santa Fe in the top Executive Version, equipped with the Safety Pack, giving you all the electronic assistance you would ever wish for to help you drive safely to your destination.

A very relaxing and rewarding experience, just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

More grace and space…

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The latest generation of the Grand Santa Fe is more stylish with its new LED running lights and redesigned front radiator grille, reminiscent of the new Ioniq. It is also sleeker than ever, being a good 20 cm longer than the standard Santa Fe.

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The interior is spacious indeed, and this SUV has three rows of seats, with ample room for two adults even on the rearmost bench. Infotainment is of course state of the art, with a 7 inch touch screen, excellent and logical navigation, and last but not least well positioned cameras allowing you to steer this big SUV safely through the narrowest (urban) spaces and roads our European continent has to offer.

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Again a word of praise is fitting here for the logical and easy, self explaining way all the controls are designed and laid out. You have All the functions and apps of this magnificent SUV at your fingertips, and you don’t need a hefty instruction manual (if any) to use them.

Refined power

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Pushing the starting button, after having been welcomed by a melodious tune, a very smooth 2,2 liter state of the art diesel jumps to life. This unit not only responds to the Euro 6 norm, but has all the power you will ever need. What to think of 200 HP and 436 Nm of torque…

The beauty of it all is that this energy is delivered with silky smoothness, and this rather big four cylinder totally belies its construction when one feels its uncanny refinement. You can choose between eco, normal or sports mode, and in all the modes, this engine never ever shows any undue noise or roughness.

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The same high level of refinement is found in the drivetrain and transmission. No vibrations whatsoever, with the gearchanges being ultra smooth, even under full acceleration. Needless to say, performance is quite sufficient with 0 to 100 kmh being reached in 10,3 seconds,with a  top speed of 200 kmh.

Motorway driving being relaxing? You bet. With not only a very stable, and effortless car to soothe you, but also with all the driver assistance systems at your fingertips to help you enjoy your ride. There is distance control coupled to the cruise control, and of course also lane assist to keep you on the chosen path.

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You have all the roominess, straight line stability and suspension comfort to make every Gran Turismo trip a very easy affair. Wind noise is also absent up to very high speeds, making this Grand Santa Fe a formidable cruiser.

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But the Grand Santa Fe is also much (relaxing) fun in town. You enjoy the commanding view, the excellent seats, the ergonomic position of all the controls. As said, a real boon are the camera views. You can tick on the screen whether you want front, right or left side,  to your mood, you can select the driving mode of your choice.

Quite often we opted for the sport mode, making the Grand Santa Fe just that bit more nimble and responsive in tight urban traffic. But are you feeling more in the mood for a leasurely boulevard ride? Just flick to eco mode and let this Grand Santa Fe do (almost) all the rest for you.

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Consumption depends of course very much here on the way you drive this 4,9 meter, 2 tonne car. Engine and transmission are efficient enough, so if you drive with anticipation and avoid too much accelerations and heavier braking, this Hyunday will reward you with a consumption well below 9 liters over 100 km, even in slower urban traffic. At constant speeds on the open road and motorway, averages around the 7 liter mark are quite possible. The manufacturer quotes 6,5 liters on the open road, 9,6 liters in town, and 7,6 liters/100 km on average, with CO2 emissions being 199 g/km. .

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With its fully automatic 4WD,  even complete novices can steer this Hyundai expertly through rough terrain. Of course there are functions like downhill brake control to keep you out of trouble, and rather offer you undisturbed off road pleasure. With a ground clearance of a good 18 cm  the Grand Santa Fe will tackle virtually anything which comes (in) your way. You are further helped with Hillstart Assist Control.

On the open road, the Grand Santa Fe offers surprising agility and stability, with a multilink suspension at the rear, Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Mangament further thrown in.

Roomy and practical

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The Grand Santa Fe is spacious to say the least, offering enough room for two grown ups even on the third row bench, making it a genuine 7 seater. This folds down in seconds with just a brief pull on the ropes on the split backrest, and you only have to lift the handle on the sides of the second row bench to let them fold flat too. This opens for you not less than 1842 liters of luggage space. There is comfort for the rear passengers too with separate climate control amongst others.

Top end infotainment

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A word of praise is also due for the excellent sound system, with the Infinity Premium 10 speaker system, fitted in our Executive version. The radio has of course DAB reception, and even MP3 player function.  This allowed us to listen again with pleasure to one of our long forgotten MP3 disks featuring a profile of violinist Julia Fischer, playing chamber music by Bach, Dvorak and Mozart…a Musique3 podcast dating back to 200, to be enjoyed beautifully again! We are indeed fervently in favor of keeping CD/MP3 players in cars, as many of us still have a (vast) CD music collection. This Grand Santa Fe certainly filled the bill!

Conclusion

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If you want a well built, stylish SUV which offers you superb mechanical refinement, ease of use and spacious comfort, then this Hyundai Grand Santa Fe is a strong contender indeed, certainly when you further consider its outstanding value for money. Sitting snugly in its comfortable leather seats, seduced by a smooth, silent engine and listening to its melodious 10 speaker system, it offers the best you can expect from a SUV, add to this the agile 200 Hp, the automated 4WD and the well engineered chassis, you will agree that this Grand Santa Fe has many strong points indeed.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

 

 

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