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Christine ASKED THE GUIDE

Hyundai Santa Fe 2019: Should I buy the diesel version?

How much country driving per week do you need to do to warrant the diesel version of a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe? We live in a provincial city and whilst there is some country driving, the vehicle will also run around town a bit too. I was concerned about the diesel particulate filter. We also want to tow a small van and think the diesel will be a better option?

You can work this out mathematically if bald numbers don’t scare you. The petrol four-cylinder Santa Fe is $3000 cheaper than the diesel. In all-wheel-drive form, the diesel has an official combined fuel consumption figure of 7.5 litres per 100km, while the petrol scores 9.3 litres. That means, that for every 100km travelled (based on those official test figures, remember) the petrol will use 1.8 litres more fuel. Based on $1.50 per litre, that means the petrol will cost about $2.70 more to run for every 100km, and that means you’d need to cover roughly 111,000km before you broke even on the extra purchase-price of the diesel. Even then, it’s not that simple as the diesel might be more expensive to service and maintain. Either way, though, petrol starts to look good.

That said, you sound like you’re in the perfect situation to make the most of a diesel engine. Yes, the turbo-diesel will tow a small caravan better than the four-cylinder petrol Santa Fe and, provided you do at least some country driving every month or so, you shouldn’t need to worry about the diesel particulate filter filling up or failing. Country driving will also stretch the diesel’s fuel consumption advantage further.
My advice? Drive both and make a decision based on the smoothness of the petrol or the relaxed flexibility and towing smarts of the diesel.

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