Hyundai Santa Fe Elite 2019 review: long term
Malcolm Flynn is spending six months with the new Hyundai Santa Fe Elite, to see how well it fits his family's needs.
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For most Aussies it probably seems the Ford Endura has just magically appeared and some of you might be wondering where Ford’s Territory went. Well, meet the new Territory… kind of.
Where the Territory was Australian-made, the Endura is built in Canada, and this model has been on sale in the United States since 2015.
We went to the launch of Ford Australia’s new large SUV to see how it coped with our local roads and to investigate what it offered in terms of practicality, space and value.
|Ford Endura 2019: Trend (awd)|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
Profile images make it look like an SUV version of a Ford Mondeo, while front-on shots make it look big and tall like a Ford Escape on steroids. Watching the video that goes with this story will probably give you the most truthful view short of seeing one on the road for yourself.
It’s a good-looking SUV with tough styling at the front with a giant version of the grille worn by the whole Ford car family, to the more delicately designed tailgate.
There are three grades in the Endura range – the entry level Trend, the sporty mid-spec ST-Line and the Titanium at the top.
The ST-Line is the most recognisable thanks to its body kit, blacked out mesh grille and black roof rails. You can spot a Titanium by its sunroof and its bright-finish 20-inch alloy wheels.
So, what are the Endura’s dimensions? Well, at just over 4.8m long, almost 2.2m wide (including the wing mirrors) and a bit more than 1.7m tall the Endura is almost the same size as the beloved Territory, even the wheelbases are within 6.0mm of each other with the new SUV’s being 2.8m long.
Talking of the Territory, if you’re familiar with that Aussie SUV’s insides then you’ll feel at home in the cabin of the Endura because of the way the display is integrated into the dash.
Have a look at the interior images – how much does that look like the screen in the Territory? I’m not a big fan of the air vents either side of the screen, but the dash and the centre console are otherwise beautifully symmetrical in their placement of buttons and dials.
There are high-quality feeling materials in most places. Yes, there are some hard plastics such as on the glove box lid, but there are soft-touch plastics on the dash and also on the rear window sills where many carmakers seem to use what feels like recycled takeaway containers thinking you might not notice.
Oh, and then there’s the gear shifter, or as Ford calls it the ‘E-Shifter’. It’s a rotary dial for the automatic transmission, rather than a lever. It looks a bit alien but it feels like a premium piece of equipment.
The interior of the three grades are almost identical with all of them coming with the chrome effect trim lining the centre console and the glossy black plastic around the cupholders up front. The ST-Line has aluminium-face pedals and a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the Titanium gets illuminated metal front door scuff plates.
Really, the main difference to the interiors are the seats – the Trend has cloth upholstery, the ST-Line has a suede-like material with leather accents and the Titanium has part leather perforated seats. All upholstery is black.
As for paint colours, there are 10 to choose from including 'Agate Black', 'Blue Metallic', 'Baltic Sea Green', 'Burgundy Velvet', 'Ingot Silver', 'Oxford White', 'Ruby Red' and 'Stone Grey'.
The Endura range starts at a list price of $44,990 for the front-wheel drive (FWD) Trend (add $4000 for the all-wheel drive version), steps up to the ST-Line in FWD for $53,990 (again add $4000 for AWD) and then there’s the $63,990 Titanium in FWD (yep, $4000 more for the all-paw).
The Trend is the base grade but it offers the best value with a giant standard features list. This includes: proximity key, power folding mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, LED DRLs and fog lights, LED tail-lights, dark-tinted rear windows, roof rails, dual exhaust tips, push button start, power adjustable driver’s (10-way) and front passenger seat (six-way), leather-clad steering wheel and paddle shifters, 10-inch screen covering the instrument cluster and dual-zone climate control.
The ST-Line grade comes with all of those features and adds a 10-way power adjustable front passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats, a power hands-free tailgate and the sporty body kit mentioned under the design heading above.
The Titanium adds a panoramic sunroof (which means it loses the roof rails), heated second row seats and adaptive Bi-LED headlights.
The Endura has a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine making 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque. That torque peak comes in low at 2000rpm which is where it’s most useful for towing and accelerating off the line.
Braked towing capacity for the Endura is 2000kg.
All Enduras have an eight-speed automatic and you can choose between front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The diesel engine and the eight-speed auto transmission make an efficient team with claimed fuel economy for the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive being the same at 6.7L/100km over a combination of open and urban roads.
The launch saw me drive the Endura in Trend FWD, ST-Line AWD and Titanium AWD and the trip computers were reporting a couple of litres more than this, but this would certainly be because of the winding, hilly country roads, and the driver.
The Endura has a 64-litre fuel tank.
There’s lots of good news here. The diesel engine is quiet. The cabin is well insulated. Both of those combined saw me on one occasion press the start button not realising the engine was already running. That was in the FWD Trend grade, too. The ST-Line and Titanium have even better levels of insulation.
Steering is excellent – it’s weighted well, accurate, and it’s easy to turn the steering wheel in car parks or in three-point turns.
The ride is comfortable in all grades, but most of all in the Trend and Titanium, while the ST-Line has firmer sports suspension. But that makes it the most fun to drive in the corners where it handles impressively well for a 4.8m long SUV.
Visibility all-round is also outstanding. The side windows are large, the windscreen feels expansive with pillars that don’t get in the way, the dash is low and you sit quite high. While you are high up, the Endura doesn’t feel like a truck to drive. And that goes for the engine too, I’ve already mentioned how quite it is, but it’s smooth as well.
The engine could do with more grunt, though. There were times climbing hills in the overtaking lane that a bit more oomph would have made me feel a little less concerned that we weren’t going to make it past that semi-trailer before his lane ran out.
That was with two people on board and a couple of bags. The Trend FWD is the lightest at 1976kg while the Titanium AWD is 100kg heavier. That’s pretty heavy. The heaviest Mazda CX-9 (a bigger SUV with seven seats) for example weighs 1924kg. I wonder how the Endura would go fully loaded up with family and holiday gear, plus a boat on the back?
AWD or FWD? Well, they both use the same amount of fuel, so it just comes down to, can you afford it?
The FWD Trend I drove struggled for traction under harder acceleration from a standstill. The AWD ST-Line and Titanium I tested had no issues with traction at all. An AWD Trend is where I’d put my money.
Keep in mind the Endura isn’t an off-roader. The AWD system helps in the wet and on gravel, but its lowish ground clearance will prevent it from climbing anything more adventurous than a gutter. Unladen the AWD Endura’s belly hangs 193mm off the ground, while the FWD’s ground clearance is 186mm.
The Endura is longer than a Hyundai Santa Fe and shorter than a Mazda CX-8. The thing is both of those SUVs have seven seats, while the Endura has five. The only seven-seater SUV in Ford’s range is the Everest, which is a big off-roader.
If you don’t need the extra row, then you may see it as a bonus because not having folding seats back there means you’ve got decent boot space – 602 litres up to the cargo cover.
Legroom is also good in the back. I’m 191cm tall and have about 40mm of space between my knees and the seat back, while headroom even in the Titanium with its panoramic sun roof is ample.
As for storage in the cabin, there are four cupholders - two in the front and two in the back. A bottle holder in each door (which are on the small side), there’s a big centre console bin under the armrest, a storage tray under the dash, another one in front of the shifter and a covered dash-top area.
All Enduras come standard with two USB ports, three 12-volt outlets and a 230-volt outlet.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The Endura has scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating. The level of advanced safety equipment in the Endura is mighty good. There’s AEB with pedestrian detection, evasive steering assistance, lane keep assistance, which will pull you back into the centre if you drift out, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
A standout safety function is the traffic sign recognition system which when used in conjunction with adaptive cruise control will spot speed limit signs and adjust your speed to keep you on the right side of the law. Along with all that there are seven airbags, and of course, traction and stability control.
For child seats you’ll find three top tether anchor points and two ISOFIX mounts in the second row.
A space saver spare is under the boot floor.
As much as I loved the Territory I have to say Ford’s Endura is a worthy replacement. This is an easy and enjoyable to drive, spacious, fuel efficient, safe SUV that’s great value with its big features list, long warranty and low servicing costs.
The sweet spot is the entry grade Trend as it get most of the equipment you'll find on the others, without paying more for bigger wheels or a sunroof.
|ST-Line (awd)||2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$40,000 – 57,990||2019 Ford Endura 2019 ST-Line (awd) Pricing and Specs|
|ST-Line (fwd)||2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$38,990 – 44,500||2019 Ford Endura 2019 ST-Line (fwd) Pricing and Specs|
|Titanium (awd)||2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$42,990 – 50,990||2019 Ford Endura 2019 Titanium (awd) Pricing and Specs|
|Titanium (fwd)||2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$43,990 – 51,990||2019 Ford Endura 2019 Titanium (fwd) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||7|