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Hyundai Santa Fe Active 2013 review

The Hyundai Santa Fe.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

Santa Fe is categorised as a large SUV and Active is Hyundai's entry level trim, available with a 2.4-litre petrol or 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. The diesel is the better option but costs a hefty $3000 more so what we wondered is the cheapy like?

How much?

It's priced from $36,990 plus on road costs, but that does not include an automatic which adds $2000 to the price. Although the Active is the entry model it certainly doesn't feel or look like it.

What are competitors?

Plenty of them including the Holden Captiva 7, the Nissan Pathfinder and Kia's sister Sorento (Hyundai owns Kia and the two share engineering).

What's under the bonnet?

2.4-litre four cylinder petrol engine features direct injection that makes things a whole lot more interesting. Same engine as in the now defunct i45 with 141kW of power and 242Nm of torque.

How does it go?

Mated with the optional six-speed auto it goes a lot better than we had any right to expect enthusiastic even. The ride and handling also benefits from local tuning.

Is it economical?

Rated at 9.0 litres/100km, we were getting 8.8 after 300km)

Is it green?

Gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide, producing CO2 emissions of 209g/km.

An Active ECO system engaged at the push of a button modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response and increase real-world fuel economy.

Is it safe?

No problems here. Scores a full five stars from ANCAP in crash tests, with a full complement of safety systems including seven airbags and a reversing camera (smaller in the Active).

Is it comfortable?

No problems here either. Plenty or room even in the third row, with large supportive seats. Second row slides backwards or forwards depending on requirements.

What's it like to drive?

More refined than earlier models, but feels more isolated from the road too. Most people will view this as a plus. Adjustable steering assistance is standard.

Is it value for money?

Seven seats, all-wheel drive, front and rear air-conditioning with third row air-conditioning vents are all standard.

So are auto lights, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth for connecting phones and streaming audio.

Would we buy one?

Like I said it's hard to believe it's an entry model. No reason we wouldn't but if you can afford the diesel it's worth the extra.

Pricing guides

Based on 154 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Active (4x4) 2.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $14,000 – 19,800 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 Active (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Active CRDi (4x4) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $15,100 – 21,340 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 Active CRDi (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Elite CRDi (4x4) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $17,700 – 24,640 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 Elite CRDi (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Highlander CRDi (4x4) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $19,200 – 26,730 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe 2013 Highlander CRDi (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.