Hyundai Santa Fe 2019 review
The seven-seater Hyundai Santa Fe SUV has just undergone an enormous change, but some things have stayed the same. We got to know the new-generation Santa Fe well at its Australian launch.
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
You know how you can buy the same phone but in different sizes? Well Volkswagen has done that with the Tiguan by now offering a bigger version with an extra two seats. It’s called the Tiguan Allspace and it’s the only seven-seat in Volkswagen Australia’s range of SUVs.
Like a bigger phone the Tiguan Allspace is going to cost you more than the regular size. So how much more? What do you get that you don’t on a normal Tiguan, and what’s it like to drive now that it’s bigger – I mean have you tried running after putting on a bit of weight? I have.
We found out at the Australian launch Tiguan Allspace.
|Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2019: Highline 162TSI|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded|
The Tiguan Allspace looks like a regular Tiguan only bigger. But, it’s not a Tiguan that’s just been scaled up in size. Nope, it’s a Tiguan that’s actually been stretched - by 215mm.
Most of that length has been added to the space between the front and rear wheels, and its boot. That means more room in the cabin and also the way it drives, which I’ll talk about in the sections below.
The dimensions of the Tiguan Allspace aren’t a whole lot different to the Tiguan’s. The Allspace has the same width at 1839mm, and is only seven mm taller at 1665mm, but it’s length is 4701mm compared to the 4486mm long regular Tiguan. Compared to the Allspace the Hyundai Santa Fe is 70mm longer, 50mm wider and 15mm taller.
That elongated body, without much added to its height, and the flat roofline gives the Allspace a slightly wagon-like look and there are some unique styling points to its design, differentiating it from the Tiguan.
There’s the stepped-up bonnet edge, the ridged roof, and the bigger rear quarter windows.
There’s beauty in the Allspace’s chiselled looks, those super sharp creases and edges, it’s angular and strong looking with a prestige air.
The interior of the Allspace, too has those well-defined lines and is almost identical to the regular Tiguan.
The Allspace’s interior is a superbly designed cabin, but it’s not as premium feeling as I feel it should be – especially considering the levels competitors such as the Santa Fe are achieving.
There are two grades in the Tiguan Allspace line-up – the entry-level Comfortline and top of the range Highline. You can pick them apart by their wheels – the Comfortline has 18-inch alloys, while the Highline has 19-inch rims. The Highline has more chrome-looking trim around the lower air intake, its tail-lights are darker, and the rear windows are tinted. Inside the Highline has leather seat, while the Comfortline has cloth.
There’s an enormous array of accessories for the Tiguan Allspace including body kits with rear spoilers, sunblinds, sidesteps and luggage pods.
ow much is the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace? That depends on which one you get because there are two grades and a choice of engines.
The entry-level Comfortline grade can be had with the 110TSI petrol engine for $40,490, or step up to the more powerful 132TSI petrol for a list price of $45,490, or there’s a diesel 110TDI for $46,990.
With top of the range Highline grade you have a choice of two engines – the $52,990 162TSI or the 140TDI for $54,490.
Standard features on all Comfortlines include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with sat nav, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, eight-speaker stereo, three-zone climate control, proximity key (keyless entry) and push button start, LED headlights, power tailgate with gesture open, 18-inch alloy wheels in the Kingston design and an excellent armoury of advanced safety equipment you can read about below.
The Highline grade has of the Comfortline’s features but adds leather upholstery, a 9.2-inch touchscreen, adaptive chassis control, active cruise control, heated front and outside row two seats, power front seats, ambient lighting, premium LED tail-lights and 19-inch alloys in the 'Auckland' style.
A panoramic sunroof can be optioned on individually on the Highline for $2000 or part of the $4000 'Luxury package' for the Comfortline. The 'Driver Assistance Package' is also for the Comfortline and add adaptive cruise control among other cool stuff for $1600.
The pretty and clever 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster can be optioned as part of the 'Sound and Vision package' for $3200.
Then there’s the R-Line package which costs $2900 but makes your Tiguan Allspace look like it’s ready for the apocalypse with 20-inch 'Suzuka' alloy rims, a tough R-Line body kit composed of bumpers and side sills, plus brushed aluminium pedal trims, black rear spoiler, R-Line steering wheel with paddle shifters and a black headliner.
The Tiguan Allspace is the only seven-seat SUV in Volkswagen’s current line-up. Yes, the big Touareg SUV flagship is 10cm longer but in Australia we get the five-seater version. And yes, there is a real possibility that in the coming years another Volkswagen SUV known as the Atlas (USA) and Teramont (Europe/Asia) with seven seats could come, but for now the Allspace is carrying the responsibility all on its own.
So, does it do a good job of being a seven-seater? Yes, as long as those in the third row are younger children because even my colleague who is not the tallest adult at 175cm found those back seats to be cramped in both head and legroom.
I’m a 191cm tall and the only way I could sit with my legs not touching the seat back was by sliding the second row forward as far as it goes which left no legroom for anybody in front of me. The limited headroom back there meant I also had to hunch.
But if your kids are as tall as me, then it might be time for them to get their own car or think about a Volkswagen Transporter (if you’re a fan of the brand) which are proper people movers that accommodate at least seven and with enormous amounts of room even for freaks like me.
Second row legroom in the Allspace is outstanding. I can sit behind my driving position with about 50mm of room between my knees and the seat back and headroom is excellent, too – seriously another whole entire Richard Berry could sit on my lap and still be comfortable. Okay, that’s weird.
Look at the size of those rear doors in the images. They are as big as the ones on a bank vault. When you compare them to the regular Tiguan’s back doors you can see where the extra length has gone in creating the Allspace and the size of the opening makes getting in and out of the second row easy.
Entry into the third row is helped by those large door apertures, but it seems because this SUV was designed originally with left-hand drive markets in mind the second row splits 60/40 so that the smaller section is on our roadside and not our kerb. It’s no biggie, but it’s just not as easy to slide the larger section forward.
With the second-row seats in use there’s still 230 litres of boot space – enough for a set of golf clubs (as demonstrated by Volkswagen at the car's launch). But if, like me, you don’t play golf that means about as much as saying you could fit 10 chihuahuas in there, so be assured there was enough room two soft overnight bags or maybe just look at the bad photo I took on my phone.
With those rear seats folded flat boot space in the Tiguan Allspace is excellent at 700 litres which is 75 litres more luggage capacity than the regular Tiguan and makes the size of the Santa Fe’s 547 litre cargo area look tiny.
Under the boot floor is a storage area for the cargo cover and under that compartment is the space saver spare wheel. Hooks, hard plastic bins for muddy shoes or wet swimmers and a torch can also be found in the boot.
Coming standard on the Allspace is a power tailgate with kick access, too – it only took me two kicks to open it but I’m uncoordinated, as you can clearly see in the video above.
Storage and utility throughout the cabin is unbeatable for this segment, with overhead luggage boxes galore, there are giant pockets in all the doors, two fold-down tables in the second row with a cupholder each.
There are another two cupholders in the rear centre armrest, another in the third row, two more up front in the cockpit, a dash-top covered box, and a deep centre console bin under the armrest. And that’s on all grades – the entry level Comfortline comes with more storage in the form of drawers under the driver and front passenger seats. All come with a glove box, too which adds more concealed storage and a CD player. Yes, a CD player – that makes me happy.
There are three USB ports on-board (two up front and one in the second row) and three 12-volt power supplies (front, second row and cargo area).
Hugely practical, but not great for carrying seven adults, think of the Tiguan Allspace as a five-seater with one of the biggest boots in the class and the flexibility to carry a couple of extra kids if you have to.
There are five engines in the Tiguan Allspace range – three specifically for the Comfortline grade and two just for the Highline.
Comfortline first: there’s the 110TSI, which is a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder and comes with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 110TSI Comfortline is the only front wheel drive Allspace in the range – the rest are all-wheel drive and have seven speed dual clutch autos.
Next in the Comfortline grade is the more powerful 132TS,I which is a 132kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol. Then there’s the diesel 110TDI which makes 110kW and 340Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-four.
The Highline gets the most powerful engines. There’s the 162TSI which makes 162kW/350Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four cylinder and the 140TDI which produces 140kW/400Nm from the turbo-diesel four.
The Tiguan Allspace shares the same maximum five-star ANCAP rating as the regular Tiguan, based on a 2016 assessment.
The level of safety equipment is impressive. Along with a suite of airbags that extend to cover the third row, every Allspace comes standard with AEB (for city and highway speeds); pedestrian monitoring, auto parking, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and 'Manoeuvre Braking' that will brake the car if somebody walks behind it while you're reversing. That’s outstanding.
The Highline adds more safety equipment in the form of rear traffic alert, side assist and emergency assist, the latter activating the hazard lights and bringing the car to a stop if it detects you haven’t touched the steering wheel for a certain period of time. Amazing stuff.
Only the second row is equipped for child seats with three top tether points, and two ISOFIX mounts in the outboard positions.
In my view the regular Tiguan is the best driving mid-sized SUV in its price range – particularly the 162 TSI.
But how does stretching the front and rear wheels apart by more that 200mm, plus the extra weight of the rear seats, bigger doors and body affect that? If you’ve ever put on weight, like me, and then had to run in attempt to drop the extra kegs, you’ll find bits jiggle more and you don’t corner, stop and accelerate like you did when you were slimmer. Same goes for cars. This was going to be interesting.
First, let’s start with the 162TSI Highline with the R-Line package. Okay, it’s still quick – we’re talking 0-100km/h in 6.8sec which is only 0.3s slower than the regular Tiguan 162TSI. While I’d like to say I actually tested that figure, those are Volkswagen’s claim, but I can confirm it feels that quick.
Ride on those 225/40 R20 Pirelli Scorpion tyres was good for such big wheels and low-profile rubber, but not as comfy as the lower grades. The ride overall is more comfortable than the regular Tiguan thanks to the longer wheelbase.
Steering is light, which is great for car parks but even in sport mode the weight could be heavier.
Handling is also good. The Highline comes with adaptive chassis control - but just to labour the body weight analogy a bit further, as when you put on a bit the car’s body control isn’t as composed as the regular (lighter) Tiguan. In the twists and turns of the test route I found the chassis wrestling to restore order – and it did.
Steering is light, which is great for car parks but even in sport mode the weight could be heavier.
The seating position is a bit too high, but that’s the case for the regular Tiguan, too. I prefer the Mazda CX-8’s lower driving position.
Visibility out of the Allspace is excellent. Well-designed A-pillars, non-obstructing wing mirrors and big windows (including the rear quarter window) give you a clear view all around.
Next the 132TSI Comfortline and 110TSI Comfortline. Right, the 132TSI is probably as low as you should go for engine power in the Tiguan Allspace. While both look identical inside and out, that 110TSI engine may not give you the grunt you’ll need to easily carry you, the family and the mountain of gear which goes with it. The 132TSI performed well, with great shifts from that seven speed 'DSG' dual-clutch auto.
Ride is excellent and so is handling, but again you can feel the extra size and weight. Does being bigger make it harder to drive? No because while the Tiguan is longer, it’s the same width, and not much taller. This means the Allspace feels more like a little van or wagon to drive, not a monster truck.
Finally, the 140 TDI Highline. Great torque and enough power from this diesel engine with that excellent seven speed DSG shifting intuitively coming into corners, up hills and on inclines. Our test car wore different tyres to the 162TSI ,with the 235 50 R19s delivering good grip and a comfortable ride.
The only variant I didn’t have the chance to drive was the 110TDI Comfortline, hopefully I’ll be reviewing that down the track.
Volkswagen calculates its fuel economies over a combination of open and urban roads. I carried out testing on the same 27km country loop on each variant and recorded my own mileages off the trip computer.
So, officially the 132 TSI Comfortline gets 7.9L/100km (I recorded 10.1L/100km). The 162TSI Highline’s official figure is 8.3l/100km (I recorded 11.2L/100km). The official 140TDI Highline consumption is 6.0L/100km (I recorded 8.3L/100km).
It’s important to point out Volkswagen’s not wrong, this is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison as a combined average takes in motorways which will reduce your fuel economy a lot, my loop was on a hilly winding road with hard acceleration and no use of stop-start tech.
While I drove the 110TSI Comfortline it was not on the same route, but officially the fuel consumption is 6.6L/100km. The 110TDI Comfortline wasn't driven at all but its claimed mileage is 6.1L/100km.
The Tiguan Allspace is covered by Volkswagen’s three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 15,000km for both diesel and petrol variants, with capped price servicing for the first five years.
Servicing can be more expensive for the Tiguan than Japanese and Korean rivals and you can expect to pay $426 for the first service on a 132TSI and 162TSI engine, with prices heading higher for subsequent services.
Free roadside assistance is also offered for the first three years of ownership (from new).
The regular Tiguan is excellent, and the Tiguan Allspace is just more of a good thing... literally, with its extra cargo capacity and the ability to seat an extra two people if you have to. Impressive safety technology, a refined cabin, cool features, practical and great to drive.
The sweetspot in the Allspace range is the 132TSI Comfortline - great value, safety and just enough grunt.
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||8|
Lowest price, based on new car retail price