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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander review

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Hyundai’s new seven-seat Santa Fe is more extensive and roomier than its predecessor, with better fuel economy and technology. Available as a petrol front-wheel drive or diesel all-wheel drive, the range opens at $49,040 drive-away and climbs to $70,565 on the road for our top-of-the-range Highlander.


Iain: When we were kids, could you imagine a Hyundai for $70,000? And that it looked reasonable value?

Jules: Those old Excels, Lantras, and Sonatas had as much appeal as food poisoning. But this new Santa Fe looks stylish, and the interior’s like flying Business Class.

Iain: Our range-topping Highlander has all the goodies. Compare it to entry-level $100K seven-seaters from BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, and there’s serious value to be had.

Jules: I reckon the new Kia Sorento trumps it in the style stakes, though.

Iain: Perhaps, but I like it’s pretty behind. The reflector strip running between intricate rear light clusters looks sharp.

Jules: It’s chunky with edgy black and silver 20-inch wheels. I’m a proud mum in the school car park.


Iain: Wow. All Santa Fes have impressive inclusions, but the Highlander’s loaded.

Jules: I’m never one to complain about Nappa leather – the Santa Fe’s is sumptuous, but it lacks flair in black.

Iain: Easy. For $295, you can have Camel Beige. No-brainer, unless your kids are particularly clumsy and stain everything.

Jules: Kids are genuinely spoiled here. There’s a panoramic glass sunroof, heated rear seats, 64-colour ambient lighting, and Harman Kardon audio so they can sing along to their Disney soundtracks.

Iain: Upfront, we have power, heated and ventilated memory seats, a heated steering wheel, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, and auto climate control. Luxury.

Jules: It’s not perfect. The fancy brushed aluminum center console reflects light, so you can’t correctly see the countless buttons.

Iain: Agreed. There’s no gear stick, just space-saving buttons to choose gears. Your phone sits vertically in a wireless charging slot – I’m a big fan of that — and a two-tiered center console has massive storage below.

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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