Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Performance
Rating 3.8 out of 5

The Santa Fe Hybrid comes solely with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox. A front-wheel drive version is available, but so far we’ve only tried it with four-wheel drive. This increases the 0-62mph time from 8.9 to 9.1sec although we doubt you’ll feel much difference on the road.

With four-wheel drive, there’s certainly no issues with traction even if you’re accelerating hard from a standstill. Outright performance is adequate with enough punch for the odd A road overtake, although you’ll find the engine revving away coarsely when you’re pushing it hard. You’ll find similarly powerful diesel rivals have far more low end urgency.

You’ll need an exceedingly light right foot to keep it running in electric mode – although total power is 230hp only 60hp of this comes from the electric motor. Expect the EV light to come on only during stop start traffic, briefly during a constant cruise or when you’re slowing down. If you do want long distance EV running, you’ll need to read our Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid review.

Comfort
Rating 3.9 out of 5

At speed the Santa Fe Plug-in is pretty comfortable, although potholes and pimples do generate a bit of thudding and thumping, not helped by standard 19-inch alloy wheels on Ultimate versions. This is especially pronounced around town, where the Santa Fe can fidget frustratingly.

If you want the best ride, we’d recommend sticking to Premium trim as this comes with much smaller 17-inch wheels. Although we’re yet to try it, the fatter tyres of this model will almost certainly soak up rough surfaces better.

Handling
Rating 3.6 out of 5

If you’re after a safe and secure large SUV, the Santa Fe is hard to fault. Body roll is present, but not too pronounced while precise steering makes it easy to place on the road.

It’s by no means fun, but very few hefty SUVs are. What’s important is that there’s plenty of grip and no nasty vices if you do go barrelling into a corner too quickly. The four-wheel drive version will prove handy should you find yourself in a waterlogged grass carpark, but don’t expect Land Rover like off road ability. If you’re wondering about towing, the maximum braked capacity is 1,650kg.