Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Far nicer cabin than previous Santa Fe
  • Higher-quality and much better tech
  • Premium and Premium SE models get larger central touchscreen

In this aspect Hyundai has made giant strides forwards, and this latest Santa Fe is a far nicer place to be – for occupants in any of the seven possible seats.

We’ve only sampled higher-spec cars so far but these have been attractively trimmed in what feels like high-quality leather and soft-touch plastics on most of the places you’ll regularly come into contact with.

However, it doesn’t take long to uncover some harder, more brittle-feeling plastics in some of the lower down areas in the cabin.

This isn’t a deal-breaker, but a reminder that Hyundai’s premium aspirations are rooted in building cheaper cars that sell in huge numbers in other markets. We don’t think you’ll mind unless you’re used to the best Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz can offer – at higher cost of course.

It's not premium, but it is up-scale

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe touchscreen

Premium and Premium SE trim cars have a new 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, while base spec SE models benefit from a – still fairly large – 7.0-inch touchscreen.

The former features full 3D sat-nav along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a seven-year subscription to online services such as live traffic and local fuel price information. Both systems get a rear-view camera as standard.

We found the higher spec system’s screen to be responsive enough to navigate without multiple finger-prods, and the processor kept up with the demands of zooming in and out of the navigation mapping without much issue.

More kit than ever before

For the first time in a UK Hyundai model, the Santa Fe is offered with a full colour head-up display to project information onto the windscreen in the driver’s eyeline, such as navigation instructions, speed, fuel level or safety/driver-assistance details.

An inductive wireless charging pad is available too, able to keep your smartphone topped up if it features such technology. 

Is it comfortable?

  • Overall a comfortable car
  • Ride quality a touch firm on 19-inch wheels
  • Panoramic glass roof adds extra light

This is a particularly strong area for the Santa Fe. We found comfort levels relatively high, with the only slight criticism being its ride quality is a touch firmer than we were expecting on the largest-available 19-inch alloys we've tested so far.

There’s no option for adaptive suspension, so Hyundai has had to compromise between bodyroll and a little extra harshness, but the excellent front seats do make up some of the difference.

Engine noise is impressively hushed in the lower revs ­– where diesels can traditionally sound grumbly – but does pick up anywhere north of here. Things do settle down when cruising, yet accelerate up to motorway speeds and you’ll be aware of noticeable wind and road noise.

Aside from this, the optional full-length panoramic sunroof provides plenty of light and gives a real impression of space and roominess in the cabin, both front and rear.