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Hyundai Santa Fe is the safe choice for large 4x4s in 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe is the safe choice for large 4x4s in 2013
Tristan Honeywill

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is a new-generation SUV that should attract new people to the brand who want the extra space and practicality of a large 4×4 and the reassurance of best-in-class safety. The care taken by Hyundai in the Santa Fe’s occupant and pedestrian protection should make it the ultimate school run vehicle for busy families – and for drivers who sometimes face snow and flooded roads.

 

The Santa Fe was rated as the safest large 4×4 tested by Euro NCAP in 2012. Protection of the adults is excellent with a solid passenger compartment. Crucial details such as the protection of the legs for both driver and front passenger are good.  And Hyundai’s own testing and simulation work indicates that you get the same level of protection no matter what your size and seating position.

This video of the Euro NCAP crash tests conducted at Thatcham gives you a sense of just how impressive the Santa Fe’s safety is – and what the crash tests involve.

The 4×4 scored maximum points for its protection in side impacts, with the body structure also protecting well against the very nasty “pole-strike” test. Where the Santa Fe didn’t do so well was in its seats’ whiplash protection, but considering the weight and height of the vehicle, you’re pretty well insulated against this kind of injury in any case.

For kids, protection is also good. The car comes with two ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats and you can disable the front airbag if you need to. For larger families, the Santa Fe is available as a seven-seater, but it still comes with just two ISOFIX.

Given that so many people buy big 4x4s for their family-friendliness around town, it’s good to see Hyundai has paid attention to pedestrians’ needs in the Santa Fe. In Euro NCAP’s tests, the car scored maximum points for leg-protection. And there’s a system that raises the bonnet by 60mm in less than 0.2seconds to cushion the initial impact. For the areas likely to meet a child’s head protection was almost all good.

Every Santa Fe comes with stability control as standard along with a host of other technologies, including a speed-limiter you can set yourself. An “emergency stop signal” flashes your brake lights in an emergency braking situation, warning the cars behind to slow down. If you’re using the 4×4 for towing, there’s Trailer Stability Assist. 

Given that so many people buy big 4x4s for
their family-friendliness around town, it’s good to see Hyundai has paid attention to the safety needs
of other road users

This is a new-generation of Hyundai with real attention to detail in the safety that will introduce a lot of family buyers to the brand. With so much safety as standard in the car, it makes it easier for a lot of people to consider a large 4×4 for their family

 

Safety tips

Buyer’s guide

  • Prices for the Santa Fe start from £25,495
  • There are three basic trim levels: Style, Premium and Premium SE
  • All the most essential safety equipment is included as standard on all versions
  • Models are available with either five or seven seats
  • You don’t have to have four-wheel drive – a two-wheel drive version is available
  • More advanced driver assistance systems such as autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warnings are not available.
  • There are surprisingly few big, five-star 4x4s on the market, but if budget allows, you should also consider the Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Both provide similar levels of protection to the Santa Fe and more advanced accident prevention technologies besides

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