Powertrain - Stronger, leaner and more refined

At the heart of the rejuvenated Hyundai Santa Fe is a new 2.2-litre direct injection 'R' diesel engine that demonstrates major improvements over the already-impressive outgoing version. This new all-aluminium 2,199cc powerplant offers up a class-leading 194bhp - more than the six-cylinder units offered in some rival vehicles - backed by a mighty 311lb.ft of torque (322lb.ft when specified with an automatic gearbox) which amounts to improvements of 26% and 27% respectively on the previous engine.

These huge strides in power and efficiency give the Hyundai Santa Fe an advantage over a wide range of competitors. With the six-speed manual transmission fitted, the Hyundai Santa Fe can sprint to 62mph from rest in 9.8 seconds, giving it hot-hatch like acceleration. Although ultimate performance is not usually top of family 4x4 buyers' priorities it is nice to know that it is the fastest seven-seat SUV you can buy for under £35,000.

That doesn't come at the expense of economy however, as the combined cycle figure now breaks the 40mpg barrier and emissions have fallen significantly to 176g/km, moving it down on the Vehicle Excise Duty to Band I. These figures also put the Hyundai Santa Fe ahead of the competition, with no seven-seat SUV or MPV coming close to its combination of economy and performance. In fact the Hyundai Santa Fe can even beat the economy figures of the entry level Vauxhall Zafira and diesel Ford Galaxy while producing more torque than a Porsche 911!

These impressive figures are helped by a number of clever engineering developments, including the sophisticated six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes and an alternator management system that disengages when not required in order to save fuel. Drivers looking to maximise the efficiency benefits are helped by the 'Eco Drive Indicator' on automatic versions to monitor fuel efficiency, while manual versions have an optimum gear shift point indicator built into the trip computer display.

Another advantage of the new engine is an increased towing capacity, with a maximum braked towing weight of 2,500kg, up 300kg on the outgoing model.

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