2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II Review

The 7-seater 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II is armed with many design updates to make it look fresh compared to a few rivals which include the Kia Sorento, Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger. With some drive-train revisions and cabin upgrades, it also has equipment revisions and tweaked style to match the price of vehicles in this series.

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II Review

There are new safety tools available that may appeal to family buyers which include autonomous brakes, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert system for crowded car parks, radar-guided cruise control, and automated parking assist.

Variants included in the Series II with corresponding prices are:

  • Active 2.4 GDi manual transmission — $38,490
  • Active 2.4 GDi automatic transmission — $40,990
  • Active 2.2 CRDi manual transmission — $41,490
  • Active 2.2 CRDi automatic transmission — $43,990
  • Elite 2.2 CRDi automatic transmission — $49,990
  • Highlander 2.2 CRDi automatic transmission — $55,990
  • Santa Fe SR 2.2 CRDi automatic transmission — Price to be announced while Series I was at $59,990


All variants including the Active, Elite, Highlander and Series II SR get slightly different bumpers, head and tail-light designs, and a new-look grille. Inside each variant are Google Now advanced voice control systems and Siri Eyes-Free features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay remain unavailable for the time being mainly due to licensing agreement issues.

The Active now has a 7” touchscreen while other versions are now equipped with 8” display and uses new satellite navigation software. All Santa Fe Series II versions are fitted with a new instrument cluster featuring a digital speedometer, new trims and a new audio head unit.  Trim fitted for the Active model is wood grain while matte carbon trim graces the Elite and Highlander.

Some say that the cabin didn’t provide any difference at all in spite of some few new trims added. But the plastics are well screwed in place although some used lower down fall on the cheap side. Cabin storage is huge but cannot compare to the Kluger.

The 2.2-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine which is matched to a 6-speed auto gearbox now delivers 147kW at 3800 rpm (up by 2kW) and has a torque displacement of 440Nm ranging between 1750 and 2750rpm (up by 4Nm). Fuel economy is at 6.3L/100km for manual gearbox and 7.7L/100km for the 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Theta-II 2.4 GDi Petrol engine which is available only on the Active presently performs at 138kW at 6000rpm and has a torque power of 241Nm at 4000rpm to deliver enhanced drivability and real performance. However, petrol consumption is a bit maximized with the 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions eating up 9.4L/100km, up by 0.3L per 100km.

Santa Fe Series II carries over the locally focused MacPherson strut suspension in front and multi-link independent suspension at the rear.  Core specifications remained unchanged. Its electric-assisted steering provides a respectable 10.9m turning circle while brake discs remain at 320mm in front and 302mm at the rear.

Cargo space stays the same carrying 516 litres with third row seats folded. It can carry 1615 litres when folding second row seats. Second row seats offer enough room and outward visibility but headroom which is fitted with a roof-length glass is somewhat impeded.

Young passengers are limited to the third row as it has a tight entry/exit technology and limited legroom. Third-row passengers have air vents with fan controls and have limited outward visibility with its small windows and high beltline design.


The Series II Elite has brand new features. Aside from a new screen display size, it has sat-nav and SUNA updates. It is now fitted with a bigger 550W audio system, an electric driver’s seat that has a memory function, and front parking sensors.


The Highlander now has a range of new safety equipment which will surely strike the hearts of its family-oriented audience. Features include radar-guided active cruise control which slows the car back to zero, autonomous brakes that work best at low speed, lane assist, blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert that sends alerts as it spots a car while vehicle is backing out from a parking bay.

For this year alone, this 7-seater is among the top performers in the market with 5,699 units sold which is up by 5.2 per cent. Although it has a 6% market share, it still falls short of rivals Ford Territory, 7,623 units sold; Holden Captiva 7, 8,847 units sold; Grand Cherokee, 10,315 units sold; Subaru Outback, 9,184 units sold; and Toyota Kluger with 11,427 units sold.

However, the Santa Fe Series II 7-seater SUV, with its current iterations have been the lynchpin to Hyundai’s rise to fame. The vehicles are equipped with all convenient features which brings the brand on top of the list for the more affluent target market.


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