Car reviews - Hyundai - Santa Fe - Highlander
Hyundai moves into the big league with luxury-equipped Santa Fe Highlander
4 Feb 2015
By NEIL DOWLING
THE indefatigable march of the SUV across the Australian new-vehicle sales charts shows how even the stalwarts of the genre have kept the invasion fresh by making rapid and significant product upgrades.
This is a market where new product rules. Many motorists demand to drive the latest model vehicle and want to be seen as being fashionable and that over-abused word, trendy.
Hyundai started out with a high-riding wagon when SUV was barely a household word. Its Santa Fe has progressed up the sales charts and physically, is longer and wider and now seats seven people. It’s style has also changed, moving from its bulbous form through to its current, visually enticing wedged profile.
As its size has grown, so has its price (the Highlander, tested here was the first Hyundai priced over $50,000, plus on-road costs) and its market position. It now competes with wagons such as the highly competitive - and segment leader - Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep, and other popular players such as the Toyota Kluger and Holden Captiva - have kept Hyundai in sixth position, outside the company’s sales comfort zone.
Can Hyundai's facelifted Santa Fe rise against the rivals?
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Model release date: 1 October 2014 to 1 October 2015
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