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Gaining a larger 3.5 V6 petrol engine for 2020 Hyundai’s acclaimed Sante Fe SUV gains even more refinement.

Hyundai’s Sante Fe gained a new 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine earlier this year, replacing the previous 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder – now available in front-drive-only Active, Elite and Highlander grades, the three grades also available in all-wheel-drive with 2.2-litre turbo-diesel power. I drove the top-spec V6 petrol Sante Fe Highlander at $58,050 and it exudes a premium feel above this pricing point – the engine change has further improved what was already an impressive SUV – the V6 engine with three drive modes, Eco, Comfort and Sport linked to an eight-speed automatic lifts the Sante Fe’s refinement – a great family vehicle able to use regular unleaded and I managed a credible 10.1 L/100 with mainly city driving.

Ride quality on partial leather seats is first class, steering feel and handling benefits from extensive local tuning. The Sante Fe Highlander also benefiting from 19-inch alloy wheels on high quality Continental tyres, thankfully with a full size spare wheel. Quiet and polished I found performance in the Comfort drive mode the most satisfying. While Hyundai’s suite of active safety technology offers plenty – like autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts and adaptive cruise control, I found the lane keep assist function tugging on the steering wheel too intrusive but at least it can be switched off. V6 petrol engine power has really given Hyundai’s Sante Fe a big lift – not just in performance but also in overall refinement.

I’m David Berthon

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