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Two of a kind Hyundai's Santa Fe and game-changing Ioniq 5 hit right notes


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The new Hyundai Santa Fe has acres of room

The new Hyundai Santa Fe has acres of room

Rear view of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

Rear view of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

The futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 is sure to be a big seller in Ireland

The futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 is sure to be a big seller in Ireland

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The new Hyundai Santa Fe has acres of room

hyundai - santa fe plug-in hybrid and ioniq 5

It may only be the first day of August but Santa has already arrived on our shores. Don't worry, I am not talking about the man with the white beard and the black boots - I am talking about the new Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in hybrid. Even I wouldn't use the 'C' word this side of Halloween.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is the flagship SUV model in the Korean brand's range.

The new plug-in model comes hot on the heels of the fantastic Hyundai Tucson, which we raved about not so long ago on these pages.

I remember it distinctly, because no sooner had I brought it home, the wife wanted to buy one.

Suffice to say, I was a bit sceptical bringing its larger sibling, the Santa Fe, home in fear that she would want this one too.

Thankfully, at this stage of our lives, we have no need for a seven-seater SUV and have no plans to increase our family numbers now that the rugrats are reared.

However, if you are in the market for a luxurious and extremely spacious large SUV, then this could be the perfect people carrier for you.

The first thing that you will notice when you see it in the flesh is the sheer size of it.

In fact, it is so big inside that I didn't know if I should drive it or sleep in it.

To say it is spacious is an understatement because I have driven smaller campervans.

Hyundai has worked wonders on the interior design element, which would put some of the premium brands to shame.

The soft-touch and easy-to-use materials make the cabin a very comfortable place to be for all occupants.

With the third row of seats folded, the boot is big - but fold down the second row and you could literally take half of the Ikea warehouse home with you.

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Under the bonnet, Hyundai has paired an electric motor with a 1.6-litre petrol engine offering families the best of both worlds.

The Koreans claim that you can get up 50km on the electric driving range however, yet again, you are looking more like 30km in realistic figures.

Still though, that's ample for many a school run come this September.

On the road, the plug-in Santa Fe is an enjoyable drive for such a big bus. It was silent and smooth around town in all-electric mode and carved up the motorway when I needed to put the boot down.

Prices for the new Santa Fe plug-in hybrid start just north of €50k. However, this serious 'space' machine comes loaded with every extra you could imagine.

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The futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 is sure to be a big seller in Ireland

The futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 is sure to be a big seller in Ireland

The futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 is sure to be a big seller in Ireland

Meanwhile, it was the latest model to roll off the production line in the Hyundai plant that really caught my attention this week after a 24-hour test drive.

I will stick my neck on the line to tell you that the brand's new Ioniq 5 (pictured below) is going to be a game changer for the company in the coming years.

The all-new Ioniq 5 fully-electric SUV will definitely put the cat among the Volkswagen ID.4 pigeons when it arrives in bigger numbers from next January.

At the moment, there's fewer than 50 of them in the country most of which, I imagine, the main dealers are drooling over at the moment.

Not only will it take on the VW ID.4, it has certain premium brands like the more expensive Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron in its sights too.

On the outside, the new Ioniq 5 looks like something from a futuristic movie I saw back in the 90s.

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Rear view of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

Rear view of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

Rear view of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

It features pop-out door handles and LED front lights that wouldn't look out of place on a NASA spaceship.

Inside too, is like nothing we have seen before from the Hyundai stable, with an ultra-modern cabin and double instrument cluster (not unlike the Mercedes E-Class one, I have to admit) that tops the ID.4's.

The space inside is enormous too and the overall car shares a similar wheel base length with the aforementioned Santa Fe. Very impressive.

Hyundai Ireland tell me that all models will come as standard with a heat pump on-board too, which other brands charge up €1,200 extra for in their models.

The function of a heat pump serves best in winter driving conditions where they claim it can extend the range from between 15-20 per cent.

Pricing for the new Ioniq 5 has still to be finalised and, if Hyundai gets that right on level par or below that of the ID.4, then it has a sure winner on its hands.

Although there will only be a few lucky customers to get their hands on one this year, the order books have opened in the main dealers if you fancy getting behind the wheel of this 'Back-to-the-Future' style Hyundai model.

Robbie Farrell

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