Which 7-seat SUV do you recommend?

Hi John,

I would like a 7-seat AWD that is reasonably spacious and I can't decide between the Hyundai Santa Fe or Isuzu MU-X. What are your recommendations?

Thanks for your time.
Sam

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport >> is another hardcore seven-seater derived from a ute (in this case, the Triton >>)

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport >> is another hardcore seven-seater derived from a ute (in this case, the Triton >>)

Hello Sam,

It’s like this: The Isuzu is a ute that’s been adapted into a wagon. It has hardcore off-road capability and heavy tow capacity. This is good if you need it, but bad if you don’t because it drives like a truck and lacks many of the refined features of the Santa Fe, which is much more pleasant to drive normally.

(Also, the Isuzu does not have AWD - it has part-time 4WD, which means it’s rear-wheel drive all the time on hard surfaces, and you can only engage 4WD on soft surfaces. Santa Fe has on-demand AWD, which kicks in automatically in normal driving if traction is lost, and you can also lock it in for soft conditions, but Santa Fe really is not a hardcore off-road machine.)

More on hardcore V soft SUVs >>

I’d suggest that this is a kooky shortlist - because they’re not direct competitors. If you want the hardcore capability, the Santa Fe won’t deliver, and a better choice than the Isuzu would be something like a  Mitsubishi Pajero Sport >>, which is far more modern, has a better engine and an eight-speed auto.

If you don’t need the hardcore stuff, drive the Santa Fe against the Kia Sorento. Read these reports:

Sincerely,
John Cadogan

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