Should I Buy a Volvo XC60 or Hyundai Santa Fe?


Hello John, I read and watched with great interest your take on the Santa Fe. Having happily owned a 2009 Mazda 6 Luxury, we are now looking to upgrade to a SUV, now that we have a baby boy.

We grew to love all those niceties in the Mazda like memory seats, boss audio, bi-xenon auto headlamps and leather seats. Given that we want a luxury SUV, we short listed the santa fe Highlander and Volvo XC 60.

Coming from India, we are very brand conscious and we prefer the Volvo brand over Hyundai. But Hyundai betters the Volvo in terms of warranty, cost of ownership, 7 seats and upfront cost. We live in Darwin and the Volvo dealer here, doesn’t sell them anymore.

Would be greatly helpful if you could profess your opinion. We haven’t driven a Volvo before and have no idea how good or bad it will be. We tend to buy near new stock cars due to their upfront discounts. Found a few santa fes and a couple of XC 60s in CarSales.

Once we make a decision, I can send through our colour preference. Can you help us find a good deal? By the way, our biggest concern is, since we don’t have a Volvo dealer, what do we do if there is a warranty claim. If that is going to be a problem, then we will drop the Volvo altogether. Thank you. Kind Regards, Raghu.

2014 Volvo XC60

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe


Frankly I think the Hyundai is the superior proposition. Volvo has always has quality control issues, and I don’t think being sold by Ford in the aftermath of the GFC and being bought by the Chinese has been a real step forward for Volvo.

(It has, however, been a step forward for the Chinese, allowing the proliferation of Volvo’s technology rapidly into Geely Automotive’s other cars. In other words, Volvo was acquired by the Chinese as an asset to be exploited internally, rather than to grow and become stronger in its own right.)

In comparison, Hyundai is strongly on the growth curve. It will be one of Australia’s top 3 car companies before all that long. Hyundai is #4 at the moment (after Toyota, Holden and Mazda)  - and Hyundai hasn’t got a ute in its range, so it’s in front of Mazda on passenger vehicles.

The Santa Fe is a brilliant SUV. It is easily the best vehicle in the Hyundai lineup at present. Even better following the recent 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe model upgrade.

I just looked at the NT Auto Group’s website. The company is still saying it sells Volvo - but your boots are on the ground there in the Top End, so I’ll rate your intel over mine there. Obviously if there’s no service backup in the NT, and no sales outlet, then that’s a real concern on the Volvo ownership front. It’s a long drive to Alice Springs if you have to plug into a diagnostic computer...

If it were my money I’d be buying the Santa Fe any day. Or possibly a Nissan X-Trail.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I will get the team from the brokerage to call you later today - they're real experts when it comes to getting good deals and I am sure they can help you there. Basically they can organise the right car anywhere in Australia, at the right price. Best of luck with the upcoming purchase.