The Santa Fe’s popularity could easily stem from the fact you seem to get a lot of bang for your buck. So, you would expect the top-spec model to have some good tech and the Highlander delivers, in spades.
The cabin has a lot of cool features like the 12-inch digital instrument panel and 10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia system, which are both easy to use. The head-up display is a plus but the text can get a little skewy when you adjust it.
The built-in sat nav is simple to navigate but you also get wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s a shame these aren’t wireless because you do have a trailing USB cable in the otherwise sleek middle console, and that irks me when you’re at this price point.
The seats are a delight, and even the third row has wider seats than the standard. The front row enjoys heated and ventilated seats, while the middle row is heated on the outboard positions. I really like the nifty button on the right-hand side of the front passenger’s seat because it meant I could adjust the position of the seat without leaving mine. Now that it’s so chilly, the heated steering wheel was most welcome this week.
There’s a clever ‘voice’ feature that can be activated that pulls the drivers voice through the speaker system to the middle and third rows. I’m not sure if it would help with chatting, as it seems to be a one-way communication, but for driving updates (or cooing to a baby), this is pretty handy!