Big­ger, bolder, bet­ter

New-look Hyundai Santa Fe steps up in ef­fi­ciency. style and per­for­mance

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

AS the Veloster turns heads, Hyundai’s styling rev­o­lu­tion con­tin­ues with the fam­i­lyfriendly Santa Fe SUV.

The third gen­er­a­tion of this pop­u­lar mid-size SUV, which has de­buted at the New York Auto Show, will be in Australia later this year.

More of a re­design – al­beit a rad­i­cal one – than an all-new model, the Santa Fe has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised me­chan­i­cally and visu­ally.

Two body sizes will be of­fered in the US for the first time, but Australia misses out on the larger seven-seater, which seems a ready-made ri­val to the Ford Ter­ri­tory and Toy­ota Kluger.

Com­pared with the out­go­ing model, the five-seat Santa Fe has grown and has more pow­er­ful and more eco­nom­i­cal petrol en­gines.

Hyundai’s also claim­ing sig­nif­i­cant weight re­duc­tions on all mod­els, in some cases as much as 136kg. Australia’s mix of Us-sourced petrol en­gines and a Euro­pean diesel is set to con­tinue, as does choice of 2WD or AWD, six-speed man­ual and au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

The old 3.5-litre V6 en­gine has been re­placed by a new­gen­er­a­tion tur­bocharged, di­rect-in­jec­tion four-cylin­der. Power drops marginally to 196kw but torque is up 30Nm to 365Nm – which should im­prove per­for­mance – and Hyundai says fuel con­sump­tion will be down marginally over the out­go­ing V6.

A sec­ond, less pow­er­ful 2.4-litre four-cylin­der en­gine is also avail­able in the US, which Hyundai Australia may fit to the en­try-level Santa Fe. It has 142kw/245nm, and fuel con­sump­tion of 9.1 litres/ 100km on the com­bined cy­cle.

The cur­rent model’s 147kw 2.2-litre diesel en­gine, launched in Novem­ber, will carry over to the new model. The Santa Fe adds two driv­ing tech­nolo­gies to its arse­nal: Torque Vec­tor­ing Corner Con­trol and Driver Se­lectable Steer­ing Mode.

The for­mer is said to im­prove sta­bil­ity in cor­ners; the lat­ter lets driv­ers tai­lor the power steer­ing.

No word on prices yet, but there’s lit­tle rea­son to as­sume change on the cur­rent range which runs from just un­der $38,000 to $48,490.

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