Bigger, bolder, better
New-look Hyundai Santa Fe steps up in efficiency. style and performance
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The old 3.5-litre V6 engine has been replaced by a newgeneration turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder.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.