Sante Fe enters SUV fray
Big Korean adds raft of luxury features that will have buyers of German brands think twice
THE 2015 Sante Fe waded into the SUV fray this week and Stanley Anderson, marketing director of Hyundai South Africa, says his dealers can’t wait to show people who are looking at the sport utes of BMW and Audi the standard luxuries in the sleek Korean.
For the bottom line is that just the Santa Fe’s standard heated leather seats with a two-setting memory will add R23k in an X3; over R10k in a Q5; and just under R15k in the new Disco.
Speaking at the launch in Salt Rock, Anderson said the latest design from Namyang has added several other new luxury features “that add to a more luxurious and safer motoring experience”.
These include a tailgate that opens at the push of a button, built-in sat nav, cruise control that brakes for you, and side mirrors that will first flash to tell you someone is just sitting in your blind spot and then buzz you if you activate the indicator.
The same radars that check the blind spot also sweeps a 180degree area behind the vehicle for approaching cross-traffic when you reverse out of parking bays, to buzz if there is a car coming.
The evolved looks of the latest Santa Fe will also not hurt tradein prices of the 2014 model, as Hyundai’s kept the same fluidic profile, tweaking only the nose and adding bigger lights, including LED lights up front.
Only two models are on sale in South Africa — a five-seat front-wheel drive; or seven-seater all-wheel drive with diff lock.
Both use a 2,2 diesel that makes 145 kW and 436 Nm, with a six-speed automatic gearbox with tiptronic sending the power to the relevant axle. The wheels are 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch alloys. We drove the ute in all three available settings — Sport, Normal and Eco — around tar and gravel hairpins and had no complaints on the handling, which errs on the side of comfortable.
The 2,2 diesel is engineered for a slow and steady pull, rather than a sub-10 dash, and will deliver as 7,3 l/100 km if driven thus.
The only system that requires getting used to in the ute is the touch-screen. Even a 21-year-old struggled to pair an iPhone (and still doesn’t know how he did it).
The Santa Fe goes on sale next week, selling at almost R700k for the AWD — which puts it on the dear side against the Ford Everest 4x4 auto at R646 900.
The prices of the enhanced Santa Fe range include a five-year or 90 000 km service plan, and a five-year or 150 000 km warranty and roadside assistance.
A raft of luxury features makes the Hyundai Santa Fe a serious competitor in the SUV stakes, with the 4x2 Elite selling for R659 900 and the 4WD seven-seat Elite for R699 900.