After having previously been teased to the world’s automotive media, the first images and details of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe have been released ahead of the car’s local release in the middle of 2018. Now in its fourth generation, the new Santa Fe has received a thorough restyling and is far more noticeable than before.
The new Santa Fe has also undergone a significant redesign on the inside, with an all-new dashboard design and more upmarket materials used throughout the cabin. The new Santa Fe also offers much more safety equipment than previous models, with automatic braking in reverse and a rear occupant alert system now part of Hyundai’s SafetySense equipment.
“The fourth-generation Santa Fe continues the model’s global success story. The first Santa Fe is the foundation of Hyundai Motor’s SUV heritage,” says Byung Kwon Rim, executive vice president at Hyundai Motor Company.
“Hyundai truly cares about the customer’s well-being. We offer innovative and unique active safety features and class-leading roominess for extra comfort.”
The exterior of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is both more modern and eye-catching than the still-handsome previous generation of the car. Now featuring Hyundai’s corporate ‘cascade’ grille, the new split headlight arrangement – with LED daytime running lights sitting next to the grille and the actual headlights mounted lower – echoes that of the smaller Kona SUV, as well as a number of other SUVs on the market.
The side of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is sleeker and bolder than before, with an elegant shoulder line sitting above flared wheel arches. The rear is familiar but different, with similar shaped tailights to the last model but with much more interesting LED graphics. The rear indicators and reversing lights have interestingly been moved to the lower bumper, with the silver underbody treatment continuing to the rear.
Overall dimensions of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe have changed slightly, with the car adding 70mm of length (4,770mm), 10mm of width (1,890mm) and 65mm of wheelbase length, though it is 10mm less high at 1,680mm.
The interior of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is where the most effort has been put into the car, according to Hyundai. The new dashboard layout is similar to the i30 and Kona, but obviously much larger. Centrepiece of the dashboard is an tablet-like 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio and inbuilt satellite navigation. The dashboard itself is also more stylish than before, with a leather-look panel with contrasting stitching, as well as an upper swoop with textured inlays.
A redesigned centre console with leather-look leg rests offers more storage than before, as well as wireless phone charging for Qi-enabled devices. Hyundai is also offering up much more technology on the 2019 Santa Fe, including a digital segment of the speedometer. There’s also much more active safety equipment on offer, including reverse automatic braking, a rear seat warning if the car detects movement in the rear seat after being locked and a system to alert of rear traffic after the car has been switched off. The curtain airbags do not extend to the third row of seating, however.
Hyundai has also changed the available engines with its new 2019 Santa Fe, with a revamped version of the previous model’s 2.2-litre turbo diesel now the main available engine. Now producing 144kW and 436Nm of torque, the engine is matched to a new eight-speed automatic transmission – as it is in the Kia Sorento, as well. Overseas models also receive a smaller 2.0-litre turbo diesel and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, though these are not detailed for Australia and are unlikely to be made available.
Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system is likely to be standard equipment if only the diesel engine is available for Australia, with the previous front-wheel drive 3.3-litre V6 drivetrain option unavailable for the new model. As with all locally delivered Hyundai and Kia models, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe will be tuned for Australian tastes with a sportier chassis setup likely for Australian-delivered cars.
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe will go on sale in the middle of 2018, with local pricing and specifications to be announced before then. Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for all news and reviews regarding the Hyundai range.