Hyundai has today unveiled its new generation SUV, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, showing off the new crossover’s styling and its safety credentials.
We previously saw the shape thanks to some leaked images, but we get a much clearer look at the interior and exterior detailing from these new pics.
The company says its new large SUV “combines Hyundai’s latest high-tech features with an intuitive spacious interior”. And it now leaves the Kia Sorento behind, becoming the group’s most advanced SUV.
“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,” said 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.”
Building on the new design language showcased by the Hyundai Nexo and Hyundai Kona, the Santa Fe sports a twin headlamp arrangement and Hyundai’s “Cascading Grille”.
The upper lights feature the DRL and indicators, while the lower lights are the main headlamps and high-beam. A chrome strip segments the front end, while the side of the vehicle gets a strong shoulder line, with wheelarches clearly defined by curved swage creases.
At 4,770mm long, 1,890mm wide and with a longer wheelbase of 2,765mm, the new Santa Fe is a bigger machine overall, liberating more interior space, but giving a larger footprint as well.
Inside, the Santa Fe has better visibility thanks to larger glass in the rear quarters – Hyundai says the windows are now 41 per cent larger – while rear legroom is 38mm longer, with the rear seat sitting 18mm higher. Incremental changes, for sure, but enough to boost rear passenger visibility and comfort.
The front seats now get electric extendable seat cushions which Hyundai says offers 10 different positions. The third row, which was a bit tight in the previous Santa Fe now gets 22mm more headroom and there are one-touch folding second-row seats to improve passenger entry to the third row.
The luggage space has also increased to 625 litres (VDA).
Under the bonnet is a choice of three engines, depending on the market. First up is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, producing 232hp (173kW) and 353Nm (260lb-ft).
Two diesels are also available, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four making 183hp (136kW) and 400Nm (295lb-ft) and a 2.2-litre four-pot turbodiesel which makes 199hp (144kW) and 436Nm (321lb-ft).
All three engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic running to all four wheels via Hyundai’s new HTRAC system. Every Santa Fe comes with a 71-litre fuel tank.
Hyundai developed the HTRAC system in house, creating an all-wheel-drive setup that controls the power each wheel individually. Depending on the drive mode selected, HTRAC changes the ratio of torque distribution, as well as using the stability control to apportion torque.
In sport mode, for example, up to 50 per cent of the torque is applied to the rear wheels, while in comfort mode, the stability control backs off the torque sending up to 35 per cent of torque to the rear wheels. Eco mode reduces rear wheel input almost exclusively while slippery conditions see the system giving equal torque to each wheel.
Hyundai says that the new Santa Fe offers enhances the “seamless integration of the customer’s smartphone, making operation more intuitive and safe while driving.”
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as you’d expect, with an eight-inch infotainment system handling navigation, media and settings. There’s also a reversing camera with cornering guidelines and a trailer view.
The Santa Fe also gets a head-up display (HUD) giving relevant driving information on the windshield. The projected image size is eight inches at a two-meter distance and Hyundai says its brightness is class-leading.
There’s a wireless inductive charging pad (Qi) with charging status indicated via a lamp above and a USB port and an AUX jack are also standard.
Hyundai makes a bold claim, stating that the Santa Fe has “a best-in-class safety package and industry-first safety features”.
A Rear Occupant Alert detects rear seat passengers and alerts the driver if passengers in still in the rear seat when they leave the car. Rear Cross-Traffic alert is included, but the system will also apply the brakes automatically if you don’t.
Hyundai also has a “Safety Exit Assist” which stops the doors from being opened if it detects a vehicle approaching from behind. That system is rather humourously detailed in the video below.
The suspension has been overhauled by being stiffened and also mounted vertically to allow more ride height and absorption. Road noise has been reduced by reinforcing the floor pan and using more sound deadening. There’s also an optional self-load-levelling suspension to give an even plusher ride.
Exterior Dimensions (mm)
Interior Dimensions (mm)
Cargo space (litres)
625 (minimum, VDA, 5S)