Hyundai is slightly lacking when it comes to its crossover and SUV roster, which puts a lot of pressure on the Santa Fe to scoop up as many sales as possible in this increasingly popular segment. As such, Hyundai is wisely ramping up production, adding the two-row Santa Fe Sport to its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. More inventory is good, but just as important is an edge against the competition. In order to keep the Santa Fe as fresh as possible, Hyundai just announced a new mid-cycle update for the crossover at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. On the docket this time around is a new look, new interior equipment, and new technology for safety and convenience.
The Santa Fe first debuted in 2001 as the automaker’s first-ever SUV, and a second generation followed five years later. The model’s current third generation debuted in 2012, and given the widespread circulation of spy shots that preceded the update announcement, there was little question as to what Hyundai had planned for Chicago.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The new Hyundai Santa Fe has undergone a major change and looks the part too. Hyundai has used the ‘Storm Edge’ design concept which captures the powerful moment of the rise and fall of a storm. Embodied in Hyundai’s latest ‘Fluidic Design Sculpture’, the third generation Santa Fe is undoubtedly the best designed car in its segment. It’s now a tad longer than the previous generation car while maintaining the same wheelbase. It is also the most aerodynamic SUV (in the segment) having a coefficient of drag of only 0.34, which has been made possible by redesigning the front bumper lip, wheel reflector and reducing the ground clearance to 185 mm from 200 in the previous generation model. This has lead to a marginal increase in the fuel efficiency too.
The front of the Hyundai Santa Fe is highlighted by the characteristic three bar Hyundai hexagonal chrome front grille, which symbolises the storm edge concept in its lines. The bold and aggressive stance is complemented by the wraparound headlamp design which looks quite attractive with the squarish projector lamps. Headlamp washers ensure there is adequate vision even in slushy conditions. The fog lamps now get cornering function and the overall design looks quite fresh owning to the bold character lines which define the fluidic elements. The black cladding runs all around the car and the dual tone front skid plate shows off its SUV prowess. The width of this new generation model is 10 mm less than the second generation Santa Fe.
The side profile looks quite fresh and the third generation Hyundai Santa Fe is nothing like the older version. Its design and styling is bound to attract attention in a crowd. The most attractive element on the side is the way the window line swoops upwards to reveal some serious muscle. The chrome surrounds on the windows look classy and the 18-inch, 10-spoke diamond cut alloy wheels add to the premium factor. Roof rails and the rear spoiler make the Santa Fe look quite sporty. The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe is longer by 30 mm over its predecessor and height has now come down by 35 mm.The rear profile is as sporty as the front. The LED combination tail lamps makes it look all the more premium while the rear skid plates below the black cladding add a nice SUV touch. The rear bumper gets reflectors and one has to appreciate how the fluidic design language has completely transformed this SUV. The spare wheel is mounted below as seen in the picture.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
The car maker has given this utility vehicle a lavish internal section, which is designed in dual tone color scheme and has used fine quality leather to wrap its four spoke multi functional steering wheel as well as the gear shift knob. Its inside doors handles and parking lever have chrome finishing that further adds a classy look. In terms of seating, it is incorporated with well cushioned seats that are covered with leather or fabric upholstery depending on the variants. The driver’s seat can be adjustable in twelve ways, while the rear seats are foldable and comes with proper lumbar support. Its second and third row seats are split foldable, which helps in increasing the boot volume. The smooth dashboard is equipped with a few aspects like an advanced instrument panel with lots of functions, a multi-functional steering wheel with several control buttons, AC vents and an illuminated glove box with cooling effect. The company has bestowed this utility vehicle with a lot of practical features, which are puddle lamps, rear center arm rest with cup holders, MT shift indicator (for manual variant), mood lamps, automatic headlamp leveling device, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, sun glass holder, an inside rear view mirror with anti glare function, a pair of rain sensing wipers, active ECO mode and smart key with push button start. It has a tilt adjustable power steering system, which is quite responsive and makes handling convenient even in heavy traffic conditions. Then it has chrome treated inside door handles, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, which gives the internal cabin a decent look. Apart from these, it also has a couple of power outlets both in front and rear for charging accessories like mobiles, i-Pod and other electronic devices.
For giving an enjoyable driving experience, this latest version of Hyundai Santa Fe is incorporated with a lot of innovative comfort features, which makes this SUV quite luxurious. It is bestowed with an advanced stereo unit that features CD/ MP3 player, USB interface, Aux-in port along with six speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for pairing the mobile phones. The list includes 12-way electrically adjustable driver seat, rear manual curtains, pocket lighting front, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, auto foldable outside rear view mirrors and front center armrest with storage box. It is being offered with direct controls of audio and calls, which are mounted on a multi-functional steering wheel. The cruise control buttons are also integrated on this steering wheel, which maintains a specific speed on the highways as set by the driver. One of the most important feature is an efficient dual zone air conditioning system, which has fully automatic temperature control function and rear AC vents for cooling entire cabin in no time. It is also equipped with cluster ionizer for purifying the cabin air. The advanced supervision cluster is integrated with a lot of functions including a low fuel warning light, driver seat belt reminder notification, an electronic tripmeter, a tachometer, a digital clock, external temperature display, digital odometer and many other warning and notifications for keeping the driver updated. All these aspects put together makes this sports utility vehicle one of the most comfortable in its class.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
Carried over from the previous Santa Fe is Hyundai’s 2.2-litre VGT diesel engine that the company says has been upgraded for better fuel efficiency and emissions. It uses a traditional cast-iron block, but comes with more advanced bits like third-generation common-rail diesel technology with Piezo injectors.The power output of 194bhp is the same as before and torque is an impressive 44.45kgm. Two transmission options are available – a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic – and these are likely to be carried over to the Indian market as well. And there’s the ‘on-demand’ four-wheel-drive system which is standard on all Santa Fes. This doesn’t give the SUV hardcore off-roading capabilities, but it’s good enough to pull owners out of any sticky situations they are likely to encounter. For most of the part, the Santa Fe is a front-wheel-drive car, with power only going to the rear wheels when sensors anticipate a loss of traction at the front wheels. However, it’s possible to select all-wheel-drive manually by pushing the ‘lock’ button; but this holds four-wheel-drive permanently only up to 40kph.
Performance is seriously good and you can feel the oomph from the moment you drive off. The mid-range is particularly strong and even with the slightly lethargic auto ’box, there’s enough grunt on tap for quick overtaking moves. There is a bit of turbo-lag below 1,500rpm. But if you keep the revs above that, the Santa Fe never disappoints, and a 10 second 0-100kph time is in order. The tall sixth allows for very relaxed cruising, which makes the Santa Fe a great highway car. But when called to suddenly downshift, the auto ’box does hesitate a bit. The refined nature of the engine gives the Santa Fe a premium feel; in fact, this 2.2 CRDI motor is quieter than many of its German rivals.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
We were also impressed with the new Santa Fe’s dynamic behaviour. Compared to the older model, the handling, the turn-in ability and even the balance under braking has improved significantly. The Santa Fe feels lighter and more agile than the previous version, and more stable and sure under braking. There’s less side to side movement too over undulating roads, and the ride quality now is quieter and more absorbent.But, don’t for once think it can match the similarly priced Audi Q3 around a twisty road; it can’t. The new Santa Fe might be better than the older version, but it still rolls around corners and remains prone to understeer. Also, the steering feels as inert as ever. Now, the new Santa Fe does get Flex Steer – Hyundai speaks for the technology that allows the driver to manually adjust steering weight. It has three modes – Comfort, Normal and Sport. In Comfort, the Santa Fe’s steering becomes super-light and with less than three turns lock-to-lock, it makes parking this 4,690mm long and 1,880mm wide SUV a lot more easier than before. In normal, the steering weighs up a bit and in Sport, even more so. We found no real use for normal mode, but Sport does help give the driver confidence while driving fast, be it on an undulating highway or around a twisty section.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
Santa Fe gets a host of safety features such as dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management control, brake assist, rollover sensor, rear view camera with touch audio display, rear parking sensors, height adjustable front seat belts, engine immobilizer shift lock system, child seat anchor and speed sensing auto door lock.
In terms of looks, the car is quite simple but in terms of performance, it’s very good. There is no breakthrough exemplary ride here but Hyundai has done well in terms of safety and handling. The Indian consumers would be happy with it because it has lots of equipment, decent and comfortable interiors as well as respectable performance. The driving experience undoubtedly is effortless and impressive.
Hyundai Santa Fe 2wd Ex-showroom Price is 27,86,622/- and On Road Price is 32,65,079/- in New Delhi. Hyundai Santa Fe 2wd comes in 4 colours, namely Sleek Silver,Pure White,Phantom Black,Wine Red.Exchange your car for Hyundai Santa Fe