I drove the flagship model of the Hyundai brand recently, namely, the Hyundai Sante Fe. This is the fourth -generation Santa Fe which comes with a new, premium design, advanced technology, more space and with comfort features that makes it worthy of the model’s flagship status in the brand’s local vehicle range.
The new-generation Santa Fe is introduced in South Africa in three derivatives:
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic (with front-wheel drive);
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic (with front-wheel drive); and
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic (with HTRAC all-wheel drive).
We drove the Executive model, and found that it was a worthy representative of being the top model.
With the cascading grille that is complimented by the LED running lights on top of the headlights, the Santa Fe has width and it lends itself to a bold, confident look. It has unique tail lights, twin exhaust pipes and a good looking bumper. The Elite comes with LED tail lights. 18 inch wheels, as well as two different 19 inch wheels are used for the Santa Fe. With a length of 4 770 mm, a width of 1 890 mm and a longer wheelbase of 2 765 mm, the Santa Fe is a lot of car, one of the bigger SUV’S around. It has a solid feel on the road, and the space is evident.
The new Santa Fe is available in 7 colours, ranging from Phantom Black to White Cream, Typhoon Silver, Wild Explorer (a darker silver), Earthy Bronze, Horizon Red and Stormy Sea (a shade of
The Santa Fe has as we said , an abundance of space and comfort. It has electric seats for driver and passenger, that give a myriad of options.
The new Santa Fe increases comfort on short and long trips for passengers in the second and third row – even for adults. In the second row, leg room is increased by 38 mm and the seat is 18 mm higher. The new one-touch walk into the third row eases passenger access to these seats. Headroom in the third row has been improved by 22 mm.
Standard luggage capacity is increased by 31 litres to 547 litres behind the second row of seats, and can be extended to 1 625 litres with both the third and second row of seats folded down. It has a he 7-inch infotainment system, which is a standard feature in all three derivatives – integrates all media and connectivity features, allowing drivers to always stay tuned to the traffic ahead.
The Display Audio offers customers accessible connectivity with the seven-inch high-resolution colour LCD touchscreen to connect their smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Passengers can also use the navigation applications of their smartphone, to be displayed on the touch screen. The system recognises the passenger’s voice allowing them to dictate messages or to make phone calls. The Display Audio also features an integrated rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.
For further connection of customer’s devices, the Santa Fe comes standard with a USB port and an AUX jack.
Engines & Transmission.
We enjoyed the 142kw of power that we got from the 2.2 L CRDI engine in the Santa Fe, which adds 440 Nm of torque as well. It comes with an 8-speed auto gearbox. The new-generation Santa Fe features an advanced four-wheel drive system in the Elite derivative with an enhanced torque application depending on wheel grip and the speed of vehicle, called HTRAC. Hyundai’s next generation all-wheel-drive technology controls the torque distribution and braking power of the front and rear wheels variably. It supports drivers in all kinds of driving situations, whether on slippery roads or in regular road conditions, and enhances stability in cornering.
The fuel economy was good and we achieved 9.6L/100km.
The fourth-generation Santa Fe offers one of the best-in-class safety packages and industry-first safety features. The innovative Rear Occupant Alert (in the Elite derivative) monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car. The Elite also comes with an Electronic Child Safety Lock.
The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist – a standard feature in the Executive and Elite derivatives – is a Hyundai first too. When reversing out of areas with low visibility, the system not only warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side – it also applies the brakes automatically. The Executive and Elite also boasts a Blind Spot Detection system.
The Safety Exit Assist, also standard in the Executive and Elite derivatives, prevents accidents when vehicles approach from behind by temporarily locking the doors before being opened, so that passengers will exit the car safely.
All derivatives have ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System); ESP (Electronic Stability Program); DBC (Downhill Brake Control) & HAC (Hill start Assist Control). Around the interior of the Santa Fe a total of six airbags are installed (two front airbags, two side airbags and two curtain airbags from first to second row protecting both driver and passengers). The new Santa Fe was awarded with a 5-star certification in the Euro NCAP crash test.
The Santa Fe Elite derivative is also equipped with a panoramic sunroof; electrically operated rear hatch door (with adjustable height and opening speed); driver and passenger seats with option of heating or ventilation; and paddle shifts on the steering wheel for manual gearshifts.
Rear-door retractable side curtains; a push-button keyless start function and folding side mirrors form part of the standard features package for both the Elite and Executive derivatives.
All derivatives have cruise control and leather seats, with electrical adjustment for the Executive’s driver seat, and for both driver and passenger’s seats in the Elite. The Premium derivative’s seat is adjusted manually. Climate control is standard across the range.
The prices of the new Santa Fe range are:
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic – R599 900
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic – R659 900
- Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic – R749 900.
All prices include Hyundai Automotive SA’s 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty (consisting of the standard 5-year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional 2-year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty extension).
An additional part of the package is a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.
In summing up, we enjoyed the drive in the Santa Fe immensely, it is a big, comfortable SUV, that loves the open road and road trips. It has plenty of power and is relatively light on juice. It holds it’s own around town , and is nifty enough through the traffic. Definitely worth a look.