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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe First Drive Review

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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe First Drive Review

SEOUL, S. Korea — Say goodbye to the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. For 2019, it turns into the Santa Fe – a two-row crossover that may proceed to compete with the likes of the Nissan Rogue, Ford Edge and Toyota Rav4. Three-row variations coming later, which can go up towards the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, will get an “XL” or another, but undisclosed moniker tacked onto the nameplate relying on the configuration. As such, it is going to have greater footwear to fill on this more and more aggressive phase. The timing feels proper for the crossover to return into its personal, and Hyundai has completed its best to ensure it pulls its weight towards its rivals.

With the up to date identify comes an up to date look. Within the flesh, it is a good-looking ute that appears extra SUV than CUV: beefed up and boxy, and fewer overtly elegant than so many swoopy crossover profiles we see immediately. Its huge, chiseled face appears conveys a Lexus-like gravitas with out wanting too difficult or polarizing — take a look at the slight pinch the place the “cascading” grille meets the entrance bumper. The rising beltline feels trendy, whereas the principally horizontal roof and virtually vertical rear finish really feel anciently acquainted; perhaps a utility vehicle can sate our thirst for wagons in any case.

Inside, the brand new Santa Fe has an air of high quality to it, maybe not in strict phrases of supplies, however in thoughtfulness. Hyundai does good issues with reasonably priced supplies, and usually the interior is properly laid out — particularly, the middle console and its switchgear feels utilitarian and arranged. We beloved the graceful, tight really feel of the leather-based wheel in our hand and the crispness of the digital show central to the instrument cluster. The seats are cozy, supportive with out feeling comfortable, and we discovered iteasy to discover a pure seating place with little adjustment. Visibility is sweet, regardless of what you may think from taking a look at that prime beltline from outdoors. There is a fastened piece of glass forward of the aspect home windows to enhance sight strains on the backside of the A-pillar. Checking the blind spot, the bigger rear quarter window behind the second row of seating helps with visibility.

It was solely after spending a pair hours within the cabin that we observed that there is a lot happening right here. The headliner in our tester had a glance someplace between chambray and denim, however felt tender to the contact. The highest of the sprint was a softish darkish plastic — a polyurethane leatherette, to be extra particular. Under that, patterned metallic trim surrounding the entrance occupants. The there was some more durable darkish plastic. Then the audio system on the doorways have been jet black plastic shaped into a kind of wave sample. By itself, every of those supplies are engaging. However take a step again, and contemplate it suddenly, and the brand new Santa Fe’s strategy is all a bit of a lot. Be sure to like the best way your supplies and patterns look collectively earlier than you signal on the dotted line.

The two.zero-liter diesel mill in our Korean home tester felt like a very strong little engine, however it will not be a part of the engine lineup we get within the States, although. We’ll be provided a pair of gasoline engines: a 2.four-liter inline-4 good for 185 horsepower and 178 pound-ft of torque, and a 2.zero-liter turbo 4 offering 235 hp and 260 lb-ft. Come 2019, we’ll get a 2.2-liter turbodiesel making one hundred ninety horsepower and a powerful 322 pound-ft of torque.

Regardless of providing totally different engines to the U.S. market, all markets will get a brand new eight-velocity automated transmission routing energy to 2 or 4 wheels. In our diesel tester, the transmission did its job by staying out of the best way. Shifts occur within the background; Frankly, we principally forgot about it as we tooled round close to the river border with North Korea. We’ll have an interest if the 2 additional gears supply any enchancment to the already strong American engine choices, notably the turbocharged fuel mill.


On Korea’s clean roads, the Santa Fe felt completely snug. We did not discover a lot noise or motion, even on the downhill sections laden with Korea’s model of velocity reminders that appear like a hybrid of low velocity bumps and rumble strips. It was quiet taking place the street, however we’ll reserve a last judgement on noise till we will test it on the greater cruising velocities allowed on U.S. freeway.

The navigation and entertainment system’s contact show was crystal clear and fast to answer inputs. We did not discover ourselves getting misplaced within the menus (or on S. Korea’s highways) because of the push-buttons surrounding the display. The voice directions have been straightforward to comply with, and the top-up show helped you rely down the ft (properly, meters in Korea) till your subsequent flip. Apparently sufficient, it tell us the place all of the visitors cameras have been, a feature we might hope to see within the U.S.

The Santa Fe’s suite of driver help system, notably the adaptive cruise management, works nicely. It follows at a cushty distance, and confirmed us on the HUD the car in entrance of us relative to our distance setting, which actually took the guesswork out of setting the hole. Lane hold help helped nudge us towards the middle of our lane, and would tell us if we have been crossing over and not using a sign. You’ll be able to flip the rear digital camera on for a view behind you when you’re driving, which is not all the time sensible, however we’re glad to have it obtainable.

We solely left the pavement for a quick diversion to go to an historic fortification overlooking the ocean. The cratered dust path took us up a steep hill to a view overlooking the seashore, in addition to a variety of army outposts and, within the distance, North Korea. On the best way again down, it was a bumpy experience, however the car managed simply effective. I would not need to take it off-roading, however we think it’d fare simply nice on Michigan’s crumbling springtime roads.

We did not deal with many thrilling corners, and undoubtedly not at excessive speeds — apparently that is simply one thing you do not do in Korea. (It isn’t one thing one actually does in a crossover usually, however common Korean street speeds are significantly decrease than ours.) Nonetheless, we discovered the Santa Fe to comfortably handle slender curves with oncoming visitors within the reverse lane with confidence, even with out the assistance of the lane minder. The Santa Fe’s actual test will the way it handles the rougher roads and better speeds of America.

Our time with the brand new Santa Fe was temporary, and it wasn’t a U.S.-spec mannequin, so we did not get to dive deeply into a number of the features American clients will take pleasure in. A few issues we thought have been fascinating, although, are both new features, or a brand new tackle one we have seen earlier than, and ones we’re excited to expertise in actual world utilization.

The primary is the Protected Exit Help system, which will probably be provided within the U.S. as nicely. This feature prevents the occupants from opening the door if the Santa Fe detects one other vehicle approaching from the rear. This retains the driving force or passenger from getting their door ripped off or, worse, stepping in entrance of a supply truck. The second feature is a Rear Occupant Alert, which is one thing we have seen pop up in numerous automobiles of late. Within the Santa Fe, although, its makes use of an ultrasonic sensor within the headliner to detect movement within the again seats. If it senses a child or pet left behind, it the car will honk the horn, flash its lights and even ship the driving force an alert on their smartphone if related to Hyundai’s Blue Hyperlink service.

From our preliminary testing, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe stands to be a compelling competitor when it arrives this summer time. We’re wanting ahead to spending extra time with it, so we will formulate our opinions concerning the variations we might truly put in our personal storage. Dropping “Sport” from the badging, Hyundai is giving the Santa Fe room to face tall by itself deserves as a core member of the lineup. Judging by our first introduction with the 2019 mannequin, with its stylish new appears, high quality interior and clean new transmission, its worthy of the place.

– 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe First Drive Review –

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