New look and new powertrains for upgraded Santa Fe
With the launch of the upgraded Santa Fe models – now on sale around Europe – Hyundai introduced a new-look SUV with refreshed exterior and interior design, plus some significant engineering improvements, including: an all-new diesel engine; updated petrol engines; an all-new, world-class six-speed automatic transmission; and major enhancements to the vehicle’s ride and handling.
Upgraded Santa Fe, together with the new ix35, will consolidate Hyundai’s position as one of the top five SUV brands in Europe while playing a key role in raising the company’s market share and further enhancing brand awareness.
Hyundai’s expertise in the SUV sector is well established and the original Santa Fe has enjoyed an impressive sales run. It has claimed a top-10 place in European sales of D-segment SUVs every year, with an annual high of 62.000 units sold – equivalent to 16 per cent of the segment. Globally, sales of Santa Fe have exceeded 2.000.000 units since launch.
Now, Hyundai is looking to fulfil changing customer needs. Demand for SUVs has shifted in recent years, with buyers moving away from high-power, high-cost vehicles in favour of more efficient models which retain their practicality, while still seeking a distinctive personality, style and flair in their chosen vehicles.
Hyundai has responded to this changing demand by taking a fresh look at its SUV designs and applying innovative engineering to its power trains. The result is desirable C-segment and D-segment vehicles with reduced fuel consumption and improved eco credentials.
Exterior ‘refreshments’ complemented by new alloy wheels
The design of the original Santa Fe was so well resolved, the look and feel so well liked by both media and customers, that changes for the upgraded model are both subtle and evolutionary. None of the exterior metal panels are changed, but the upgrade brings in a new three-slat, body-coloured radiator grille (replacing the two-slat grille of the predecessor); new front and rear bumpers; new projection-style headlamps; new front fog lamps; new rear combination lamps; and new side sill mouldings. New five ‘double-spoke’ alloy wheel designs are standard fit, together with sportier exhaust tailpipes and streamlined roof bars.
Choice of three powertrains for Europe
Reacting to consumer down-sizing trends, the powertrain line-up for upgraded Santa Fe in Europe offers buyers a choice of the 2.2-liter diesel with either 197HP or 150HP and a 174HP 2.4-liter (in-line, 4-cylinder). All power units comply with Euro5 emission regulations and the new R2.2 diesel features a particulate filter in required markets. The trio’s CO2 ratings range from just 171 g/km, demonstrating a significant reduction (of 19 g/km) over the previous model.
Driving aids boost fuel efficiency
For optimised fuel economy and reduced emissions, the upgraded Santa Fe is fitted with a new alternator management system that disengages the alternator when the clutch is depressed (manual models only), allowing it to spin freely and eliminating drag on the engine.
All upgraded Santa Fe models are equipped with fuel-stretching six-speed transmissions. Manual models feature a new ‘shift-change’ indicator to encourage fuel-saving driving habits. An icon on the LCD trip-meter screen flashes when the optimum gear shift point is reached. Automatic models are fitted with a new ‘ECO’ coaching system with backlit LEDs which light up in either red, white or green in accordance with driving behaviour – to help motorists save fuel.
Other fuel-saving innovations include the fitment of a rear spoiler that reduces aerodynamic drag and low-rolling resistance Silica compound tyres.
Active head restraints for the front seats are now standard on both GL and GLS trim levels and in most markets so is ESP (Electronic Stability Program). A new Rollover Sensor is also available, monitoring possible overturn situations and triggering the deployment of the side airbags, curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners, if appropriate.
New standard active safety features (most countries) include Hill- start Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting off on an incline) and Downhill Brake Control (to severely limit speed during a steep descent) – ensuring safer travel up and down the steepest of slopes.
A new optional feature (on GLS models) reduces the risk of accidents while reversing. A rear-view camera is mounted in the tailgate garnish and, whenever reverse gear is selected, it transmits an image to an LCD colour display integrated into the interior rear-view mirror.
Two trim levels, 10 colours and new options
In Europe, upgraded Santa Fe is offered in two trim levels – GL and GLS – and with a choice of seven new and three current exterior colours. Inside, a choice of new fabrics and fascia finishes are offered, to keep things fresh.
The most apparent changes to the interior relate to optional items of equipment – in particular, the new ‘Supervision’ instrument cluster; the integrated satellite navigation system (from July 2010); and the rear-view reversing camera display shown in the electro-chromic interior mirror. Three new Option Packs exclusive to the GLS are also available.