Goodbye Santa Fe Sport, hello 2019 Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL.
Hyundai is dropping the Sport designation with the fourth-generation model that is making its American debut at this year’s New York Auto Show.
The Santa Fe is the best-selling SUV in Hyundai’s U.S. lineup (and an SUV Car Pro Show Host Jerry Reynolds has previously called “an outstanding SUV and a true value“). So the brand is looking to keep a good thing going with a completely new from the ground up model that’s a bit more upscale while sporting edgier looks and new powertrains along with new Hyundai safety technology.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
First, the name game. The former 5-seater Santa Fe Sport now just goes by the name Santa Fe. The larger three-row seven-seater becomes the Santa Fe XL. (But in 2020 the XL will reportedly be replaced by an as of yet unnamed new three-row SUV.) Also, in yet another twist, there is an optional third-row seat for the Santa Fe Diesel model.
More Road Presence
Design tweaks started with a longer wheelbase and slightly wider stance. Designers then followed the trend of edgier, more “athletic” SUVs by giving it a bolder look in the front for more road presence.
Hyundai’s large signature grille and aggressive front bumper highlight the front end flanked by LED headlights and daytime running lights. The back end is more muscular looking as well. It all rides on diamond-cut 19-inch wheels.
Better Visibility, Less Glare, and More Elbow Room
There is a lot to talk about in what was already a pretty great cabin, based on our review of the 2017 Santa Fe Limited Ultimate model. That said, here are the biggest changes to 2019’s interior.
For one, there is more visibility. Hyundai says it increased the rear quarter glass by more than 40 percent to create a light and open space.
There is also more room, and it was already a pretty roomy people hauler. Now Hyundai boasts first-in-class second-row legroom as well as more cargo space than the outgoing model. One-touch folding second-row seats are also new.
Hyundai also says its repositioned the infotainment screen to reduce glare, moved window switches and door handles up to create more elbow room and redesigned the center console.
There are three powertrains available under the hood. One is a 2.4-inline four-cylinder good for 185-horses. There is also a turbo four-cylinder good for 235-horses. A 190-horsepower turbodiesel will also be offered at some point. All engines are paired with a new eight-speed transmission.
Hyundai is debuting two new safety features with the new Santa Fe. One is its new Rear Occupants Alert system that monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect children and pets. It also receives Safe Exit Assist. This feature temporarily prevents doors from being opened when a vehicle approaches from behind even when the doors are unlocked.
Hyundai Smart Sense technologies are also now available on Santa Fe, some of them standard, others optional. They include features like Forward Collision Avoidance, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, and Lane Keeping Assist.
The new Santa Fe goes on sale this summer.
Tags: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe