Hyundai Motor has celebrated the world premiere of the fourth-generation Santa Fe at its Motorstudio Goyang. As the best-selling SUV in the brand’s 32-year history in America—with sales of more than 1.5 million units—the Santa Fe represents Hyundai’s strong SUV heritage and continues its success story. Going on sale in the U.S. in the summer of 2018, the fourth generation 2019 model builds on this success using its family-oriented interior, loaded with practical cutting edge technologies and bold exterior looks.
The third and fourth of eight new or re-engineered crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) Hyundai is debuting by 2020, the 2019 Santa Fe and Santa Fe diesel are bold SUVs that build on previous generations with outstanding driving dynamics and features aimed at technology and comfort.
The five-passenger Santa Fe Sport will now be called Santa Fe. The current long wheelbase three-row, seven-passenger model called Santa Fe will be renamed Santa Fe XL for the 2019 model year. An all-new three-row, eight-passenger SUV is currently under development with an all-new name. The diesel version of the 2019 Santa Fe will also get an occasional-use third-row seat with one-touch folding second-row seats for easy entry into the third-row by children. The third-row seat will only be available on the Santa Fe diesel.
A Bold New Look
The face of the new Santa Fe is highlighted by Hyundai’s signature Cascading Grille and a Composite Light design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the LED headlights. The exterior design is characterized by a powerful wide stance and an athletic, bold look that makes a statement from 100 feet away, featuring refined lines that reinforce the car’s status in Hyundai’s SUV lineup.
In profile the Santa Fe’s dynamic character line goes all the way from the headlights to the taillights, while a larger daylight opening (DLO) with a satin surround provides better visibility and a sleek impression. Featured diamond-cut 19-inch wheels illustrate strength, as does the car’s rear appearance, now featuring a muscular high and taut shape.
Interior Design: Graceful Surfaces Embrace Strong Structure
The Santa Fe interior design combines premium quality with a horizontal and roomy layout and enhanced visibility. The instrument panel has a three-dimensional appearance providing a feeling of openness and enhances the natural light created by the larger DLO. Stitching around the IP and color-contrasted seat piping ensures a high level of luxury within the cabin.
The driver will also see several improvements including:
- The audio/visual/navigation system screen has been tilted and positioned to reduce glare
- The window switches and grab handles have been moved forward for more elbow room
- The door map pockets have been reduced in size for more legroom.
- Cup holders in the center console have been repositioned for ease of use and the height and length of the center armrest has also been increased
Comfortable Ride, Steering Feel and Stable Handling
Improved ride comfort, handling and stability are achieved through key developments in the suspension geometry of the 2019 Santa Fe. The biggest change sees the rear shock moved upright from an angled position, improving the ride and handling no matter the driving conditions.
An optional self-load-leveling suspension provides the Santa Fe with a continuous ride height regardless of cargo or trailer tongue weight. This allows Hyundai engineers to tune the rear suspension for comfort and avoid making it too firm for occasional trailer use.
Smart Sense Technologies
Hyundai Smart Sense technologies are now standard on Santa Fe SE trims and higher. Below are the key features:
|Visibility||HBA||High Beam Assist|
|Collision||FCA||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist|
|BCW||Blind-Spot Collision Warning|
|SEA||Safe Exit Assist|
|LKA||Lane Keeping Assist|
|Driver||DAW||Driver Attention Warning|
|Driving Convenience||SCC with Stop & Go||Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go|
|Parking Safety||RVM with PG||Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance and tailgate safe-open guide and high definition camera|
|AVM||Around View Monitor|
|RCCA||Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist|
|PDW||Parking Distance Warning Reverse|
Hyundai’s Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCW) puts eyes and legs in the back of drivers’ heads. Using the Blind Spot Detection system’s radar sensors when backing up the system not only can warn the driver if vehicles approach from the side – it also applies the brakes automatically.
Additional safety features include Rear Seat Occupant Alert, which Hyundai is debuting with the Santa Fe. The system monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display. If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle it will honk the horn, flash the lights and send a Blue Link alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. In addition to being forgotten in the car, tragedies have also occurred in cases where children accidentally locked themselves in a car.
The 2019 Santa Fe also gets Hyundai’s first Safe Exit Assist. This feature temporarily prevents doors from being opened when a motorcycle, bicycle or vehicle approaches from behind even when the doors are unlocked. Safe Exit Assist works even if the driver has used the button to turn off the child lock feature. When the Safe Exit Assist detects an approaching object rearward it sounds an alert for passengers, a warning pops up on the driver’s center cluster and most importantly the doors remained locked.
Interior Space and Visibility
Interior cabin space has been enhanced on the 2019 Santa Fe. Inside, there is now more room behind the second-row seats, when second-row seats are folded and the leg room has been lengthened to be best-in-class. The H-point for the second-row seats has been moved back and the floor has been lowered for even more comfort. Engineers also have incorporated one-touch folding second-row seats.
|(Cubic Feet)||2018 Santa Fe Sport||2019 Santa Fe||2018 Tucson|
|Passenger Volume||108.0||110.7 (2-row)
|Total Interior Volume||143.4||147.3 (2-row)
|Cargo – Behind FR seats||71.5||71.3 (2-row)
|Cargo – Behind 2nd row||35.4||36.6 (2-row)
|Cargo – Behind 3rd row||–||11.6||–|
|Head Room||39.6 / 39.1 / –||40.0 / 39.2 / 36.1||39.6 / 39.2|
|Leg Room (7P)||41.3 / 39.4 / –||44.1 / 40.4 (39.4) / 29.4||41.5 / 38.2|
|Shoulder Room||59.4 / 58.3 / –||59.1 / 58.3 / 52.9||57.1 / 55.5|
|Hip Room||56.7 / 55.4 / –||57.5 / 56.3 / 61.7||55.6 / 54.5|
Its exterior dimensions make the new Santa Fe appear even more prominent. With a length of 187 inches, a width of 74 inches and a longer wheelbase, it also provides more comfort for passengers than the outgoing 2018 Santa Fe Sport.
|(Inches)||2018 Santa Fe Sport||2019 Santa Fe||2018 Tucson|
|Height (w/ side rails)||66.1 (66.5)||66.1 (67.1)||64.8 (65.0)|
Visibility was also emphasized with the next generation Santa Fe. To help the driver, the outside mirrors are mounted lower and further rearward and the A-pillars have been reduced in size. For the driver and rear seat passengers alike, the rear quarter glass has been increased by more than 40 percent.
The 2019 Santa Fe line-up offers a choice of three proven powertrains. There is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder GDI engine with an estimated 185 horsepower or a more powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 232 horsepower (estimated). And the 2.2-liter CRDi turbodiesel engine is the 2019 Santa Fe’s biggest surprise, with around 200 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 320 lb. ft. of torque at 1,750 rpm (estimated). All engines are mated to a brand new eight-speed automatic transmission.
New Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
The newly developed transmission provides quick and crisp shifts for a more engaging and efficient driving experience via the available column-mounted paddles. Despite having two extra gears, the eight-speed transmission, which was designed in-house, is lighter than the outgoing six-speed model. The automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. A direct control valve body and a multi-plate torque converter improve responsiveness while a double ball bearing minimizes friction loss. All the changes added up means that Santa Fe’s new transmission will improve economy by more than three percent.
HTRAC Advanced AWD System
The 2019 Santa Fe has Hyundai’s HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal, Sport and Smart modes help provide confident control in all-weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty dynamic feel when desired. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to variable conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts.
Infotainment and Sound Systems
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is loaded with technology, including Hyundai’s latest AVN 5.0 navigation system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ offered with higher level trims. The base level trim gets a standard 7-inch user interface, also equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And to eliminate the need for a charging cord, there’s an available Qi wireless charging pad for compatible Android devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
When it comes to audio technology, the available premium sound system is well-suited to the Santa Fe’s upscale interior. The 630-watt, 12-speaker new Infinity branded stereo system with an 11-channel amplifier features Clari-Fi technology and QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound technology. Clari–Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally compressed music, while QuantumLogic™ extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail. The result is a more robust and enjoyable on-road listening experience.
Smart Speed-Dependent Volume Control provides the capability to control the gain of individual channels based upon the vehicle’s speed and the system’s volume setting. The gain will change proportionally to the vehicle’s speed to overcome associated noise masking effects of the vehicle and thereby reducing the need to adjust the volume while driving. Additionally, the volume setting will taper the gain applied as the volume setting increases. This avoids the unnatural condition of having additional gain applied when the volume output of the system is so high that it exceeds any of the vehicle generated road noise.
BLUE LINK® Connected Car System
Santa Fe Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice guidance services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
- Widgets for easy access to remote features
- Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped)
- Access to Blue Link notification settings
More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.
Heads-Up Display (HUD)
Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, an available Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects an 8.5-inch virtual image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road using a system of mirrors combined with a TFT LCD display. The system features adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, speed limit, Lane Departure Warning and audio system data is projected at a perceived virtual distance approximately seven feet ahead of the driver for maximum legibility while driving.