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New Hyundai Santa Fe undercuts Sorento twin… just

Updated Hyundai Santa Fe offers more style, more kit, more safety and more space

15 Dec 2020

FOLLOWING on from the pricing announcement of its new eight-seat Palisade, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has revealed the pricing for the newly facelifted Santa Fe seven-seat SUV with the range now kicking off from $44,700 plus on-road costs.


With the entry-price now being $710 higher than before, HMCA has treated the Santa Fe to more than just a new face – more on that below – having also upgraded the powertrains, standard equipment and safety tech while also restructuring the model’s variant badging.


The range now opens with the self-titled ‘Santa Fe’ which is then followed by the Active ($48,300), Elite ($54,300) and Highlander ($61,700) with diesel versions carrying a $3500 premium over the petrols.


At the lower end of the range, the Santa Fe actually undercuts its Kia Sorento twin by a few hundred dollars however the Kia claws back some ground at the top of the range with the Sorento GT-Line coming in $2300 cheaper than the Santa Fe Highlander.


Visually, the new model is a far cry from the current Santa Fe with an all-new front end centred around a fresh almost-full-width rectangular grille which is then flanked on either side by low-set headlights similar to those seen on the updated Kona.


Above the headlights is a slim new set of LED daytime running lights (DRLs), complemented by a second set running vertically through the headlight arrangement to make a ‘T’ shape.


At the rear there is a redesigned tail-light cluster now linked by a reflective strip across the tailgate that also houses the new integrated indicators.


Not only is the new Santa Fe more stylish than before but bigger as well, having grown 15mm in length, 10mm in width and 5mm in height with an extra 39mm of rear legroom on offer.


Sticking with the interior, all variants besides the base Santa Fe score a new bridge-type centre console which slopes its way down from the dashboard and links up with the centre armrest while the shift-by-wire transmission buttons have been mounted flush with the climate-control and multimedia switches in the name of minimalism.


Under the bonnet of all variants resides updated versions of the familiar 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder mill, both of which score new alloy heads and blocks which HMCA says reduces weight and “internal friction losses”.


Peak power in the petrol’s case is rated at 200kW/332Nm, all of which is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.


The diesel meanwhile churns out 140kW/440Nm with drive being dispensed between all four wheels via a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Fuel economy for the V6 is rated at 10.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle (down from 10.6L) while the diesel sips 6.1L/100km, down from 7.5L/100km.


Building on the diesel’s all-wheel-drive system is the inclusion of three different terrain driving modes – snow, mud and sand – which alter the engine, traction control and all-wheel-drive system parameters to better suit the terrain being covered off-road.


Interestingly, the terrain driving system is not available on the base Santa Fe diesel despite the inclusion of the 4x4 centre lock as seen on the higher variants with HMCA telling GoAuto the system was not offered on that variant from the factory.


Being a seven-seat family SUV, standard equipment on all variants is abundant with the base model boasting an 8.0-inch multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, colour instrument cluster display, Qi wireless phone charging, rearview camera, rear park distance warning system, tyre pressure monitoring, LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels and the aforementioned DRLs, among other things.


Safety equipment meanwhile includes forward collision-avoidance assist with junction turning, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance-assist, lane following assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist and active cruise control with stop and go function on top of the usual myriad of airbags.


The Active predictably steps things up with leather appointed seats and dashboard, front parking sensors, paddle shifters, 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers and safe exit assist.


The Elite goes one step further and adds 20-inch alloys, a bigger 10.25-inch infotainment screen with DAB+ digital radio, premium Harman Kardon sound system, leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and power tailgate.


At the top of the range, the Highlander ups the Elite’s leather interior to Nappa leather, unique 20-inch wheels, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, ambient lighting, head-up display, panoramic sunroof, surround-view monitor, memory set function for driver, blind-spot view monitor, remote smart parking assist and various other goodies.


To help distinguish them from the lesser variants, the Elite and Highlander are adorned with a dark chrome radiator grille while the base model and Active brandish a black one.


Other changes of note across the range include an uprated braked towing capacity of 2500kg (up from 2000kg) and matching new tow ball rated to 200kg of down-weight, the latter of which removes the need to upgrade the rear suspension for heavier-duty towing.


According to HMCA CEO Jun Heo, the new Santa Fe sets a new standard within the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment.


“Santa Fe has become a favourite for adventurous Australian families over the four generations since its debut in 2000,” he said.


“Now, with the arrival of the upgraded and enhanced 2021 Santa Fe, families are treated to an evolution of our long-running seven-seater which sets a new standard for styling, space, comfort, luxury and technology.”


HMCA has sold 4208 Santa Fes so far this year ending November, accounting for 5.2 per cent of the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment compared to the 6167 CX-9s sold by Mazda and 7977 Klugers sold by Toyota.


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe pricing*

Santa Fe (a) $44,700
Santa Fe CRDi (a) $48,200
Active (a) $48,300
Active CRDi (a)  $51,800
Elite (a) $54,300
Elite CRDi (a) $57,800
Highlander (a) $61,700
Highlander CRDi (a) $65,200

*Excludeson-road costs

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