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Hyundai Santa Fe gets midlife update

Gifts for Santa: A midlife update for Hyundai's Santa Fe has brought new gear, including a tailgate that opens just by standing near it.

Styling tweaks for Hyundai Santa Fe, plus more kit for top variants in fresh range

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Hyundai logo17 Sep 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

HYUNDAI has given its Santa Fe large SUV a mid-life spritz, with mild styling tweaks across the range and more standard equipment in higher specification Elite and Highlander variants.

This update is likely be the last before an all-new Santa Fe – on a shortened version of the Hyundai Group’s new UM platform that will debut under Kia's upcoming new Carnival – in about two years.

With only subtle exterior changes, pricing of the entry-level Santa Fe Active is unchanged at $38,490 before on-road costs, but all variants including the base version now have Hyundai's lifetime capped price servicing deal at no extra cost.

The new look brings a darker-coloured chrome-effect front grille, cornering lights and front daytime running lights.

Mid-range Elite variants gain a new power tailgate with sensor opening, which automatically raises the rear-door if the key is in close proximity to the boot for more than three seconds.

The system – which adds $500 to the Elite price, taking it to $48,490 – is new to Santa Fe.

The top-of-the-range Highlander gets the most extra kit, including the automatic tailgate, lane departure warning and automated parking. It is now priced at $53,240 – up from $51,990.

Highlander part-leather front seats now have a ventilation function as standard, and in response to customer feedback, its panoramic sunroof operates after the ignition is switched off.

Flagship versions will also get front parking sensors in addition to the existing rear sensors, which are complemented by reversing camera and park-assist across the range.

Powertrain options are unchanged, with Active available with either 2.4-litre GDi petrol or 2.2-litre CRDi diesel four-cylinder engines, and a choice of either six-speed automatic or manual transmissions.

Petrol variants have 141kW/242Nm at their disposal returning fuel consumption of 9.0-litres per 100km, while diesels churn out 145kW/421Nm and use 6.6L/100km with manual gearbox or 7.3L/100km in automatic trim.

Higher spec Elite and Highlander versions are only available as a diesel/automatic combination.

From the outside, variants are identifiable by alloy wheel size, starting with a 17-inch rim on Active, 18-inch on Elite and 19-inch on Highander.

Other than the additional kit for Elite and Highlander, equipment levels carry over unchanged for the 2015 update.

Dusk sensing headlights, front fog lights, keyless entry, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and USB and iPod connectivity, electric front seat lumbar support, cruise control, roof rails and seven seats are standard on Active.

Elite versions add a self-dimming rear view mirror, auto-hold park-brake, keyless start, navigation with 7.0-inch touchscreen, premium sound system, part-leather seats with electrical adjustment of the driver's, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding mirrors, in-dash TFT display for driver information and cooled glovebox.

Highlander variants have HID headlamps, panoramic tilt/slide sunfroof, electric adjustment of front seats with memory, and heating and reading lights for the front two rows.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe pricing*
2.4L GDi petrol Active$38,490
2.4L GDi petrol Active (a)$40,990
2.2L CRDi diesel Active$41,490
2.2L CRDi diesel Active (a)$43,990
2.2L CRDi diesel Elite$48,490
2.2L CRDi diesel Highlander$53,240
*Excludes on-road costs.

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