2019 Hyundai Santa Fe first drive review: Trading ‘Sport’ for family friendly tech

    Meet the brand new Hyundai Santa Fe. For 2019, the SUV previously generally known as the “Santa Fe Sport” drops the “Sport” from its title. In the meantime, final yr’s midsized “Santa Fe” will develop into the “2019 Santa Fe XL.” It is a small change that is positive to be complicated to customers.

    Nevertheless, after spending time with the 2019 Santa Fe, dropping the “Sport” kind of is smart. From the extra upright design to the extra comfort-oriented trip, the Santa Fe feels much less “sporty” and extra grown up. Plus, it is now loaded up with sensible security and comfort options geared toward new households.

    Normal Sensible Sense security suite

    Identify adjustments apart, the largest information for the 2019 mannequin is that Hyundai has made its Sensible Sense security suite normal gear for the Santa Fe. From the bottom SE to the fully-loaded Final, each trim stage contains the total complement of superior driver support options.

    There’s adaptive cruise management that maintains a protected following distance behind a number one automotive, even in stop-and-go visitors. Ahead and rear cross-traffic collision alerts are additionally normal with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking in each instructions. Lane-keeping steering help retains the automotive centered in its lane at freeway speeds and integrates with the usual blind-spot monitoring to forestall turning into a lane that is occupied by one other automotive.

    The blind-spot sensors additionally energy a brand new aspect exit help characteristic. This characteristic continues to watch for approaching automobiles even after the automotive is shut down to forestall unintentionally opening a door into visitors whereas parallel parked. We have seen an analogous characteristic on sure Audi automobiles, however Hyundai has designed its system to work alongside the digital little one security locks making it notably helpful for folks.

    Automated excessive beam headlamps and a driver alertness monitoring system spherical out this strong suite of ordinary tech.

    One of many solely non-compulsory security options is a brand new rear seat occupant detection system. Along with a primary warning to take a peek again there when exiting the car, this method additionally makes use of ultrasonic movement sensors to proceed to watch the rear seat for as much as 24 hours after the automotive is parked. If there is a sleeping pet (or little one) again there that the driving force’s forgotten about, the system will finally detect its motion and alert the proprietor by flashing the automotive’s lights and honking the horn. Notifications may even be despatched by way of Bluelink telephone and smartwatch app notifications, e mail or textual content message.

    New title, new look

    The brand new Santa Fe is rocking a brand new look that leads with a face impressed by the Kona small SUV. The aesthetic — with its stacked headlamps and enormous hexagonal grill — works even higher because of the extra spacious proportions of the Santa Fe’s bigger entrance finish and a brand new horizontal chrome bar that unifies the weather.

    The brand new look is just like the Hyundai Kona, however the bigger Santa Fe wears it higher.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    Behind the brand new face is an all-new physique. The place the outdated Santa Fe Sport had a really windswept look, the 2019 Santa Fe stands extra upright with squared-off shoulders. Hyundai’s designers sought to emphasise the SUV-ness of the compact mannequin with particulars like a powerful, flattened fender arch round every wheel that emphasizes its verticality and truckiness.

    The result’s a profile that is bland, however that is fantastic contemplating because it provides the sturdy and kind of busy entrance finish some respiratory room. General, I give the Santa Fe’s new look a giant thumbs up.

    The Santa Fe’s dimensions have not modified a lot with the redesign — it is solely about half an inch taller (67.1 inches) and a pair of.Eight inches longer (187.Eight inches), 2.6 inches of which is further wheelbase. Regardless of being bigger, cargo area is principally unchanged, hanging in the midst of its class at about 71.three cubic toes with the rear seats folded flat.

    Beneath the brand new look is a brand new lighter, stiffer chassis that improves security. It additionally allowed Hyundai’s engineers to go softer with the Santa Fe’s suspension bushings within the pursuit of a smoother and extra snug trip. The SUV rides comfortably — if a bit of devoid of suggestions. New aluminum parts assist save suspension weight, lowering harshness and enhancing consolation. In the meantime, further sound absorbing supplies have been added to assist quiet the cabin.

    2019 Hyundai Santa Fe2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

    Hyundai has performed an incredible job making a good-looking cabin expertise with low finances supplies.


    Bluelink cabin tech

    Talking of the cabin, Hyundai’s designers have confirmed to be masters of making nice cabin experiences from cheap supplies. Which will look like a backhanded praise, however it is a very nice cabin for the worth. Spend a while poking and prodding the dashboard and you will find loads of laborious plastics and skinny leather-based, however the cockpit appears to be like surprisingly good particularly within the two-tone tan and black scheme of our tester. Good particulars like contrasting stitching and matching cloth on the roof and pillars go the additional mile to actually zhoosh up the Santa Fe’s look, setting it other than different low-budget cabins.

    On the heart of the cabin is the latest model of Hyundai’s Bluelink tech. This stays one in all our favourite cabin know-how suites — it isn’t flashy, however Bluelink is quick and really simple to make use of. For 2019, the system good points a brand new “Customized” button and a customizable “My Menu” characteristic that enable sooner entry to your favourite capabilities. There’s additionally a brand new “Voice Memo” characteristic I fairly like that enables fast recording of audio notes for retrieval later.

    We have nonetheless received all the options that we prefer to see, together with normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay together with strong voice instructions. Stepping up from the usual 7-inch mannequin to the bigger Eight-incher additionally brings good navigation software program with HD Radio visitors data.

    2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC

    Bluelink is again within the 2019 Santa Fe with all the onboard and linked tech that we love.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    The Santa Fe SEL or higher contains three years of Bluelink Linked Companies which permits comfort options like distant locking, monitoring, distant begin and security options like stolen automotive retrieval and emergency companies. Bluelink boasts compatibility with telephone and smartwatch apps and in addition integrates with Google Residence and Amazon Alexa to permit drivers to manage their sensible houses from the automotive and vice versa.

    Turbocharged efficiency

    The 2019 Santa Fe is obtainable with two engine choices: The usual motor is a 2.Four-liter gasoline four-cylinder that makes 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Drivers who need extra pep of their step can improve to a 2.Zero-liter four-banger with a twin-scroll turbocharger that makes 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

    We examined the turbo and located its efficiency to be pleasantly peppy. The torque peak occurs all the best way down at about 1,400 rpm, which makes the compact SUV really feel very responsive off the road and round city.

    The usual eight-speed automated transmission can also be new for 2019 and seems like a good match for the turbocharged engine. On the steep hills round Park Metropolis, Utah, the gearbox did a extremely good job selecting the best ratio for a climb, however the emphasis on effectivity confirmed with a reticence grasp on to decrease gears when cornering. Choosing the Sport drive mode and the Sport transmission program kind of helps, however not a lot. Nevertheless, these in search of clean and quiet efficiency should not be dissatisfied.

    2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC

    The turbocharged engine seems like a very good efficiency match. Its effectivity, nonetheless, is nothing to brag about.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    Entrance-wheel drive is normal, however Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system is obtainable as a $1,700 choice. The system defaults to front-wheel drive, however can ship as much as 50-percent of obtainable torque to the rear wheels as wanted. It is aided by a torque-vectoring system that makes use of the brakes to shift energy laterally.

    You’d assume with much less weight and a powertrain that emphasizes clean environment friendly driving that the Santa Fe would have higher gas economic system, however the 2019 mannequin is disappointingly mediocre. At finest, the front-drive 2.4L mannequin does simply 22 metropolis, 29 freeway and 25 mixed mpg. Our AWD Final 2.0T drops all the way down to 19 metropolis, 24 freeway and simply 21 mixed mpg. That is a middle-of-the-pack efficiency on this class which incorporates the 22 mpg Jeep Cherokee, 22 mpg Subaru Outback and 23 mpg Volkswagen Tiguan, however that is nonetheless nothing to brag about.

    Pricing and competitors

    The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe begins at $26,480 (together with a $980 vacation spot cost) for the SE mannequin. The bottom value enhance of $550 over the outgoing Santa Fe Sport appears justified contemplating the quantity of ordinary security tech added this yr.

    On the prime of the road is the loaded Final trim, priced at $36,430 with the two.Four-liter engine. Including the turbocharged engine and HTRAC all-wheel drive to our tester raises the as-tested backside line to $39,780.

    2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC2019 Hyundai Santa Ultimate 2.0T HTRAC

    It isn’t with out flaws, however the 2019 Santa Fe is a powerful competitor at strong worth.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    The brand new Santa Fe stacks up properly in opposition to its competitors which admittedly features a few growing older fashions just like the Nissan Murano and Ford’s Edge. Volkswagen’s newly redesigned Tiguan might be the most effective cross-shop in opposition to the Hyundai, whereas Mazda’s CX-5 and Honda’s CR-V provide compelling (and extra compact) alternate options for these in search of higher driving dynamics at this value level.

    Nevertheless, the Hyundai stands aside in just a few methods: Its finest tech is normal throughout the lineup, so it can save you cash by stepping all the way down to the midtier SEL and SEL Plus fashions and nonetheless have a satisfying expertise. This makes it simple to maintain the Santa Fe’s value aggressive across the $30,000 vary. And, after all, its 10-year/100,000 mile guarantee continues to be top-of-the-line within the biz.

    Middling gas economic system retains it from being the most effective in its class, however the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has received it the place it counts and presents compelling worth, notably for these concerned about driver support applied sciences. Households seeking to save a couple of dollars on their subsequent trip with out shortchanging on security ought to positively take a more in-depth look.

    Editors’ be aware: Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from producers with a purpose to present scored editorial critiques. All scored car critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this characteristic, the producer coated journey prices. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial workforce are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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