A proven Kiwi favourite, with over 21,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs sold in New Zealand since the model was first introduced to the market in 2001.
The brand new, fourth-generation Santa Fe has now finally broken into serious tow capacity territory and is now capable of towing weights of up to 2,500kg. Couple this with the fact that Hyundai have done some reshuffling to gift middle row passengers an additional 34mm in leg room, the new Santa Fe might have just turned out to be the perfect family SUV.
“New Zealand’s favourite family SUV, the Santa Fe just got better,” confirmed Hyundai NZ General Manager Andy Sinclair.
“What better way to celebrate 20 years of the Santa Fe than with the safest and most powerful model yet. The new Santa Fe is packed full of ultra-modern features to help keep you and your loved ones safe on and off the road. It also boasts improved powertrains with better fuel economy, power, and overall performance.”
This family-oriented SUV also comes with a vast array of options and features, with petrol and diesel powertrains, safety and convenience technologies and various colour options. Hybrid and PHEV options will also be available in 2021.
The Hyundai Santa Fe starts from $62,990 + (ORC) for the 2.5-litre MPI Petrol AWD Entry model, going up to $89,990 (+ORC) for the 2.2-litre Diesel AWD Limited model.
So why launch a new Santa Fe?
Well, it’s quite simple. SUV sales make up 49% of all new vehicle sales and a whopping 75% of Hyundai’s sales are derived from SUVs - the Santa Fe, Tuscon, Kona and Venue.
Interestingly, 68 per cent of metro buyers opt for large SUVs, and 65 per cent of these buyers select the Santa Fe. With a compelling draw of large SUVs, Hyundai couldn’t simply rest on their laurels.
Modern Luxurious Space
The new Santa Fe’s redesigned interior now provides more space, comfort and convenience compared to the previous model. It takes the car to new levels of luxury, with every component finished in premium soft-touch materials. The centre console sits high, giving the driver and front passenger the feeling of sitting in an armchair.
The buttons are all centred for intuitive and ergonomic use. In the middle of the redesigned centre console sits gear shift buttons along with other functions that are used more often. The shift-by-wire system allowed the designers to use buttons instead of a conventional gear selector, reminiscent of cars like the early Citroen Cactus.
This revised layout allows further storage in the redesigned lower dashboard. The console also accommodates a new 10.25-inch AVN (audio, video, navigation) touchscreen display, available on Elite & Limited models, with pre-loaded maps, satellite-based voice guided navigation and a rear camera display.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems come as standard, allowing you to safely operate your compatible phone via the central touchscreen, meaning you can stay safely connected on the move.
The Santa Fe also comes pre-installed with an interesting and entertaining selection of ambient music, which is slowly becoming a common feature on premium SUVs. We particularly enjoyed ‘Lively Forest’ and ‘Open Air Café’ on our drive from Auckland to Hawke’s Bay.
For added convenience, the Elite & Limited models feature a power driver seat, which includes lumbar support (10-way on Elite, 14-way on Limited) so that all drivers can enjoy superior comfort. Front passengers are also looked after thanks to an eight-way adjustable power seat, which includes height adjustment.
The new Santa Fe’s front section is defined by the exceptionally wide grille that extends across almost the entire width of the vehicle. This wide grille accentuates the vehicle’s dominant road presence.
The grille, with its signature geometric patterned inlay, also integrates the headlamps, a signature style found on many modern Hyundais. The eye-catching LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) start at the top of the grille and cut through it to create unique T-shapes at each corner when illuminated.
In addition to LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), the Santa Fe has LED head lights both for added high powered light performance and eye-catching design. These are paired with High Beam Assist (HBA) for convenience when out on the road at night. The increased width of the wheel arches accentuate the SUVs rugged and powerful character.
The New Santa Fe will be available in a range of lovely hues: Phantom Black, White Cream, Typhoon Silver, Magnetic Force, Rain Forest, Lava Orange, Glacier White, Taiga Brown and Lagoon Blue.
Perfect for heading off the beaten track
Hyundai’s new AWD system is called HTRAC™ and actively adjusts the driving power distribution to all four wheels to achieve optimal balance on every kind of road condition.
Unlike traditional mechanical on demand all-wheel-drive systems already introduced, HTRAC™ variably controls the braking and power to the wheels. In combination with the drive modes, HTRAC™ improves acceleration, stability and fuel efficiency. The system increases traction on snow, gravel and, of course, on regular road surfaces while enhancing performance around corners.
We put the latest Santa Fe to the test and the HTRAC™ AWD system performs remarkably well for a vehicle in this category. Although the approach angles are not the biggest, even with road tyres the Santa Fe exceeded our preconceptions of this seven-seater family SUV when ‘Mud’ or ‘Sand’ mode were selected in ‘Terrain’ mode.
The new Santa Fe range includes a full complement of Hyundai SmartSense™ safety technology including:
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
- Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
- Surround View Monitor (SVM)
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance with Junction Assist (FCA-JX)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision – Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Lane Following Assist (LFA)
Remote Smart Park Assist (RSPA) is also available on the 2.2-litre Diesel AWD and 3.5-litre MPI V6 Petrol 2WD Limited variants, which enables you to start the vehicle and move the vehicle forwards or backwards remotely from outside the vehicle with the key fob.
The latest-generation Santa Fe is a worthy replacement for its predecessor and has been thoughtfully put together by Hyundai.
The added enhancements really are the icing on top of the cake, however, the pricing means it might be a rich dessert for some – for the price, you could perhaps get something a little more luxurious in the shape of a European competitor, but they might not stand the test of time like many of these Hyundais have proven to do.