All-new Hyundai Santa Fe debuts with impressive traits, big value

SHARE All-new Hyundai Santa Fe debuts with impressive traits, big value

The all-new Hyundai Santa Fe crossover SUV debuts for 2019 with improved styling, a comfortable and quiet cabin, improved ride quality, and loads of standard amenities and advanced safety technologies.

But before we go any further, you should know that the all-new Santa Fe is a replacement for last year’s Santa Fe Sport.

So, the all-new Santa Fe is a two-row SUV. It is built on an entirely new and improved platform. It offers spacious accommodations for five passengers.

If you are looking for three-row seating, last year’s three-row Santa Fe enters the 2019 model year unchanged, except it is now called the Santa Fe XL.

An all-new three-row Santa Fe model is due out for 2020, and it will feature a new name. For the rest of this review, though, we will focus on the all-new Santa Fe, which has replaced last year’s Santa Fe Sport.

When we explain how much roomier and improved the all-new Santa Fe is, please keep in mind that the comparison is to last year’s Santa Fe Sport. The new Santa Fe features bolder exterior styling with slightly larger dimensions. I like its sleeker and more athletic profile.

The new Santa Fe offers great value, especially when you realize what is included as standard equipment. With a starting price of about $26,000, the new Santa Fe includes a four-cylinder engine, new 8-speed automatic transmission, full power accessories, 7-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Hyundai’s Smart Sense advanced safety technology suite.

Smart Sense includes Forward Collision-avoidance Assist w/ Pedestrian Detection, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance, Smart Cruise Control w/ stop & go, and a nifty Safe Exit Assist system that detects rear approaching vehicles when parked, which cautions passengers when they attempt to open their door.

That is an impressive list. Step inside the new Santa Fe and you will be greeted by a cabin that is more spacious, quite comfortable, and features improved styling and better-looking materials.

Outward visibility is improved. The spacious cabin provides plenty of room for five adults. When the need to haul bulk items arises, the second-row seats now feature a simpler one-touch folding mechanism.

Powering the new Santa Fe is either a 185-horsepower naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, or an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an impressive 235-horsepower rating.

An all-new 8-speed automatic transmission is now teamed to both engines, and it is lighter and more refined than the outgoing 6-speed unit.

The base 2.4-liter engine should be adequate for most, but I prefer the more powerful 2.0T engine. However, this stronger engine is only optional ($1,600 extra) if you select one of the top two trim levels.

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in five trim levels; SE ($25,500), SEL ($27,600), SEL Plus ($29,800), Limited ($32,600) and Ultimate ($35,450). All models can be had with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (additional $1,700).

At the higher trim levels, the new Santa Fe is surprisingly luxurious. But you do not have to choose the highest trim levels to benefit from Hyundai’s Blue Link Telematics Connected Car System.

It is included in all SEL and higher trim levels with three years of complimentary services. Users of this system can utilize their smartphone to perform remote starting, remote door lock/unlock, locate vehicle, enhanced roadside assistance and stolen vehicle recovery.

The new Santa Fe delivers so many likable traits and impressive value. Those shopping for a two-row SUV should take one for a drive.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication

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