Hyundai Motors is a South Korea based automobile manufacturer, which has some of the most luxuriant cars in its stable. Their vehicles have an outstanding design and refined technologies. Among its fantastic fleet, Hyundai Santa Fe is one of their elegant SUV series, which is being sold in three trim levels in the Indian car market. The company has now added a new infotainment system to this model series, which adds to the entertainment quotient of this fantastic utility vehicle. It is now available with a brand new 8-inch touchscreen display. As per the news, it has innovative features like flexibility of DVD and USB inputs, Bluetooth streaming, voice recognition and a total of six speakers. Apart from these, it also has Sat-Nav system with pre-loaded maps and certainly bigger screen for better experience. This vehicle is available in both manual and automatic transmission options for the buyers to choose from. The company is selling this model series with a 2.2-litre diesel engine as standard, which comes with a displacement capacity of 2199cc. This mill is based on a DOHC valve configuration and is capable of delivering a maximum power of 194.3bhp along with a commanding torque output. Its suspension is quite proficient that assists in keeping the vehicle stable. The braking system is also reliable and it is further enhanced by anti lock braking system along with electronic brake force distribution. In the Indian car market, this sports utility vehicle is a tough competitor of Chevrolet Captiva, Toyota Fortuner, New Skoda Yeti, Isuzu MU7, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton and Honda CR V. Find best offers on Santa Fe
The Santa Fe is offered as two individual models – the two-row, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport, and the three-row, seven-passenger Santa Fe. Both bring unique styling, most noticeable up front, with the three-row Santa Fe bearing upright fog lights and five slats in the grille, and the two-row Santa Fe Sport using horizontal fog lights and three slats in the grille.The 2017 refresh also brings a slight tweak to the rear fascia design, plus new taillights and dual exhaust outlet.On the sides, you’ll find new rocker panel trim, integrated silver accents, and exterior side-view mirrors with a standard heating function. Wheel designs are new as well, with 17-, 18-, and 19-inch alloys.The redesigned headlights now get LEDs for the daytime running lights, while the three-row Santa Fe is offered with available LED fog lights. An automatic on/off function for the headlights is standard.Finally, there are two new hues when it comes to paint options, including Nightfall Blue for the Santa Fe Sport, and Storm Blue for the Santa Fe.
Step inside and you can see great strides in cabin quality. Not because the new car’s interior is that impressive – fit and finish still lags that of the Germans’ – but because it is light years ahead of the current car’s rather old-fashioned, plasticky interiors. After you adjust the 12-way electric driver’s seat to get perfectly comfortable, you find yourself in familiar surroundings if you’ve driven a modern Hyundai before. A lot of the switchgear is carried over from other Hyundais, while the dashboard and the centre console, with its ‘hour-glass’ shape, are similar to the design in the Elantra. The Santa Fe, however, gets a seven-inch TFT LCD touchscreen through which you can access all the various functions. On the India car, GPS navigation is expected to be standard and Hyundai may also give a two-tone beige interior to suit Indian tastes. The Santa Fe’s equipment levels are expected to be best in class like most Hyundais these days. It will come with all the goodies and some more. Hyundai is likely to introduce its Smart Park Assist system and there’s even the option of a self-leveling suspension.
The front seats have loads of seat travel so tall people can stretch out, but the seats aren’t too supportive and could do with a bit more bolstering. Move to the middle row and decent legroom, a generous squab and adjustability of the seats make the Santa Fe a good SUV to be chauffeured in.The one-touch control to drop the second row seats, which have a 40/20/40 split, is really hassle-free. This gives quick and easy access to the third row, which is spacious enough for adults, but just for short trips. The 50/50-split third row folds flat into the floor to offer 534 litres of luggage space. And if you have really bulky items, you can go upto 1,615 litres by flipping the second row forward as well. The well thought-out cabin, which majors on practicality and versatility, is a strong point of the Santa Fe, especially in a market where seven-seat SUVs are increasingly popular.
There will be three options offered to the customer, there is one manual transmission variant and two automatic transmissions. The engine in all three is the same, a next generation R series engine that has been worked on to enhance efficiency, reduce friction and provide better NVH than before. So the engine is the new 2.2-litre CRDi unit that delivers 197Ps of max power and two torque outputs. In the manual you get 420Nm of max torque but the automatic gets around 16Nm more, both between the same 1800-2500rpm. The new generation common rail direct injection diesel displaces 2199cc and its a quick and responsive engine. Having said that I must also comment on the noise within the cabin, despite the claims of NVH being up to date, you can definitely hear enough of the diesel engine clatter. An electronically controlled variable geometry turbocharger kicks in early enough to ensure power delivery is linear and immediate.Where efficiency is concerned, Hyundai claims 14.74kmpl for the manual and 13.01kmpl for the AT, these being ARAI figures. 1800bar rail pressures pumping fuel through piezo-electric injectors, the electronically controlled variable geometry turbo, swirl control valves and and electronically controlled EGR ensure that the fuel efficiency is optimised.
Both transmissions however have six forward ratios and the automatic adds a manual shifter to the equation. So the automatic is remarkably easy to drive. Even the automatic shift quality is surprisingly agile and not slow. Power is derived instantly and acceleration as a result is brisk and hurried.On the chassis front there have been several updates giving it a more secure feel. A MacPherson strut at the front and multilink suspension at the rear gives it better dynamics than before. There is still a fair amount of body roll but what I did like is that it is well controlled and measured. Never did the Santa Fe feel like it was losing comfort or getting too hairy. Of course there are a host of safety nets to reign you back in but still its a very decent handling SUV.With the chassis also come a few other changes. The steering for instance can be set up to match the effort you want to put in. So a comfort mode makes the steering light for urban duties, a normal mode adds some more weight while a sport mode significantly increases resistance in the steering feel while also making it more precise.
On the drivetrain front the manual transmission variant is available only as two wheel drive with torque applied to the front wheels. The automatic has two options, there is a two wheel drive and a full time four wheel drive variant. The four wheel drive variant I drove largely employs 2WD in normal driving cycles. However when the need arises in slippery tractionless conditions, torque is spread between all four wheels to enhance stability and get you out of tricky situations. A host of other driving aids also come in to play such as a traction control system, vehicle stability management and electronic stability control. You also get hill start assist and hill descent control, the latter if which can be activated through a button on the dashboard.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
The car maker has given this vehicle a proficient braking mechanism, which is further augmented by anti lock braking system along with electronic brake force distribution. The front wheels of this Hyundai Santa Fe model series are equipped with a set of ventilated disc brakes, whereas the rear wheels get conventional set of solid drum brakes. The 4WD AT trim is equipped with hill start assist along with down hill brake control function also. On the other hand, its front axle is assembled with a McPherson strut, while its rear is fitted with a multi-link type of mechanism. The high end trim is bestowed with electronic and vehicle stability management function that adds to the driving comfort. The cabin is incorporated with a power steering with flex steering function, which helps in customizing the steering wheel according to the driving style of the person. Then the advanced traction cornering control system distributes the driving force braking power to all four wheels. This steering wheel supports a minimum turning radius of 5.35 meters, which is rather good for this class. It comes with tilt and telescopic adjustable function, which makes it easy to handle even in peak traffic conditions.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
Santa Fe gets a host of safety features such as dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management control, brake assist, rollover sensor, rear view camera with touch audio display, rear parking sensors, height adjustable front seat belts, engine immobilizer shift lock system, child seat anchor and speed sensing auto door lock.
The new third generation Santa Fe is a great product and impresses in each and every department. The fluidic design makes it look quite sporty and the comfortable and luxurious interiors will appeal to most. The large list of features on offer and abundant safety features are more than enough to have anyone convinced. Besides, its true SUV character is bound to impress the off-road junkie. Hyundai is offering a 3-year, 1-lakh kilometer warranty with service intervals at 10,000 kms. It is also superior to its Japanese rival in every respect but does it have the goods to find many takers? As a product, definitely yes but there is a catch. Hyundai has priced it quite optimisticly and that could be a turn off factor for many. But the Santa Fe is Hyundai’s flagship model in the country and it’s all about the pride. The pride of getting one up on the Japanese and a fitting reply it is, that the Koreans are closing in and mean serious business.