Hyundai today presented the all new Santa Fe to the European public. With its appealing design and a variety of attractive features, the Santa Fe is positioned to compete in the European-style premium SUV segment which is interesting for an increasing number of consumers.
Launched at the Detroit Autoshow in 1999, the Santa Fe established Hyundai’s reputation for manufacturing top-class SUVs. It has won praise and many new customers for Hyundai. With its unique, muscular and independent design, it announced a new class of vehicle that combined car like comfort and rough terrain capability. Encouraged by the success of the Santa Fe, Hyundai expanded its SUV range.
The entry-level SUV, Tucson was introduced in 2004 to meet rapidly growing demand for an additional, smaller all-rounder. The Tucson, too, is based on Hyundai’s approach to creating lifestyle SUVs with off-road capabilities and helped expand Hyundai’s market share in the SUV segment to exceed the 100,000 unit mark.
The all-new D-segment Santa Fe was designed to further push Hyundai’s offensive in this dynamically growing but highly crowded market segment. It offers immediate benefits over the previous well-loved model. It is slightly larger, 175mm longer, 45mm wider, and 65mm higher with the wheelbase extended by 80mm. It also offers greater up-market comfort, more car-like driving characteristics and new eye-catching international style. Naturally there is also more interior space, more luxury and increased convenience and user friendliness. The result is a unique package which applies the traditional Hyundai values and virtues of quality, dependability and surprising performance to a design which radiates lifestyle fitness and vitality.
The Santa Fe is an attractive vehicle for many people, be they sporting or athletic in outlook, career successful, family oriented, aware of style, or essentially concerned with quality and value.
Assertive and outstanding, the established Santa Fe virtues of confidence and refinement have been expressed with a dramatic new flowing international style. The result is an exceptionally appealing and handsome vehicle.
The new grille, which emphasises the superb proportions of the double hood character lines, also unifies the upper body with the purposeful grey lower body protection. Horizontally aligned pod-type front light clusters feature projection type headlights, clear glass and black bezels (both for efficiency and visual appeal). The supple upper bonnet and A pillar treatment speaks of performance and the wide stance hints of exceptional control and road holding. All in all, the frontal style is smooth, welcoming and immediately appealing.
From a side view, the new and refined profile features smooth, flowing and balanced curves. The sweeping elegance of the shoulder line is highlighted by the chrome trimmed door handles and two-tone mirror housings. Clear side repeaters and smoothly faired wrap around headlights also add to the overall sophistication. The lower body cladding is in matt-grey, matching the lower front panel. Elegant 18inch wheels, beneath purposeful wheel arches, give impressive ground clearance and stance. The new roof rack forms an integral part of the roof treatment, further adding to the overall harmony. The impression is one of capacious agility combined with aerodynamic grace.
The rear three quarter view of the new Santa Fe clearly shows the thought that has refined every aspect of the lines. The extra length has allowed a more sweeping profile. The wrap-around combination rear lights are faired into the flared waistline, continuing the clean frontal themes. The LED high mounted stop light is integrated into the rear spoiler, while the rear fog lamps are recessed into the rear bumper valence. The practical, deep opening, rear hatch neatly rounds off the flowing style. The whole structure shows the sense of agility which characterises the purposeful symmetry. The overall theme is one of functional, neatly presented elegance.
Modern integrated design has lifted the interior comfort of the new Santa Fe to prestige levels. The increased interior space not only offers more roominess, it has also enabled Hyundai to offer the option of 7 full-sized seats. Whether 5 seats or 7, ease of operation and arrangement has been a prime consideration in designing the new interior, as has the quality of the materials.
The restrained and tasteful use of high-lustre wood and machined metal, combined with three duo-tone colour options, emphasises the relaxed ambience. Advanced mesh type upholstery fabrics and high quality, traditional piped leather give an immediate soothing, at home, feeling. Also Hyundai’s evolutionary design process has produced superbly comfortable, supportive and elegant seating, with added practical refinements in the form of dual power seats, integrated headrests, adjustable lumbar support and pump action height adjustment. Even the seat warmer now has two stages.
In terms of air control, the new Santa Fe represents a major step forward. Both dual zone automatic air conditioning and manual are available. Refined by variable air compressor technology and optimised by sophisticated attention to air ducting and venting the result is a superbly ventilated environment. For the 7 seat variant the 3rd row of seats is fitted with its own AC unit and ducting.
As regards the major and ancillary controls, ergonomics that place every control easily to hand, and allow the minor controls such as electric windows to be easily located and activated are simply part of Hyundai tradition. Modern blue instrument lighting is easy on the eye and boosts visibility. The high quality feel of the tilt and telescopic steering wheel and gearshift further emphasise the in depth quality and refinement.
The new centre console has been redesigned to allow increased ease of use and storage access for both driver and front passenger. Also, as with every Hyundai, there is a full spectrum of driver and passenger comfort and convenience facilities. The result is fully satisfying and refreshing experience for everyone who rides in the new Santa Fe.
In fitting the new Santa Fe to the lifestyles of potential customers, no detail has been overlooked. The exceptional sound quality of the infotainment systems are finger tip controlled from the steering wheel, as is cruise control. Three 12V power outlets take care of non-fitted ancillary needs. Other standard and optional fittings include: ECM mirror with compass, rear map lights, door courtesy lamps, repositioned cup and sunglasses holders, capacious map pockets, wide view external mirrors, internal conversation mirror, rain sensing wiper activation, wiper de-icing, solar glass, keyless entry, cool box, under floor luggage tray, auto light control, cargo area lighting and cover, luggage net hooks, child seat mountings, rear seat centre armrests, deadlock and immobiliser, extended sun visors with storage pockets, security warning lamp, trip computer and digital clock.
In the new Santa Fe more space and better packaging has brought a major step forward. For Hyundai designers and engineers, a little extra space goes a long way. The 175mm in increased length and 45mm in width has been translated directly into interior comfort and convenience. For the driver’s benefit there are 25mm extra leg room. The luggage space has been lengthened and widened as well, to offer 84 litres more cargo room. A dedicated awareness to ease of creating convenience and a trunk volume of 774 litres means the new Santa Fe is both more capacious and easier to load and unload. As well as increased head, shoulder and leg room, the new roominess also offers exceptional ease of access. Wide doors, higher roof line, increased space between the front and rear seats, optimised pillar location and inner clearance dimensions, mean getting in and out of Santa Fe is supremely easy and comfortable. The overall result is a
new feeling of spaciousness and luxury.
The new Santa Fe offers smooth refined power, complemented by Hyundai rugged dependability and eco-friendliness. Both the upgraded 2.2 litre CRDi and 2.7 litre petrol engines offer dynamic performance.
Hyundai cutting edge variable-geometry-turbocharger (VGT) technology means the 2.2 litre diesel engine (110kW @ 4000rpm/335Nm @ 1800-2500 rpm) offers increased power, more efficient consumption and better all-round dynamic performance. A more efficient, high pressure Common Rail Diesel injection system helps ensure improved response and control, while helping further reduce engine originated NVH. By reducing friction wherever possible, both engine efficiency and smoothness are improved. The new low friction balance shaft is a real state of the art improvement in this direction. Variable Geometry Turbo technology with a new and larger cartridge further improves both engine effectiveness and performance.
The V6 2.7 24-valve petrol engine (139kW @ 6000rpm / 248Nm @ 4000rpm) uses state-of-the-art Constantly Variable Valve Technology. The result is a marked improvement in both fuel efficiency and power delivery. The new 3-way Variable Intake System is electronically controlled to react to driver demands. The result is more flexibility with better fuel consumption under all conditions. Also by building the cylinder block from aluminium weight is reduced, in turn maximising the technical efficiency, performance and economy.
Both automatic and manual transmissions are new. The manual transmission now features 3-axis and triple cone technology. The result is a more compact unit which provides a more precise and quieter experience for the driver. The new automatic transmission features a super-flat torque converter with computer optimised blades. Also the pressure has been optimised to work in greater harmony with the driving demands. Both transmissions result in improved performance, more positive feel and reduced NVH.
No development effort or expense has been spared in bringing the suspension of the new Santa Fe to the forefront of this class. The result is better ride, handling and all-round suspension performance. The MacPherson strut front suspension features optimally positioned, reverse L-shaped lower arms. This provides superior steering wheel sensitivity and improved dynamic control. In order to give drivers the very best in suspension feel and performance, new larger bushes are located between the front sub-frame and the suspension. By widening the caster angle, both straight line stability and all-round handling have been improved.
While the standard rear suspension is a sophisticated and well proven 5-link system, there is also a multi-link option which dynamically increases the car-like performance. By lowering the location and increasing the rigidity of the rear shock absorbers, both driving feel and cornering stability have been improved. The trailing arm has been relocated from the body to the rear cross member, reducing road noise intrusion and improving ride and handling. The new system also saves space, so adding to rear roominess.
Regardless of changes in weight or load distribution, an advanced and efficient self-levelling system adjusts the vehicle height to remain constant, without requiring any external power source.
The new electronic "torque on demand" 4WD system uses sensors to monitor road and driving conditions. This allows it to sense when and where more torque is needed and automatically engage 4WD whenever it is needed. Drive is then transmitted to the rear wheels through the multi-plate clutch. In this way the system improves efficiency in relation to permanent 4WD, with no increase in driver effort or input.
In adverse weather or marginally slippery conditions the driver can also engage 4WD whenever he wishes through the 4WD lock facility. This locking feature has been further uprated to prevent troubles in TCB (Tight Corner Braking) situations. It is especially useful when passing through sand, lying water, or in slippery curves.
Class leading low levels of NVH were always part of the plan for the new Santa Fe. New methods of control, intensive research and minute attention to all sources of intrusion, have produced an exceptional vehicle in this respect. Chief areas of improvement include a new cross-shaped reinforcement with a multi-curvature structure which has lowered dash panel noise intrusion. Panel vibration has been reduced substantially by the new multi-curved floor structure and by using sandwich structure materials. By aerodynamically optimising the shape and layout of the roof rack, wind noise has been minimised. Further wind noise reduction comes from aerodynamically optimal door modules.
Engine noise intrusion has been reduced by a new standard bonnet insulation pad, new cooling fan blade developments in both engine cooling and air conditioning and the idling and driving engine vibrations are now continuously monitored and controlled by an electronic monitoring system.
Peace of mind is engineered into every new Santa Fe. Hyundai engineers have created a rigid structure which forms the perfect basis for all the advances in active and passive safety which customers now expect. By combining various technologies, the whole dynamic safety performance of the Santa Fe has been improved. For example, by enlarging the tandem brake boosters from 9 to 10 inches, then combining ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), and 16 inch ventilated discs, braking performance has been massively upgraded. Elsewhere ESP ensures a secure ride through indifferent conditions, especially when combined with Electronic 4WD.
Computer aided design, crash simulation and intensive physical research and testing has led to optimised crumple zones and reinforced areas to absorb impact and protect the passenger cabin. Within the cabin, detailed attention has been paid to the occupants themselves. Protective measures include the all-round protection of six airbags as standard. Every seat has a 3-point mounted seatbelt, in addition active headrests and adjustable pedals are now available. Thus the all-new Santa Fe offers exceptional safety.