Hyundai has released the first official peek and some details of the new Santa Fe SUV, a few weeks out from its international media launch in South Korea.
The fourth-generation mid-sized SUV will land in New Zealand later in the year. It gets new infotainment and safety technologies and adopts a bold new look, partially inspired by the Kona compact SUV.
Up front are split level headlights and large cascading grille that replaces the signature hexagonal-shaped one. This look is expected to appear on future Hyundai SUVs.
Hyundai has yet to release a proper image of the Santa Fe’s rear end, but an official design sketch released earlier shows a more aggressive interpretation of current Hyundai design language.
The new Santa Fe will be available with a choice of three engines: a 2.0-litre turbodiesel, a 2.2-litre turbodiesel, and a 2.0-turbo petrol. Power outputs are still to be confirmed but all versions get eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The new Santa Fe is the first Hyundai to be equipped with an electronic four-wheel-drive system. Dubbed HTRAC, it actively controls the driving force according to the drive mode, maximising traction during bad weather and rough road driving.
Its advanced safety features include frontal collision avoidance, lane departure warning and a lane-holding function.
There’s a feature which detects if the driver is getting tired. Sensors can pick up a different driving style than usual and suggest the driver take a rest stop.
Another feature, called Safe Exit Assist, warns if a passenger is about to open a rear door into the path of an approaching vehicle, and locks the door.
The Santa Fe’s redesigned interior adopts higher quality materials in a bid to move the South Korean SUV upmarket.
It also acquires the latest state-of-the art infotainment including enhanced voice recognition technology for improved navigation convenience and accuracy.
Pressing the voice recognition button on the steering wheel and speaking “route guidance and business name” provides a quick and easy method of getting directions to restaurants or places of interest. The driver can also ask for phone text messages to be displayed on the infotainment screen. A ‘Voice Memo’ function also allows the driver to record spoken words.
Additional new technology in the Santa Fe is a smart phone wireless charging system, first seen on the Kona Elite.