Hyundai Santa Fe debuts with handsome look, diesel mill


The Santa Fe XL gets a standard third row that's presumably roomier than the third row in the diesel Santa Fe, but we'll have to try it in person to report more. Inside, the new Santa Fe's spacious cabin has been given an overhaul.

Company officials acknowledge the previous-generation Santa Fe did not have a lot of personality and was considered a slightly larger version of its popular car-based Tucson CUV. A 2.2-liter CRDi turbodiesel engine also joins the line-up, producing an estimated 200 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 320 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. Hyundai also notes that an all-new 3-row 8-passenger SUV is being developed under a new name.

The 2019 Santa Fe looks bolder and more sculpted than before with the highlight being Hyundai's signature Cascading Grille at the front. The images are of a Korean version of the vehicle, presumably, the U.S. version will look the same.

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The infotainment screen in the centre stack has been repositioned and tilted to reduce glare, the grab handles and window switches in the door panels have been moved forward for more elbow room, the door map pockets have been made slimmer to provide more legroom, the centre armrest is higher and longer, and the centre cup holders have been repositioned to make them easier to get at. In any case, the second row in three-row models features push-button sliding access to the way-back seats.

Just when you thought diesel is dead on this side of the Atlantic, Hyundai decides to bring the all-new Santa Fe over with a diesel engine.

The Santa Fe seats five, with a small, two-seat third row in diesel models.

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The Santa Fe employs a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (estimated 185 horsepower) or turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (estimated 232 hp). It comes with a choice of engines including a 2.0-liter diesel, a 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gasoline turbo engine, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the company said in a statement. He did not give more details on it, however. Buyers will be able to add adaptive cruise control with stop and go assist, lane-keep assist, around-view monitor and a new rear seat alert.

The target was announced by the carmaker at the official launch event for the vehicle and comes as the South Korean carmaker needs the new SUV to bolster sales not only at home but in key overseas markets like the United States. This, it stressed, raises the value proposition of the auto to a new level.

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