The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has recently been confirmed for the South Korean market but the automaker has also spoken about the fourth-generation model in the United States. It will be offered in a diesel engine in the powertrain range and it will start arriving in dealerships this upcoming summer.
The new generation will overhaul the model’s naming scheme. For instance, the smaller five-seater version will be called the Santa Fe instead of the Santa Fe Sport. While the larger, long wheelbase, seven-passenger version will be called the Santa Fe XL. This won’t be mistaken for the three-row, eight passenger SUV that’s being developed now as this will be getting a different name.
One problem that the automaker is facing now is the fact that when the buyer gets the new 2.2 liter turbodiesel four cylinder that produces 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts) and 320 pound feet (434 Newton metres), it is advertised to have a small third-row seat. As the brand specifically mentions that it is meant for occasional use, room might actually be a bit tight there.
Compared to the previous Santa Fe Sport, the 2019 Santa Fe will actually grow in size for a larger cabin volume. The wheelbase will now be 108.9 inches (276.61 centimeters) compared to before when it was only 106.3 inches (270 cm). Overall length has increased by about 2.8 inches, which places it now at 187.8 inches (477.01 cm). That gives passengers more space, precisely 110.7 cubic feet (3,134.7 liters) - a little more than before with only 108 cubic feet (3,058 liters).
Aside for the diesel engine, the automaker will also be offering two gasoline fueled engine. One of these will be a 2.4 liter four cylinder with an estimated 185 horsepower (138 kilowatts), while customers can get a more powerful 2.0 liter four cylinder that has 232 horsepower (173 kilowatts).
Whichever engine you decide to go for, the 2019 Santa Fe will be getting Hyundai’s new eight speed automatic transmission instead of the older six speed engine. The company also says that the gearbox has been made lighter and more efficient. This works with a multi mode all wheel drive system with several modes including Normal, Sport and Smart settings.
On the exterior, the new Santa Fe looks boxier, with a more chiseled appearance compared to the outgoing version. Another highlight is its hexagonal grille with metallic trim that provides a high class look. It now has a pair of slim A-pillars and larger glass panels in the rear end which makes it feel more airy inside. When inside the cabin, you will notice the new center stack that features a seven inch infotainment system that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While the automaker also confirmed that a hybrid variant of the model is on the way, there was no mention of which markets it will be offered to.