Think of it as evolution, rather than revolution.
When Hyundai first introduced the Santa Fe back in 2001, the company kicked off what would be their best-selling model. To date, Hyundai has sold 1.6 million examples of the Santa Fe, making it one of their most popular cars. Now, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe carries the torch into a fourth generation. With revamped styling and a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the company has made some significant changes over the previous model. But in what other ways is the new car different from the previous generation? TFL’s Roman Mica heads to Park City, Utah to find out.
The most striking difference to observers of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has to be its new styling. The new Santa Fe has taken on the company’s signature cascading grille, but there’s another twist. The car also sports similar front-end styling – albeit in a larger package – as its smaller cousin, the subcompact Kona. Hyundai fitted the thin daytime running lights up high, while mounting the headlights lower down. It’s a look not too different from the pre-facelift Jeep Cherokee. Around the back, Hyundai has updated the rear light cluster and added a chrome strip on the liftgate to further distinguish the car. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe takes on styling that’s meant to look more burly and aggressive compared to previous generations.
Apart from the new appearance, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe also has a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The new unit makes 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine which makes 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai dropped the previous generation’s 3.3-liter V6 from the lineup, but they did mate the new engines to an eight-speed automatic transmission, instead of a six-speed. There are more gears and also a wider gear ratio spread, to improve fuel economy. 2.0-liter front-wheel drive models manage 22 mpg combined, while the 2.4-liter ekes out 25 mpg combined.
Other top differences in the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe include three selectable driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Smart – as well as automatic stop/start. Hyundai has also focused on improving noise, vibration and harshness in the new model with the addition of more sound deadening material. There’s also some new tech at play in this model, including a motion sensor for the rear seats and a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
Find out the other big differences in the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe in the video above! Come back to TFLcar.com for more news, views and real-world reviews.