All-New SANTA FE Lauded for Outstanding Performance, Comfort and Features

Itumeleng Garebatshabe
By Itumeleng Garebatshabe 240 Views 11 Min Read
11 Min Read
  • Radically transformed fifth-generation SANTA FE’s enlarged tailgate opening and expanded interior space facilitates outdoor adventures
  • Early reviews praise the new model’s quick acceleration, stability at high speeds, European-style ride, comfort and quietness, distinctive design and many features
  • The all-new SANTA FE’s arrival is perfectly timed as global interest in outdoor lifestyles, such as car camping or ‘Chabak’ (in Korea), is on the rise
  • All-new model to go on sale in North America and Europe in the first half of 2024

Hyundai Motor Company’s all-new SANTA FE is a rugged yet refined midsize SUV that seamlessly integrates the demands of family life with the desire for adventure.

With the all-new SANTA FE already on the roads in South Korea, the reviews are pouring in. Test drivers have been impressed with the powertrain responsiveness and performance, cornering and high-speed stability, European-style ride, comfort and quietness, distinctive design and many more features.

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When Hyundai Motor set out to develop the new model, it surveyed young adults about their vehicle needs and lifestyles and uncovered high interest in outdoor activities. Millennials in particular spend more time outside and more money on outdoor products than the average outdoor lifestyle consumer.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association , participation in outdoor activities grew to a record 168.1 million individuals, or 55 percent of the U.S. population in 2022. Meanwhile, Europe is seeing similar growth, with the number of outdoor participants expected to top 223 million users by 2027 . In South Korea, the interest in outdoor lifestyles is exemplified by the popularity of ‘Chabak’ (car camping), with registrations for caravans seeing a fourfold increase between 2015 and 2020 .

Such insights became the basis for the all-new SANTA FE’s ‘Open for More’ concept to connect the inside with the outside, expanding consumers’ everyday experiences.

‘Open for More’ living space with premium comfort and convenience features

The all-new SANTA FE accommodates outdoor pursuits by offering a class-leading, terrace-like living space at the rear made possible by its extended wheelbase and enlarged tailgate opening. This longer wheelbase also facilitates enhanced third-row seating, ensuring a comfortable ride.

The fifth-generation model is packed with premium comfort and convenience features, several of which are either the world’s first, first-in-class, or class-leading.

One standout feature is the First-row Relaxation Seat with Leg Rest, which allows occupants to recline in a comfortable position, creating an almost weightless feeling for passengers. This innovation sets a new standard for in-cabin comfort.

In the six-seat variant, the second-row features power-reclining independent seats with armrests, providing rear passengers with a level of convenience and comfort that is unparalleled in its class. Further enhancing rear-seat comfort, the second-row power fold-and-dive seats include a cushion-angle adjustment, a world-first feature that allows passengers to create a relaxation mode tailored to their preferences.

The 6.6-inch climate control display simplifies the process of adjusting heating and cooling settings, ensuring a more intuitive experience for users.

Hyundai Motor introduces the world’s first Bilateral Multi-Console storage space, accessible to both front and rear passengers. This innovative design ensures that everyone in the vehicle can conveniently access their belongings.

The inclusion of a Digital Center Mirror is a game-changer for driver visibility and safety. It not only provides a clear view of what’s happening behind the vehicle but also enhances night-time visibility, with a brighter image.

Hyundai Motor has embraced the latest in charging technology with a high-speed, dual wireless charging system for smartphones, along with USB C ports capable of delivering up to 27W of power.

For added peace of mind, the UV-C Sterilization Tray, located on top of the passenger glove compartment, allows for easy sterilization of frequently used items, such as cell phones and wallets, promoting cleanliness and hygiene within the vehicle.

Hyundai Motor continues to innovate with over-the-air (OTA) updates that ensure vehicle systems are always up to date. These updates can be performed wirelessly, eliminating the need for a visit to a Hyundai service center.

The introduction of Digital Key 2 provides vehicle access and startup, as well as remote control through a customer’s smartphone, offering an advanced level of convenience.

Lastly, the radar-based Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) serves as a crucial safety feature by reminding the driver of rear occupants after the ignition is turned off, reducing the risk of accidents or oversights.

Driving assistance and safety features ensure a comfortable and confident experience

The all-new SANTA FE comes fully equipped with a wide array of driving aids and safety functions that minimize user intervention while ensuring a comfortable and confident driving experience, whether it’s for daily commutes or weekend getaways.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist 2 can provide a warning and emergency braking if the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down or if a forward collision risk is detected. Lane Following Assist 2 uses a windshield-mounted camera to help recognize vehicle position drifting and helps provide slight steering inputs to return the vehicle back to the center of its lane.

Driver Attention Warning (DAW) analyses the driver’s attention and can provide warnings to boost attentiveness at the wheel. Driver Monitoring System (DMS), Hyundai Motor’s first in North America, analyses a driver’s vital signs to help ensure safe driving.

Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control 2 helps maintain a safe speed while taking curves on the main section of a motorway. Highway Driving Assist 2 helps maintain a set speed and distance from the vehicle ahead. It also assists with lane changes while driving on the main section of a motorway and helps center the vehicle in its lane while driving.

Other driver assistance and safety features include: Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Rear View Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Front/Rear Parking Distance Warning, Surround View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist and Safe Exit Assist.

Plenty of fuel-efficient power for daily driving and outdoor adventures

In Korea and North America, the all-new SANTA FE will be available with two powertrain options:
• 2.5 L turbocharged engine with maximum output of 281 ps and maximum torque of 43.0 kgf·m
• 1.6 L turbocharged Hybrid with maximum output of 180 ps and maximum torque of 27.0 kgf·m

In Europe, the all-new SANTA FE will be available with two powertrain options:

• 1.6 L turbocharged Hybrid with maximum output of 180 ps and maximum torque of 27.0 kgf·m
• 1.6 L turbocharged Plug-in Hybrid with maximum output of 160 ps and maximum torque of 27.0 kgf·m

In other regions, the all-new SANTA FE will also be available with a 2.5 L gasoline engine, with a maximum output of 194 ps and maximum torque of 25.1 kgf·m4 .

All-new interior offers class-leading comfort and cargo capacity

The SANTA FE’s new interior complements the exterior design language, focusing on both horizontal and vertical elements to complete the overall aesthetic. Notably, an H-shaped design graces the dashboard and air vents, creating a feeling of spaciousness and a distinctive appearance.

Its first-in-class Panoramic Curved Display encompasses the 12.3-inch digital cluster and infotainment system. This not only enhances visibility for the driver but also adds a touch of luxury to the overall ambiance.

The new model provides class-leading cargo capacity and a spacious tailgate opening , which is great for urban lifestyles and impresses in outdoor use, offering plenty of room for everything from sports equipment to camping gear. The new model maximizes outdoor functionality with its Hidden-type Assist Handle, located in the C-pillar, for improved roof access.

For the all-new SANTA FE, Hyundai prioritized living space by increasing the second- and third-row legroom. The SUV offers best-in-class third-row comfort (with third-row recline) and headroom improvements in response to customer feedback.

The gasoline-powered SANTA FE’s second-row legroom length has increased by 35 mm, to 1,075 mm. The hybrid’s second-row legroom length has increased by 20 mm, to 1,055 mm. The third-row legroom length has increased by 15 mm, to 761 mm.

The SUV offers best-in-class third-row headroom, increased by 69 mm, to 958 mm. The third-row seating height has increased by 30 mm, to 282 mm . The third-row seating reclines 10 degrees, an increase over the previous generation.

The all-new SANTA FE is scheduled for release in Korea in the second half of this year and in North America/Europe in the first half of next year.


Specifications

  • Vehicle specifications and features may vary depending on country/region and are subject to change without notice.
SpecificationsAll-new SANTA FE
Powertrain
Theta III 2.5 GDI (8AT)
Theta III 2.5T GDI (8DCT)
Gamma III 1.6T GDI HEV (6AT)
Gamma III 1.6T GDI PHEV (6AT)
Dimensions
Length
Width
Height
Wheelbase
Headroom
(Normal / sunroof)
Front
2nd row
3rd row
Leg Room
Front
2nd row
3rd row
Shoulder room
Front
2rd row
3rd row
Cargo capacity /
tailgate opening width
1,148 L/ 1,275 mm
(+120 L / +145 mm compared with previous SANTA FE model)
Powertrain2.5 GDI
Weight (kg)2,060
0 – 100 km/h (sec)11.5
Top speed (kph)198
Tires235/60R 18, 255/45R 20, 245/45R 21

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Itumeleng is the Managing Editor of The Auto Magazine. He is a tech and car enthusiast