All-new Hyundai Santa Fe channels that Land Rover vibe

It’s Hyundai’s all-new fifth-generation Santa Fe (and the first full model change since 2018)—and it looks nothing like any of its four predecessors. 

Gone are the curves and sharp creases of the last two generations’ Fluidic Sculpture design language. For the latest Santa Fe, it’s all flat surfaces and right angles. And it looks absolutely brilliant. 

The new Santa Fe is 45mm longer and a substantial 95mm taller than its predecessor, making it seem almost a class above its midsize categorization. It has a shorter overhang allowing the wheelbase to be extended by 50mm (without unduly increasing its overall length) while the tailgate is an impressive 145mm wider for greater ease in loading and unloading even bulky cargo. 

Amazingly, the boxy new Santa Fe is more aerodynamic than its curvaceous predecessor, thanks to angled side mirrors, active air flaps on both the top and bottom of the front bumper, skid plates on the front and rear bumpers, and a spoiler at the rear. 

A bridge-type roof rail has also been incorporated alongside the dual sunroof to allow greater versatility in mounting accessories or storage boxes. For easier access to this, and other purposes such as car washing, a C-Pillar Assist Handle has been added. It can withstand up to 200kg and is sized generously so the safety of users getting up and down can be guaranteed. The built-in glass cover is both sleek-looking and functional, as it can be locked when not in use. Seen from the side, is the Santa Fe’s sharply defined wheel arches are coupled with 21-inch black wheels with Continental tires.

H-shaped elements abound in the LED horizontal lamp with DRLs, front bumper garnish, and radiator grille, as well as the taillights. These are carried over to the very upscale interior, specifically the front dashboard’s mood lights and AC vents as well as the stitching on the seats. At the heart of the cabin is the philosophy of a “plus alpha” space experience, which connects outdoor-indoor living with the fully foldable second- and third-row seats, enabling the rear of the Santa Fe to be used as a cargo bed for groceries, home projects, sports and recreation, or for camping trips.

There is a stunning 12.3-inch panoramic curved display for the instrument cluster and infotainment screen. To the left of it is a fingerprint recognition system that is easy to use and enhances security, while also supporting seat memory customization and access to a personalized infotainment system. 

Developed during the pandemic, the new Santa Fe boasts a UV-C sterilization tray on top of the glove box. Below these is a full-touch climate control panel, dual wireless charging pads for charging two smartphones side by side, plus 6 USB-C ports and a 12-volt socket. 

Between the front seats are well-thought out storages. Not only is there a bottom space in between the front seats but also a bi-directional console box with a lower sliding tray. The latter, is a world-first, which enables a variety of uses especially since it can be opened from both ends and has a removable divider.

The new Santa Fe is powered by a 2.5-liter turbo engine, mated to an 8-speed dual clutch transmission – producing 281ps and 422Nm of torque. It employs a column-type shift-by-wire system, similar to the brand’s electric cars, the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6. There are drive and terrain settings that can be adjusted based on user preference on engine power, transmission shifting, stability control and braking. A total of eight modes can be selected, namely, Normal, Eco, Sport, Smart, Auto, Sand, Mud and Snow.

Moreover, it comes with Hyundai Traction (HTRAC) all-wheel drive (AWD) system, as well as a Downhill Brake Control that supports sudden changes in weather or difficult terrains. 

Apart from the standard driver, passenger, side, and curtain airbags is the brand’s suite of safety features called Hyundai SmartSense. Advanced driver assist functions such as the Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Following and Keeping, Blindspot View Monitor, Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance, Parking Distance Warning, Manual Speed Limit, Rear Occupant Alert and Surround View Monitor. 

“The wait is over, we are excited to be offering the much-anticipated all-new Santa Fe to our Filipino customers. This model holds a special place in Hyundai’s history books as it is actually our first ever in-house SUV. It has been serving as the centerpiece of the brand’s growing SUV portfolio and has sold over a million units as well as gained a loyal following globally,” according to Dongwook Lee, President of HMPH. “Over the course of 23 years, the Santa Fe has always progressed with the times by incorporating modern design philosophies and trends. And this fifth generation is no different as it embodies our commitment to continuously innovate how we can cater to our new era of customers and their lifestyles.”

A hybrid trim will be made available by the second half of the year, for now it comes in the following variants and colors:

Santa Fe GLS 8AT: P2,410,000

Santa Fe GLS 8AT AWD: P2,540,000

Santa Fe Calligraphy 8DCT AWD: P3,100,000 

Exterior colors available for all variants are Abyss Black Pearl, Creamy White Pearl, and Magnetic Gray Metallic, while Calligraphy-exclusive colors are Earthy Brass Matte, Terracotta Orange, and Ocado Green Pearl. Interior colors, meanwhile, are Obsidian Black for the two lower variants, as well as Black Inck and Forest Green for the flagship Calligraphy.     

The new Santa Fe comes with a 5-year/200,000-km vehicle warranty.

The all-new Santa Fe will be a part of the Hyundai Mobility Experience tour, which resumes this coming March 22 to 24 at Ayala Malls Glorietta in Makati City before heading to other cities outside Metro Manila.

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