As Hyundai’s self-proclaimed “most advanced SUV ever,” the all-new 2019 Santa Fe is certainly a head-turner. But what makes it as refined as it is, and how is it different from the previous generation of the Santa Fe? Here are 11 important changes that put the Hyundai Santa Fe ahead of the pack.
An advanced heads-up display is standard on the Santa Fe Ultimate and Ultimate 2.0T. It projects important info right on the windshield, preventing driving distractions substantially. You’ll be able to keep track of your speed, MPG, turn-by-turn directions, and the maximum speed limit.
Goodbye Santa Fe Sport, Hello Santa Fe
First and foremost, the ’19 Santa Fe has replaced the outgoing Santa Fe Sport, both in style and name. It carries over the two-row cabin and extremely comfortable seats, but aside from that, the Santa Fe is nothing like the Sport.
As Hyundai relaunches their crossover roster—there are reportedly 6 new Hyundai SUVs to be released by 2021, including a new Tucson and unnamed compact crossover—the new Santa Fe joins the latest Kona and fuel-cell Nexo.
It’s No Kona 2.0
Watercooler chatter may lead you to believe that the 2019 Santa Fe is a larger version of the Kona—but it’s not. The all-new Santa Fe may take subtle cues from the Kona—take the stenciled wheel wells, for instance—but it’s designed in its own bold image. The Santa Fe has its own unique personality; vertical headlamps, a wavy front grille, and a boxier outline make it a much more mature-looking SUV.
Plus, it’s quite a bit larger than the Kona.
In the front of the Santa Fe’s cabin, a newly designed duo of seats awaits. Additional layers of high-density foam amplify the comfort levels in the tushy cushions and lumbar areas, as well as the overlapping region for thighs. The sides are also bolstered by raised ridges so you don’t go sliding around when taking a sharp turn.
And did we mention they’re incredibly comfortable thanks to an integrated memory system in the driver’s seat?
Safe Exit Assist
You can’t always keep an eye on what your kids are doing, so the new Santa Fe acts as your second pair of eyes.
With the new advanced Safe Exit Assist feature, the Santa Fe assures your overzealous kids aren’t actin’ a fool when swinging their door open on busy roads. A sensor detects approaching traffic from the rear, then locks the rear doors until potential dangers have passed.
All Santa Fe trims come standard with the Hyundai Smart Sense package of active safety features. That means you get the following systems with the base SE:
- Forward-collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Pedestrian detection
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot monitor
- Smart Cruise Control with stop-start tech
- High Beam Assist
- Driver Attention Warning
- Safe Exit Assist
- Surround View Monitor
The blind-spot monitor has also been upgraded for 2019; it now takes control of the Santa Fe, steering you back into your lane if a side-collision is sensed.
The new HTRACK All-Wheel Drive system is worlds better than most similar AWDs. It predicts when you need additional traction by analyzing road conditions and driver input, then diverts power to the appropriate wheels for maximum traction. Pop that baby in Sport mode and the Santa Fe gets a default 65:35 front-to-rear split that can distribute power at a 50:50 ratio.
An advanced torque vectoring system also keeps things contained, slowing the interior wheels to improve cornering, both on asphalt and gravel.
A Quiet Place
Hyundai took steps to mute outside noise and engine drone in the cabin. How? No, not by hiring John Krasinski to build it. Rather, they succeeded by adding extra layers of high-quality sound insulation throughout the body, as well as a reinforced floor to block out noises from bumpy roads. An additional sheet of laminated glass on the windshields and windows keep the decibels where they belong.
Rear Occupant Alert
Each year, dozens of children and infants die due to suffocation and heatstroke after being left in a car. Hyundai is aiming to prevent these catastrophes by making its Rear Occupant Alert standard on the Santa Fe SEL Plus model. Rear Occupant Alert detects occupants in the back seat, then alerts you to check before exiting the vehicle. If you don’t remove the detected item or child, the Santa Fe will honk and send you a message via email or in the Blue Link app.
In the mid-level SEL Plus and up, an astounding 12-speaker Infinity surround-sound audio system is standard. That’s 630 watts of pure, unadulterated power to blast your tunes. The addition of Clari-Fi tech maximizes the quality of podcasts, audiobooks, and streaming music, as well.
A Rugged Design
You may not be aware, but Hyundai manufactures its own high-density steel. That’s quite apparent in the new Santa Fe, which features tons of it. Approximately 66% of the incoming Santa Fe is high-strength steel, which is a 15% increase over the Santa Fe Sport. Better yet, 45% more contact adhesive has been applied to 386 feet of the new Santa Fe, allowing it to perform better in crashes.
As always, the reason to own an SUV is because of the flexibility it provides—particularly to families. The Santa Fe does not disappoint.
In the rear, you get a 60-40 split seat that can easily be opened with the tap of a power-push button in the cargo area. Organize the cabin as you see fit thanks to the independent sliding functionality, too.
A smart hands-free liftgate is essential for parents, and the Santa Fe has it. It automatically swings open when the SUV detects your proximity key within a few feet of the cargo area. No need to swing your foot around like a weirdo when you go to put your groceries away. Just stand and wait.
Ready to test drive the all-new Santa Fe in Birmingham? Take a trip to Jim Burke Hyundai, your trusted car dealer Hoover, AL. We have the 2019 Santa Fe in stock and ready to treat you to a world-class ride. Contact us at (803) 339-1629 or visit our Birmingham dealership at 1424 5th Ave N to try out all the new features of this classy crossover or any of our other new Hyundai models.
Sources & Photos: