New Santa Fe in SA: Next-gen SUV a ‘polished performer’

2015-11-18 06:00
PHOTO: supplied The Hyundai Santa Fe.

PHOTO: supplied The Hyundai Santa Fe.

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BELIEVE it or not the Hyundai Santa Fe has been with us close on 14 years now.

The 2016 third generation model continues the obviously successful trend with more room, more performance and even better practicality – all hallmarks that will endear the new, five- and seven-seater Santa Fe to a growing number of South African followers who enjoy vehicle ownership of this type.

The 2016 model year Santa Fe R2.2 five-seater Elite uses a front-wheel drive system, while the R2.2 seven-seater Elite is equipped with an all-wheel drive system that can be locked when needed.

Buyers in this premium segment are given a choice between the front-wheel drive Santa Fe and the all-wheel drive derivative, both called Elite, incidentally.

When carrying more passengers becomes a priority, the Elite with their third row of seats that fold away into the cargo floor in the rear, offers another option to make it an even more versatile “beast of burden”.

Tweaked and upgraded, but available in only two derivatives, the latest Santa Fe model, only available in Elite spec, adopts the most recent Hyundai design features, with the signature hexagonal front grille and sharper profile visually uniting the range.

There’s newly designed 19” alloy wheels that accentuate the model’s refined lines while reinforcing the car’s status at the top of Hyundai Motor’s SUV line-up, while road presence is enhanced by new front and rear bumpers with redesigned fog and LED daytime running lights, framed with new silver trim.

Inside, Santa Fe remains a refined and comfortable place to be with updates to the console cluster and the navigation system presenting the car’s sophisticated image. The relationship between design and functionality continues throughout the cockpit where new material and exterior colours build on the premium quality that has become the hallmark of Hyundai’s flagship model.

Under the bonnet is a lusty 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel that’s capable of 145kW/436Nm of torque, featuring an advanced third-generation common-rail fuel injection system and a high efficiency electronic turbocharger, coupled to a six-speed auto gearbox that offers the option of manual gearshift.

This engine delivers CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of 198 g/km and eight litres/100km respectively in the 2WD five-seater Elite variant, and 206 g/km and 8.3 litres/100km in the All-Wheel Drive seven-seater Elite derivative.

Three driving modes can be selected - Sport, Normal and Eco. The normal driving mode is selected by default, and the Sport or Eco mode can be chosen by pressing a switch on the instrument panel right of the steering wheel. In Eco mode the gears shift slightly earlier to effect more frugal fuel consumption in a car that can boast with a figure of as low as 7.3 litres/100km on the open road.

- Wheels24.

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