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Having launched the Santa Fe model in South Africa some 18 years ago, the fourth generation of this SUV hit the local market at the end of last year in gorgeous style. With over 5 000 units sold nationally to date, this latest version with best-in-class safety, space, comfort and style is a pillar of importance in the Hyundai brand image.

Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai Motor Group’s new design chief is responsible for the new-generation look which is modern and elegant. The model now fits in with the new SUV-family look.

The new-generation Santa Fe is introduced in South Africa in three derivatives:

Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic (with front-wheel drive);

Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic (with front-wheel drive); and

Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic (with HTRAC all-wheel drive).

The new-generation Santa Fe features an advanced four-wheel drive system in the Elite derivative with an enhanced torque application depending on wheel grip and the speed of vehicle, called HTRAC. Hyundai’s next generation all-wheel-drive technology controls the torque distribution and braking power of the front and rear wheels variably. It supports drivers in all kinds of driving situations, whether on slippery roads or in regular road conditions, and enhances stability in cornering.

The power for the new Santa Fe’s drivetrain comes from the proven 2,2-litre CRDi engine that delivers 142 kW maximum power and 440 Nm maximum torque. Even though the model is a large size, the fuel economy is brilliant. A more rigid body has been made possible with high strength steel. Hot stamping has been applied with larger weld diameters helping in collisions.

Being a family car, safety is critical. Hyundai added some industry firsts, like the Rear Occupant Alert, to make sure you know that there is a rear passenger seated at the back – the third row – when leaving the car. The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist – a standard feature in the Executive and Elite derivatives – is a Hyundai first, too. When reversing out of areas with low visibility, the system not only warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side – it also applies the brakes automatically. The Executive and Elite also boasts a Blind Spot Detection system.

The Safety Exit Assist, also standard in the Executive and Elite derivatives, prevents accidents when vehicles approach from behind by temporarily locking the doors before being opened, so that passengers will exit the car safely.

Prices start at R599 900 and include Hyundai Automotive SA’s 7-year/200 000km warranty and 5-year/90 000km service plan.

Story by Claire Macfie