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Year on year growth for the Hyundai Motor Company currently sees the brand sitting in third place with 10% market share. The launch of their new flagship Sante Fé model contends in the SUV segment and has the lions share segment of SA’s market standing at 34%. Their latest offering has just got better and will be the one to beat in this competitive segment. “The continuing improvements the Santa Fé has undergone over the past two decades demonstrate Hyundai’s commitment to developing quality products with the latest features for its customers, as is evident from this latest upgrade,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.

The latest Santa Fé is the fourth generation of the large sports utility vehicle and most certainly the flagship of Hyundai’s range in South Africa. At first sight you will notice the newly redesigned eye-catching ‘cascading grille’ which really separates it from its predecessors and gives the front a really powerful appearance. At the rear you will notice a wider lower stance thanks to new sculptured bumpers giving the impression of a more stable grounded look.

Two derivatives are on offer – the R2.2 Executive which has an upgraded turbodiesel engine and new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), together with the R2.2 Elite, which also boasts a 2,2-litre turbodiesel and 8-speed DCT transmission, but has an All-Wheel Drive option with several more luxury features.

The next-generation powertrain Smartstream R2.2 turbodiesel engine has a maximum output of 148 kW and maximum torque of 441 Nm. Compared to the previous engine generation, the new engine block consists of aluminium instead of iron, ensuring a weight reduction of 19,5 kg. The engine has been equipped with a new 2 200 bar injection system, improving overall engine performance.

It is also the first Hyundai SUV to be equipped with the newly developed Smartstream Wet 8DCT, a dual clutch transmission delivering quick eight-speed shifting and acceleration performance. It employs two clutches, one coupled to a shaft for odd-number and the other to the shaft for even-number gears. The 8DCT offers the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic transmission while enhancing efficiency over dry dual clutch transmissions.

A spacious interior with full leather seats and a new floating centre console demands attention in the new Sante Fé.  Wireless charging is now standard in the Sante Fé with an 8-inch infotainment system display with touchscreen functions and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support with the Elite variant offering a 12.3-inch LCD Super Vision Instrument Cluster for the driver.

The Sante Fé Elite model features Hyundai’s signature HTRAC four-wheel drive technology. HTRAC is a combination of the words “Hyundai” and “traction,” and the technology is intended to enable agile handling and better torque application depending on wheel grip and vehicle speed.

The pricing of the new Santa Fé range is; Santa Fé R2.2 Executive 8sp DCT – R769 500 and the Santa Fé R2.2 Elite 8sp DCT AWD – R869 500. The prices include a 7-year / 200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty; a 6-year / 90 000 km service plan; and roadside assistance over a period of 7 years or a distance of 150 000 km.

Story by Jay Groat