Hyundai reveals sleeker Santa Fe

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IOL mot ST apr5 santa fe h

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Large Korean softroader has been modernised in just about every respect.

The Hyundai revolution continues with the all-new Santa Fe SUV, which has a bolder and more elaborate style that continues the 'fluidic sculpture' design theme present on the smaller ix35.

For the first time, the Santa Fe will also be offered with a long-wheelbase option, the latter offering space for seven occupants.

Even the standard model is longer, lower and wider than the current model, although the 2700mm wheelbase has been retained.

While the South African range and launch timing has yet to be confirmed, the European range offers the choice between one petrol and two diesel engines. The most powerful of the turbodiesels is a 2.2-litre unit that offers 147kW and 431Nm, while the smaller version pushes 110kW and 382Nm. The 2.4-litre petrol option boasts direct fuel injection and an output of 142kW.

Buyers can also choose between manual and automatic transmission, both with six forward gears, and in typical 'softroader' fashion there's also a choice between front-wheel drive and permanent all-wheel drive.

Hyundai SUVs are renowned for their 'dead' steering feel but that may be about to change with this one thanks to a system Hyundai calls 'Flex Steer.' This device allows the driver to choose between 'normal', 'sport' and 'comfort' settings.

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Certain markets will also receive the option of a long-wheelbase seven-seat version.

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You can also expect it to offer a cushy ride, with a fully independent multi-link, self-levelling rear axle suspending the rear end.

Moving inside, this Hyundai caters well for the modern day gadget geek, with gizmos like radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and Hyundai's Smart Parking Assist System. The cabin also has more legroom and a bigger boot that boasts a class-leading luggage capacity of 534 litres.


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