By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Hyundai has re-launched its flagship Santa Fe SUV on the South African market with updated styling and a raft of new active safety, comfort and convenience features, collectively listed as the Elite package.
It's available in a choice of two derivatives - a five-seater with front-wheel drive and a seven-seater with all-wheel drive that can be locked when needed.
They share a re-styled front treatment that emphasises the brand's signature hexagonal grille, in this case finished in chrome, over a new front bumper with redesigned fog and LED daytime running lights.
The neat silver trim elements and LED lighting are carried over to the rear, and the 'enhance' (Hyundai's word, not ours) Santa Fe rolls on new 17, 18 and 19 inch alloy rims.
Inside, the console cluster has been revised to combining an improved navigation system with premium sound in an easy-to-use interface. There's also 15mm more fore-and-aft travel built into the second row of seats, taking its range up to 270mm and allowing more rear legroom whenever the third row of seats and/or cargo bay aren't needed.
That cargo bay is now accessed via a power-operated tailgate, controlled from either the door itself or a button on the keyless entry fob. Either way, it also beeps a warning to anybody around to while it's opening or closing, which may save a few bumped heads - or shins!
A new 'smart' cruise control function maintains a set distance from slower-moving vehicles ahead by automatically decreasing speed, and then accelerates back up to your chosen cruising speed when the traffic opens up again.
The blind-spot detection system radar-scans the rear corners and, if a vehicle moves into the Santa Fe's blind spot, a little warning icon appears in the door-mirror on that side - and if you in ore it and switch on the indicators anyway, it beeps annoyingly to get your attention.
The same scanners also cover the rear of the car when it's in reverse, and if they detect any cross-traffic approaching you get both a 'visual alert' and an angry beeping immediately to discourage you from reversing out into the path of oncoming vehicles.
Both variants retain the proven 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel four, rated at 145kW and 436Nm, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Three driving modes can be selected: 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 to the right of the steering wheel. In Eco mode the gears shift slightly earlier to reduce fuel consumption.
In default mode, Hyundai quotes nominal fuel consumption of eight litres per 100km for the front wheel drive variant and 8.3 litres per 100km for the all-wheel drive seven-seater.
R2.2 FWD five-seater Elite - R659 900
R2.2 AWD seven-seater Elite - R699 900
These include a five-year or 150 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan.