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The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II seven-seater launches this week armed with a number of updates designed to keep it fresh against rivals such as its Kia Sorento cousin.

Arriving about three years into the current-generation Hyundai Santa Fe’s lifecycle, this upgrade brings some cabin and drivetrain revisions, new equipment and subtle styling tweaks in exchange for price increases of between $1500 and $2750 on all but the entry variant.

There’s also an impressive array of new safety equipment on the volume-selling flagship variant bound to appeal to family buyers, including autonomous brakes, radar-guided cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, automated parking assist and a rear cross-traffic alert system for crowded car parks.

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All variants within the range — comprising the price-leading Active, mid-range Elite, luxurious Highlander and, from January, the Series II SR performance variant — get subtly different bumpers and head/tail-light designs, plus a new-look grille.

Inside, all Santa Fe Series II variants get Siri Eyes-Free and Google Now advanced voice control systems, though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain unavailable for now due to issues with the licensing agreements.

The Active’s touchscreen grows to 7.0 inches, while the other versions get a larger 8.0-inch unit with new satellite navigation software. All versions get a new instrument cluster with digital speedo, new audio head unit and new trims (woodgrain on Active and matt carbon on Elite and Highlander).

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Under the bonnet, the volume-selling 2.2-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox gets a few tweaks. It now delivers 147kW at 3800 rpm (+2kW) and 440Nm between 1750 and 2750rpm (+4Nm).

Fuel economy is 6.3L/100km with the slow-selling manual gearbox (a 0.3L/100km improvement and 7.7L/100km with six-speed automatic (a 0.4L/100km improvement).

The Theta-II 2.4 GDi Petrol engine available only on the Active now delivers 138kW at 6000rpm and 241Nm at 4000rpm, which means a drop of 3kW/1Nm. This has nothing to do with fuel regulations, but is rather a consequence of changes the company says “deliver improved driveability and real world performance” lower in the rev band.

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Fuel economy with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions is 9.4L/100km, which is up 0.3L/100km. And so, the petrol is now less powerful and thirstier.

All versions send torque to the road via a front-biased, on-demand 4WD system with a full 50:50 torque-split lock mode available below 30km/h.

Santa Fe Series II carries over the locally focused suspension (MacPherson struts at front, multi-link independent at rear) and development work developed in-house by Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Sydney-based chassis and suspension tuning division.

Core specifications continue unchanged. The electric-assisted steering offers a decent 10.9-metre turning circle, the brake discs remain 320mm front/302mm rear and cargo space remains 516 litres with the third row of seats folded, and 1615L with the second row folded.

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Hyundai’s seven-seater staple continues to be one of the more popular offerings in the market, accounting for 5699 sales this year, up 5.2 per cent. This is enough for about 6 per cent market share, though it falls short of the Ford Territory (7623), Holden Captiva 7 (8847), Grand Cherokee (10,315), Subaru Outback (9184) and Toyota Kluger (11,427).

More impressive is the fact that 50 per cent of all versions sold are the top-of-the-range Highlander and SR versions, and fewer than one in four buyers goes for the base Active. This means the majority of Santa Fe models sold cost in excess of $60,000 on the road.

Servicing costs are quite reasonable for the class. Intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km (whichever comes first). The first three and the fifth visit costs $299 on the petrol, while the fourth visit at 60,000km comes $399. The first three and the fifth visit in the diesel will cost $379 at current rates, with the fourth set at $499 at this time.

Read our 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II review here.

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2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Series II pricing (plus on-road costs):

  • Santa Fe Active 2.4 GDi manual — $38,490 (no change)
  • Santa Fe Active 2.4 GDi auto — $40,990 (no change)
  • Santa Fe Active 2.2 CRDi manual — $41,490 (no change)
  • Santa Fe Active 2.2 CRDi auto — $43,990 (no change)
  • Santa Fe Elite 2.2 CRDi auto — $49,990 (up $1500)
  • Santa Fe Highlander 2.2 CRDi auto — $55,990 (up $2750)
  • Santa Fe SR 2.2 CRDi auto — Not yet announced (Series I was $59,990)

Santa Fe Series II Active

New features:

  • 3.5-inch mono TFT LCD centre display in instrument cluster
  • 7.0-inch touch screen audio system with MP3 capability and six speakers
  • Siri Eyes Free (iOS) and Google Now (Android) voice activation
  • Digital speedo

Existing features and equipment:

  • Seven airbags
  • Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Downhill Brake Control (DBC)
  • Hyundai Active Locking Operation
  • Reverse-view view camera
  • Rear sensors
  • Bluetooth (phone and audio streaming)
  • Driver’s seat electric lumbar support
  • Air conditioning front and rear
  • Roof rails
  • Premium steering wheel with audio controls
  • One-touch indicators
  • Projector beam dusk-sensing headlights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Cruise control
  • Driver one-touch auto
  • One touch flat-folding 2nd row seats
  • LED side repeater in side mirrors
  • Retractable cargo blind
  • Luggage net
  • 17-inch alloy wheels and 235/65 R17 tyres

Santa Fe Series II Elite specifications above Active

 New features:

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic
  • Premium Infinity 550W Logic7 audio system (six speakers, two tweeters, centre speaker, sub-woofer and external amplifier)
  • Auto dipping side mirrors
  • Dynamic parking guidelines on rear camera
  • Front parking sensors
  • Power front passenger’s seat
  • Driver’s memory seat
  • Satin chrome effect radiator grille

Existing features and equipment:

  • Leather-appointed interior
  • Automatic climate-control air-conditioning
  • Pushbutton start with proximity smart key
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Electronic Park Brake
  • Electrically adjusted driver’s seat
  • Supervision centre cluster with colour 4.2-inch TFT LCD centre display
  • Electro-chromatic (auto-dimming) rear-view mirror with compass
  • Solar control glass with rear privacy tint
  • Rear door curtain
  • Electric folding convex side mirrors
  • LED puddle lights with LED courtesy lights in front door handles
  • Electric heated side mirrors
  • Glovebox cooling
  • Cornering lights (static)
  • Chrome outside door handle
  • Stamped ‘Santa Fe’ Stainless steel scuff plates
  • 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/60 R18 tyres
  • Electric tailgate function

Santa Fe Series II Highlander above Elite specification

New features:

  • New reverse parking (90-degree) and exit modes for the Smart Parking Assist System
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Smart Cruise Control (SCC)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Existing features and equipment:

  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • HID Xenon headlights with washers
  • Front seat warmers
  • Rear seat warmers (outboard)
  • Ventilated front seats
  • LED rear combination lamp
  • 19-inch alloy wheels and 235/55 R19 tyres
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system
  • Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS)

Santa Fe Series II SR variant based in Highlander spec

  • Series II information not official, but expect:
  • Bodykit (front spoiler, side skirts and a rear diffuser)
  • 19-inch OZ Racing black alloy wheels
  • 235/55 Michelin Latitude Tourer tyres
  • Uprated Brembo brakes with red calipers
  • Stiffer springs sourced from H&R



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