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Following hot on the heels of sister company’s launch of the all-new Kia Sorento comes Hyundai’s Santa Fe. Although from the outside the face-lifted 7-seat SUV may still look very similar to the existing car, the array of technical changes makes the new Santa Fe very competitive.

For those of you that don’t know, it’s worth mentioning that the Kia Sorento is basically the same car. As a result the majority of changes for the new Santa Fe are nearly identical to that of the Sorento. Although the Santa Fe has a more established reputation and fan base.

Take the all-new ‘R’ series diesel engine for example, with 145kW and 436Nm of torque (421Nm on manual), it’s the exact same output as the Sorento. Unlike Kia, Hyundai will offer the new Santa Fe only in diesel.

2010-Hyundai-Santa-Fe-22

The new Santa Fe range is available with either a six-speed manual or auto. The impressive diesel engine is coupled to a new Kia/Hyundai developed 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency has gone down to 6.7 litres/100 km  for the manual and 7.5L/100km for the automatic.

Despite being heavier than the Sorento, at the time of writing both cars are in the last stages of the Global Green Challenge, which has seen the sister companies compete in a gruelling six day drive over 3,000km between Darwin and Adelaide. Insider sources told CarAdvice that on the last day of the challenge the lead Kia Sorento is beating the lead Santa Fe by just 2 litres (over 3000km).

“The latest Santa Fe builds on its renowned practicality and economy,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Sales and Marketing Director, Kevin McCann. “Packed with features that encompass the gamut of driving desirables – performance, efficiency, comfort and five star safety – it undoubtedly sets new standards for value as an all-purpose 7-seat family SUV.”

The range of highlights for the new model include:

  • The all-new R-2.2 diesel engine delivering much better power and torque output in addition to reduced fuel consumption and CO? emissions.
  • 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
  • Five-star ANCAP safety rating.
  • Updated exterior and interior design.
  • Suspension which has been dynamically optimised for Australian road conditions.

From the outside the Santa Fe has received a new radiator grille with a flying chrome wing (also featured on the i30) as well as an updated front and rear bumper with a modified rear light cluster. New 17″/18″ alloys complete the cosmetic changes.

Step inside and you’ll find new carbon graphite style accents and “aluminium effect” finishes throughout the cabin. A more clear ‘supervision’ instrument cluster will also come on Elite and Highlander models. Leather trim will be standard on the top of the range Highlander variant.

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Two new interesting features are the emergency brake system and rollover sensors. Hyundai says the Santa Fe”s computers will detect when the driver has suddenly applied lots of pressure to the brakes in an emergency situation and automatically apply maximum brake pressure.

Although roll-over sensors are usually found in convertibles, the new Santa Fe’s computers will detect an imminent roll-over and pull the passengers back into their seat (seat belt pretensioners) and deploy side airbags.

There will be three variants on offer, SLX (from $37,990 MLP*), Elite ($43,990 MLP*) and Highlander ($48,490 MLP*).

CarAdvice is currently at the media launch event for the Santa Fe so check back in the next few days for the Hyundai Santa Fe Review.

New Santa Fe trim level comparison

SLX Elite Highlander
has the following features over and above the SLX trim has the following features over and above the SLX trim
R-series engine Coolbox Rear parking camera
ESP Stability Control + TCS Conversation mirror Leather seats
Front, side and curtain airbags Autolight control Front passenger power seat
Active front headrests Driver’s power seat In-dash 6 stacker CD / MP3
Back warning sensors Roof rails 18″ alloy wheels
6 spd transmissions 3rd row air con & heating Rain sensing wipers
Cruise control Supervision cluster Sunroof
Electric heated outside mirrors Push button smart key Electro-chromatic mirror
iPod® and USB connectivity Leather steering wheel & TGS Electric folding mirrors
Steering wheel audio controls Full auto climate control Deluxe door scuffs
Rear map lamps Chrome door handles
Rear spoiler
17″ alloy wheels
Front foglamps
Tweeter speakers

New Santa Fe range – manufacturer’s list prices:

  • New Santa Fe 7 seat SLX R-2.2 turbo Diesel 6-speed manual $37,990 MLP*
  • New Santa Fe 7 seat SLX R-2.2 turbo Diesel 6-speed auto $39,990 MLP*
  • New Santa Fe 7 seat Elite R-2.2 turbo Diesel 6-speed auto $43,990 MLP*
  • New Santa Fe 7 seat Highlander 2.2 R turbo Diesel 6-speed auto $48,490 MLP*
  • Optional metallic/mica paint $375 MLP*

Note: *MLP includes GST, but excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges. On-sale date is December 1, 2009.




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