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Hyundai has introduced the fourth-generation of its Sante Fe to the South African market.
The Korean brand has opted to only make one engine option available to local buyers, but the new Sante Fe is generously equipped with luxury and tech features.
As a design statement, the Sante Fe is very bold. It has thin rectangular headlamps and a huge hexagonal pattern grille. The cabin architecture uses an array of materials and textures, with sweeping shapes and impressive tactile quality.
Although the Sante Fe user interface is comprehensively digitized, as one would expect from a Korean vehicle, Hyundai’s designers have retained a generous allocation of traditional buttons for most functions.
If you want to embrace the fully digital cabin experience, there is inductive charging, screen-mirroring, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — managed via an 8-inch infotainment screen. The Sante Fe is also a true seven-seater vehicle.
An oddity of Sante Fe’s drivetrain is the absence of a shifter, to control its eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. You select ‘drive’, ‘neutral’ or ‘reverse’ with three individual buttons, mounted low on the centre console. This configuration does free up a lot of small-item stowage space between the seats, but it will require some muscle memory to master.
That said, the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is an impressive offering from Hyundai. It delivers very swift shifts and makes the most of Sante Fe’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine.
With 148kW and 440Nm, the Sante Fe is adequately powerful to pass slower heavy traffic without bother.
Hyundai Sante Fe price in South Africa
Hyundai is marketing its Sante Fe R2.2 Executive for R769 500. This version tallies screen-mirroring software, wireless smartphone charging, rear-view camera functional, and heated/ventilated front seats among its standard features. It also only drives the front wheels.
If your Korean luxury SUV budget extends to R869 500, you can buy the R2.2 Elite (which is all-wheel drive) for superior tracking stability on gravel roads and slippery surfaces.
The Sante Fe R2.2 Elite also adds a panoramic sunroof and has a 12.3-inch LCD instrumentation panel.
Feature image: Hyundai