Hyundai Santa Fe - Introduction
Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has launched the third generation Santa Fe at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. The refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe is available in a single engine option - the third generation 2.2-litre CRDi engine equipped with e-VGT turbocharger – with prices starting from Rs 2,630,000 for the 2WD MT and going up to Rs 2,925,000 for the 4WD AT, (ex-showroom, Delhi).
In India, the Hyundai Santa Fe will compete with the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Chevrolet Captiva. The quest to discover just how good the third generation Hyundai Santa Fe has fared took us all the way from Kolkata to Kochi where we got behind the wheel of the 4WD AT and drove down from Kochi to Athirappilly and back. Read on to find out how it performed.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Design & Engineering
The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe embodies the ‘Storm Edge design’ derived from Hyundai’s Fluidic design philosophy which has found wide acceptability and admiration among the Indian car buyers.
Lay your eyes on the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe from the front and you will notice a distinctive new look with the bold three-bar hexagonal front grille flanked by striking headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The stylish chrome radiator grille and dual tone skid plates lend a sporty appearance to the SUV. The 18-inch 2-tone diamond cut alloy wheels further add sporty quotient to the overall look of the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Walk along the side of the third generation Santa Fe and you will witness two well pronounced character lines. One stretching between the front and rear wheel arch and the other begins just beside the front wheel arch and run right till the rear tail lamp. These prominent character lines are in perfect harmony with the SUV’s voluminous surfaces, and add masculinity in the appearance of the 2014 Santa Fe. The flared wheel arches and the side garnish adds an element of style to them.
The rear of the refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe features a contemporary looking LED rear combination lamps and large bumper reflectors. The LED rear spoiler, twin muffler and rear skid plate together definitely look stylish. The roof rail on the top adds functionality to the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
Ventilated disc on the front and solid disc at the rear ensure reassuring braking. The suspension set up of the Hyundai Santa Fe is car like comprising McPherson strut on the front (commonly used on front wheel drive vehicles) and multi-link at the rear. The suspensions are very well-tuned for Indian road conditions and deliver good handling and ride quality. The San ta Fe rides on 235/60 R18 tubeless tyres.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe is undoubtedly a good looking car and is sure to turn many heads on the road. It’s stylish, bold, and contemporary and will be available in five colour schemes – Sleek Silver, Stardust, Phantom Black, Pure White and Wine Red.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Interiors & Comfort
Step inside the third generation Hyundai Santa Fe and you are greeted with a premium and classy looking two-tone beige and brown interior. The new Santa Fe also offers a spacious cabin with generous head, leg and shoulder room for the front and second row passengers. However, the seating adults in the third row (which qualifies the Santa Fe as a 7-seater) will prove immensely challenging due to low height, and in my opinion are best reserved only for children.
The boot is generous enough to accommodate two regular size suitcases or duffle bags for those weekend getaways.
The third row seat is split 50:50 and can be folded flat to make space to fit in more luggage if the need shall arise.
The second row too offers a 40:20:40 split providing more flexibility for cargo storage. The second and third row seats can be reclined and fully folded for greater flexibility and additional cargo space hence providing a versatile seating arrangement.
The driver seat has a 12-way power adjustable system to suit different seating postures and preference. The remaining seat can be manually adjusted as per requirement.
The touch audio with MP3, USB, auxiliary input and Bluetooth function with 6 speakers impressive with sound quality. The air-conditioner cools adequately and was able to tackle Kochi’s heat with ease. Second and third row AC vents ensure comfort for all passengers. Fit and finish is praise-worthy and the plastic used looks premium and feels smooth to touch. When compared to the not-so-impressive interior of the Toyota Fortuner, the Santa Fe emerges a clear winner. Air cooled glove box means one has the option of storing beverages and eatables, especially during the Indian summer.
NVH levels are well contained with very little external noise being filtered into the passenger cabin, however, the clatter of the 2.2-litre CRDi engine above 2,000 rpm penetrates right through and starts feeling annoying after a point in time.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe also features steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped gear knob and steering wheel, multi-function door arm rest, tilt and telescopic steering, ergonomically positioned center fascia controls, rear centre arm rest cup holders, rear wash and wiper and rain sensing wipers as standard across model range. The 4WD AT that we tested also came with smart key with push start/stop function.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Performance & Handling
The new Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by the third generation 2.2-litre CRDi engine equipped with e-VGT turbocharger. This CRDi diesel motor is Hyundai’s ‘R’ series engine which delivers 197 PS of maximum power at 3,800rpm and churns out 420 Nm of peak torque between 1800-2500 rpm (MT) and 436 Nm at 1800-2500 rpm (AT). The engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or automatic transmission.
The Hyundai Santa Fe 4WD AT that we tested comes to life at the touch of the start/stop button. There is a significant clatter once the engine is fired but cruises smoothly and quietly till about 1,500 rpm beyond which the engine starts feeling a little gruff. Once you are revving past the 2,000 rpm, the motor becomes very noisy with substantial amount of clatter penetrating inside the cabin much to the discomfort of the passenger. In fact, there was greater engine noise while driving in the manual mode.
The is noticeable turbo lag till about the 1,800 rpm mark after which the engine gets into its comfort zone, responses well and deliver linear torque. Both handling and ride quality is good with a well-tuned suspension absorbing bumps and uneven stretches on the road. There is some amount of body roll as is almost inevitable with a SUV, but it is well contained and doesn’t unnerve the passenger. Never did the Santa Fe felt as if it was losing control or composure. The automatic transmission too shifted smoothly. Steering feedback, however, was unimpressive especially at high speed.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Fuel Efficiency
The refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe boasts of an ARAI-ratified mileage of 14.74 kmpl (MT) and 13.01 kmpl (AT), however, we didn’t get an opportunity to perform a proper fuel efficiency test during our Kochi to Athirappilly drive.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Safety
In terms of safety, the third generation Hyundai Santa Fe has quite a few features in its kitty. It comes equipped with ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESC (electronic stability control) and VSM (vehicle stability management) to ensure safety during panic braking. Other safety features like hill start assist and downhill brake control assists the driver in maintaining the vehicular control by preventing incline roll –back and steep forward movements. Santa Fe also offers is 6 airbags and brake assist (BA). Features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear view camera with touch audio display, rear parking sensors and engine immobilizer comes as standard across model range.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Verdict
The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe is definitely a looker and will attract attention on the road. The Santa Fe boasts of spacious interior with generous boot space. The two-tone beige-brown interior looks premium and classy. The air conditioner and integrated audio system too delivers impressively. Handling and ride quality are impressive with a well-tuned suspension set up and well contained body roll. Engine is quick and responsive once you overcome the initial turbo lag till the 1,500 rpm mark. The engine clatter once past the 2,000 rpm mark is definitely a turn off. Safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear view camera with touch audio display, rear parking sensors and engine immobilizer comes as standard across model range.
With the new Santa Fe, Hyundai has definitely offered a good overall package to premium SUV buyers; however, at Rs 2,925,000 for the 4WD AT, I feel that that third generation Santa Fe is too overpriced. Especially, with segment leader like the Toyota Fortuner (Rs 22.40 lakh for the base 4x2 MT and Rs 24.04 lakh for the top 4x4 AT trim) to combat, a more competitive pricing (between Rs 24-25 lakh) could well have been the winning strategy for Hyundai.
Hyundai Santa Fe - Competition Check
|Length x Width x Height (mm)||4690x1880x1690|
|Ground clearance (mm)||185|
|Fuel tank capacity (lt)||64|
|Engine & Transmission|
|Power (PS @ rpm)||197 @ 3,800|
|Torque (Nm @ rpm)||420 @ 1800-2500 (MT), 436 @ 1800-2500 (AT)|
|Gearbox||6 Speed MT, 6 Speed AT|
|Suspension & Brakes|
|Front suspension||MacPherson Strut Type|
|Rear suspension||Multi Link Type|
|Front brakes||Ventilated Type|
|Rear brakes||Solid Disc|
|Wheels & Tyres|
|Tyre size and type||235/60 R 18 Tubeless|
|Wheel size and type||R18 Alloy|
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