What Is It?
Hyundai chose Geneva for the initial auto-show roll out of its 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, first shown a week or two earlier in South Korea. Called the New Grand Santa Fe in Europe, it will just be called the Santa Fe here. It will replace the current Santa Fe Sport. What we know as the 3-row Santa Fe will be called the Santa Fe XL for at least the next year until its replacement pops on the scene. Yes, we’re a little confused, too.
What you need to know is that the 2019 Santa Fe is a 5-passenger crossover. It’s total length has increased 2.7 inches, stretched over a wheelbase that’s longer by 2.5 in. This translates into a cabin bigger in every dimension. There’s more cargo space, too.
Hyundai reimagined the exterior styling on all sides. The most dramatic change is up front, where a bold interpretation of the new familial grille is flanked by large headlights just above the top of the bumper. Those thin lights where you would expect the headlights to be are actually LED daytime running lights. Hyundai amped up safety and driver-assist technology.
Making a return appearance are the 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 235-hp 2-liter 4-cylinder turbo engines. They’re joined by a new 197-hp 2.2-liter turbo diesel. All three will turn either the front or, when optioned, all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The government hasn’t weighed in on mileage numbers yet.
No pricing yet, but probably more than the $25,930 for the current base Santa Fe Sport.
When Can I Get It?
Probably this summer.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because …
From all appearances, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a somewhat upmarket remake of what has been a sturdy and reliable smaller crossover. Only now it’s slightly larger and roomier on the inside. Although diesels are falling out of vogue in favor of a number of electric schemes, we think the diesel here may be a simple way to squeeze a few more miles per gallon out of this vehicle. Oh, and there’s that great warranty, too.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Honda CR-V — Peppy turbo, plenty of cargo room, comfy passenger space and solid reliability.
2018 Mazda CX-5 — Good fuel economy, compelling styling, sporty handling and up-scale cabin.
2019 Jeep Cherokee — Totally redesigned, segment-leading off-road capability and new turbo engine.
2018 Chevrolet Equinox — Diesel option, available Wi-Fi hotspot, strong infotainment system and redesigned for 2018.