The range that Hyundai offers for its ‘top’ Santa Fe SUV, only in the seven-seater XClass version, is really interesting because it ranges – in line with the new needs of the market – from diesel to plug-in hybrid through a variant. ‘traditional’ hybrid, i.e. with recharging only through regenerative braking. This is the Santa Fe CRDi (price list from 56,000 euros) with the brand new 2.2-liter Smartstream diesel that provides 202 Hp and 404 Nm of torque with even lower fuel consumption and emissions than the previous 197 Hp 2.2.
In turn, the Phev version – just launched starting at 61,000 euros – has 265 Hp and 350 Nm of torque, with a 66.9 kW electric unit and 13.8 kWh battery combined only with all-wheel drive. The ‘heart’ of the offer is represented by the 230 HP Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI Hev, also only in a 4WD variant. A ‘full hybrid’ SUV, therefore, which offers all the advantages of electrification, and above all of hybrid homologation, but without the stress of having to connect to a socket and with a lower weight.
This generation of Santa Fe, it should be remembered, also brings the H-Trac all-wheel drive with Terrain Mode selector to its debut, a feature that really makes the difference when you go from asphalt to surfaces with less grip and the Hyundai SUV proves to be height of models that boast a greater off-road emblem.
Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI Hev does not differ, from the point of view of aesthetics, finishes and equipment, from the other variants and confirms Hyundai’s precise desire to move up the positioning of this model, a true ‘premium’ all within the range of the Korean manufacturer. This is demonstrated by many characteristic elements of the exterior – such as many elements in black piano – and above all the high perceived quality.
The high level of equipment includes as standard the leather interior (extended with a pleasant effect to a part of the dashboard), the panoramic roof, the electrically adjustable front seats and the electrically operated tailgate.
While traveling, you can appreciate the functionality of the 12.3-inch instrument cluster – which also houses the Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) system with vision of the two cameras covering the blind spots on the sides – and that of the 10.25-inch touchscreen display. for infotainment but also for viewing the various external cameras. Well integrated into the new dashboard design, these elements – as well as the redesigned center console – raise the level of the man / machine ratio even higher. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity is provided, while if you use the Hyundai Bluelink telematics system you can access the Live services, which are really useful.
Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI Hev can also be reached remotely through the Bluelink App: it is possible to locate your vehicle, lock and unlock it with your smartphone or view information on the condition of the car, such as the fuel level. And the electronics are also crucial to make the Korean SUV driving safe and comfortable in every situation. This is the case of the autonomous emergency braking system with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist recognition (FCA) which includes the Junction Turning function which increases the level of protection against potential collisions at intersections. There are also Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) and Safe Exit Assist (SEA).
Passed with flying colors, even in conditions of intense use of torque and power, the Santa Fe full hybrid powertrain which combines the new 1.6-liter Smartstream T-GDi direct injection turbo petrol engine and an electric unit from 44.2 kW, connected to a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The new 1.6-liter Smartstream T-GDi engine is the first to use Hyundai’s new Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology and features LP EGR (Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation) for further optimize efficiency.
In slower traffic, the Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI Hev is perfectly at ease, thanks to the help of the electric ‘machine’ in start & stop and the presence of a new generation 6-speed automatic gearbox that highlights a smoother operation . Santa Fe is also the first Hyundai SUV in Europe to be equipped with the Terrain Mode selector, a control technology that allows you to optimize performance on different terrains by selecting the program by turning the appropriate knob. These modes are added to those already existing on the model – Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sport – to emphasize the true SUV soul of the latest generation of Santa Fe.