Hyundai’s original crossover gets a thorough tech infusion
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe returns with completely redesigned sheetmetal and a full range of active safety tech to keep you and your family out of trouble. Refinement has been prioritized for the latest generation of this midsize crossover, and the Santa Fe feels polished. Here are 10 cool facts about the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, which is the direct successor to the 2018 Santa Fe Sport.
The 2019 Santa Fe features Hyundai’s latest crossover design language but by no means is the crossover simply a Kona that’s been sized up. The Santa Fe got its own unique design cues including vertically positioned headlights (the units at the top of the hood are actually daytime running lights; the headlights are lower on the front fascia), a grille pattern that resembles chain mail, and an upright greenhouse. The Santa Fe also doesn’t have as much contrasting cladding as the smaller Kona, giving the larger CUV a more mature look.
The 2019 Santa Fe features a new front seat design with varying levels of foam density to make it more supportive and comfortable. Denser foam is used in the side and thigh bolsters, for example, to help keep you in place when you’re taking a hard turn or making an emergency maneuver. Seat cushions and the lower seatbacks are made of medium density foam, and the upper seatback and thigh support use the softest foam for greater comfort.
The 2019 Santa Fe’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system can predict when and where you need more traction. The system uses sensors that analyze everything from driver input and the environment to powertrain activity and the stability control system to give you maximum traction. In Sport mode, it defaults to 65/35 front-to-rear initial split and can distribute power 50/50. The torque vectoring system uses the brakes to slow the inside wheel and improve cornering, but on gravel and dirt roads, it will allow you to get the car’s rear out and drift.
Regardless of the trim level you choose, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe comes standard with the Smart Sense suite of active safety features. This includes forward collision warning, front and rear automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control with start/stop tech. Additionally, Hyundai has upgraded its blind-spot monitoring system to intervene if you’re about to hit the vehicle next to you by steering you back into your lane.
Safe Exit Assist is Hyundai’s newest safety feature, and it helps ensure that rear seat occupants don’t get out of the car into oncoming traffic. Using the blind-spot monitoring sensors, the 2019 Santa Fe can detect oncoming traffic and locks the rear doors to keep occupants from exiting right into a passing vehicle.
Standard on the Santa Fe’s SEL Plus and higher trims, the Rear Occupant Alert system uses sensors within the cabin to detect if you left something behind in the car. Before you exit, the car will remind you to check the rear seats before you lock up. In case you didn’t check and the sensors detect movement inside after you’ve walked off, it will honk the horn to let you know you’ve left someone inside. Should that not be enough, the Santa Fe will send you a message and email via the Blue Link app to let you know you’ve left someone or something in the vehicle.
Getting on the road in the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe will be that much more comfortable thanks to its well-insulated interior. Hyundai added extra sound insulation pads throughout the body and reinforced the floor to ensure the cabin is as quiet as possible. There’s also increased use of laminated glass for the windshield and windows to keep as much noise as possible out.
A 12-speaker Infinity surround sound system comes standard on the SEL Plus and higher trims. With 630 watts, this audio system provides power and clarity all in one package. Clari-Fi music tech is said to restore detail and fidelity to the music files you’re streaming or playing from a flash drive so they sound clearer and crisper.
Hyundai takes advantage of the fact that it manufactures its own steel by using it liberally on the Santa Fe and other vehicles. The 2019 Santa Fe’s body is made up of 67 percent high-strength steel, an increase of 14 percent over the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. To make the 2019 model even more rigid, Hyundai also used 45 percent more structural adhesive, increasing it from 266 feet to 386 feet. This is said to allow the car to perform better during a crash, all while minimizing overall weight.
Having a reconfigurable interior is one of the most important parts of buying a crossover, and Hyundai hasn’t forgotten that. The rear seats split 60/40 on all models, and in higher grades a button lets you fold them from the cargo area. They also slide forward and back independently of each other, allowing you plenty of options when it’s time to mix and match people and cargo. There are also two underfloor storage bins for small items you want to keep out of sight. The upcoming diesel model will have a small third row.