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    Drew Dowdell

    Hyundai Shows the Revised 2015 Sonata in New York

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      The current Hyundai Sonata was a resounding success, Hyundai hopes to keep that momentum going.


    At the New York Auto Show today, Hyundai introduced the 7th generation of their mid-size Sonata sedan. After the revolutionary change the previous version brought, Hyundai has adopted a more evolutionary design. Billed as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the 2015 Sonata has been refined further and the look brought more in line with the upper end of the Hyundai family, the Genesis luxury sedan.

    Hyundai addresses concerns of road noise and vibration with increased usage of sound deadening materials in the firewall and floorpan. Under the car is a fibrous glass board that improves aerodynamics and further reduces noise.

    Improvements in interior packaging bump the passenger volume up to 106.1 cu. ft. which is 3 cu. ft. larger than the next largest mid-size competitor, the Honda Accord. This increase in room earns the Sonata an EPA size rating of Large-Car.

    The suspension in all Sonatas has been re-tuned and reinforced for better ride and handling while the 2.0 Turbo models receive further tuning for a sportier feel.

    Powertrains are largely carryover with slight revisions in tuning. Peak horsepower for the standard 2.4 liter 4-cylinder has been reduced to 185 to improve responsiveness at lower RPM while the 2.0 Turbo, now sporting 245 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque, has a smaller turbine and compressor to reduce turbo lag.

    Hyundai has been making strong inroads lately against the long-time stalwarts of Camry and Accord. The 6th generation Sonata was released in 2011 and Hyundai is keeping the pressure up by bringing out a revised model in rapid succession.

    Press Release After The Jump

    Source: Hyundai Media


    NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 – Hyundai today introduced its all-new seventh-generation 2015 Sonata at the New York International Auto Show. Following the incredible success of the outgoing Sonata, the all-new generation offers a more refined look through a new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, stiffer body structure, better ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness and advanced safety and convenience features. Sonata truly democratizes the premium design and convenient technology of the Genesis sedan for the mid-size class. The new 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be built at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, Ala. and go on sale early this summer.

    EXTERIOR DESIGN

    The 2011 Sonata raised the bar for design in the mid-size sedan segment when it was introduced in 2009. Consumers noticed the groundbreaking design and so did the competition. Sonata’s design matures for the 2015 model year with energetic and crisp lines complimented by smooth and subtle surfaces. Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 is a confident evolution of the original fluidic sculpture design language that perfectly expresses Sonata’s premium look and excellent value.

    A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake defines the face of the 2015 Sonata. Simple, harmonious lines adorn the exterior while hinting at the improved dynamic performance and human-machine connection Sonata provides. Taut, horizontal rocker panels reflect the chassis’ increased stability and surefootedness while the signature Sonata beltline is now stretched tight to accentuate the sedan’s strength. The coupe-like roofline remains, but it is balanced by a larger window graphic that emphasizes the roomier interior. Horizontal lines in the rear underscore Sonata’s width and give the car a planted look. This purposeful shape achieves a remarkable drag coefficient of just 0.27, lower than any non-hybrid in the mid-size sedan class.

    Shoppers looking for a traditional design will appreciate the 2015 Sonata SE’s exterior styling that includes standard LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler and chrome surround for the day light opening. Sonata Limited adds rocker panel extensions and dual exhaust for a premium look.

    Sonata Sport features a more aggressive front grille and bumper, side rocker extensions and side chrome molding. Sport models powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine feature dual exhaust while Sport 2.0T models feature a unique rear bumper fascia, quad exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport model is expected to be the most popular Sonata. With the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T, performance is something you taste and the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language certainly whets the appetite.

    “We crafted the shape of the 2015 Sonata in the same way an award-winning chef refines his recipe over the years,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai took the mid-size sedan from a meal to a gourmet dinner. The evolution to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’s more taut, modern lines reflect the improvements in refinement and driving dynamics for 2015.”

    INTERIOR DESIGN

    Confident, energetic lines define the 2015 Sonata’s exterior and are complimented inside the cabin by a premium interior with a special emphasis on ergonomics. Intuitive buttons and controls are placed on the center stack, which is angled toward the driver to make the controls easier to reach. Hyundai’s core interior design principles are safety, intuitiveness and simplicity and Sonata delivers in spades.

    Controls are grouped logically and placed in the most convenient position for the driver. To create a unified experience inside the cabin, designers met with various suppliers to make sure all buttons and switchgear have a consistent feel. The height of the display screen for the audio display or 8-inch navigation system and instrument cluster are optimized for visibility and reside on the same plane to enhance readability during a quick glance. These ergonomic enhancements help the driver remain focused on the road ahead and provide confidence behind the wheel.

    All components inside the cabin were examined and opportunities for improvement were taken very seriously. Even the steering wheel went through extensive testing to determine the ideal diameter, shape and tactile feel to maximize driver confidence. Improvements in the design of the steering wheel and changes to the layout of the instrument cluster necessitated a new steering column design. Designers and engineers sweated every detail in their quest to make the interior as safe, intuitive and simple as possible while delivering convenient features with pleasing aesthetics.

    Sonata Sport 2.0T receives a unique interior that enhances its more dynamic personality. A D-cut steering wheel and paddle shifters help provide the confidence enthusiastic drivers expect while the sport instrument cluster with six o’clock needle position hints at the improved performance from the more responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

    Reducing undesired noise inside the cabin was a top priority for the 2015 Sonata. Engineers reduced the size of the apertures in the bulkhead and increased use of sound deadening materials in the dashboard to prevent unwanted noise from entering the cabin. Engine notes were tuned to be pleasing to the ear without being intrusive. More sound absorption materials are used under the floorpan and an underbody tray made of fibrous glass expansion board improves aerodynamics while reducing unwanted road noise.

    The 2015 Sonata’s efficient packaging delivers outstanding passenger and interior volume. With 106.1 cu. ft. of passenger volume and a total interior volume of 122.4 cu. ft., 2015 Sonata is classified as a large car by the EPA.

    ADVANCED HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL PLATFORM

    A rigid platform is essential for a great car. Everything from ride quality to crash test performance is enhanced with a stiffer platform. The 2015 Sonata uses advanced high-strength steel for more than 50 percent of total platform composition, which results in 41 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 35 percent greater bending strength. Advanced high strength steel is twice as rigid as traditional steel while weighing 10 percent less. More hot-stamped components are used, especially in the B-pillar area.

    A revised multilink rear suspension design enhances responsiveness, handling and stability while reducing impact harshness. Dual lower suspension arms replace the old single-arm design and distribute lateral forces more effectively to improve ride quality without sacrificing handling. The new rear suspension geometry helps keep Sonata more stable under hard braking and helps provide shorter stopping distances.

    Reinforced side and cross members strengthen sub-frame mounting points and improve suspension responsiveness. Revised front sub-frame bushings are 17 percent stiffer than before and contribute to better steering feel and improved responsiveness. 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T utilizes a new rack-mounted dual-pinion electric power steering system that offers more natural steering feel. Sport 2.0T models receive a unique sport-tuned suspension and larger 12.6-inch front brakes. These upgrades deliver increased driver confidence and a premium driving experience.

    Improvements in ride and handling were validated at Hyundai’s world-class facilities in Namyang, the Mojave proving grounds in California and the new test center located at the famed Nurburgring. Validating the 2015 Sonata’s performance at world-class test tracks resulted in a world-class mid-size sedan that inspires confidence in a wide variety of driving conditions.

    POWERTRAIN

    Hyundai continues its all four-cylinder engine lineup for the 2015 Sonata. A revised 2.4-liter Theta II GDI four-cylinder engine powers SE, Limited and Sport models. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 178 lb. ft. of torque. Hyundai’s powertrain engineers slightly reduced peak power for the 2015 Sonata to shift the powerband downward for better responsiveness in lower-RPM situations where customers spend the majority of their time. The new Electronic Intake Continuously Variable Valve Timing (E-CVVT) improves performance in low temperatures and reduces emissions.

    A revised 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI, also featuring E-CVVT, powers Sport 2.0T models. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also optimized for lower-RPM drivability and it produces 245 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque. The turbocharger features a smaller turbine and compressor wheel, which provide better responsiveness and more torque in the low and mid RPM range. Both Theta engines are paired with a six-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission.

    SAFETY FEATURES

    Sonata comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag designed to help prevent the driver from sliding down the seat in a collision, which allows the other restraint systems to be more effective. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display are also standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps are available.

    Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the 2015 Sonata to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure Warning System are all available in this midsize sedan.

    Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. This Lane Change Assist technology is a segment-exclusive active safety feature. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Departure Warning System uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning light on the dashboard illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.

    Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another feature derived from the 2015 Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the 2015 Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers utilize the active safety technology.

    CONVENIENT TECHNOLOGY

    The 2015 Sonata embodies Hyundai’s Modern Premium brand direction by providing convenient technology formerly reserved for luxury sedans in the mid-size segment without the premium price tag. Switching the high beams on and off manually doesn’t seem like a hassle, but Sonata’s High Beam Assist allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road and let the headlamps deliver maximum visibility without accidentally blinding oncoming traffic. Bright LED daytime running lights give the 2015 Sonata’s face a premium look. Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with full stop capability helps make driving on the freeway less stressful. This system allows full function down to zero mph to operate seamlessly using the front-grille-mounted radar sensor. SCC enables the 2015 Sonata to help maintain safer, consistent spacing with the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions.

    Smart trunk gives drivers a convenient hands-free way to open the trunk while keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground. The owner simply needs to approach the Sonata’s trunk with the key fob in a purse or pocket and wait three seconds. The trunk will automatically open, making it easy to place groceries or luggage inside when hands are full. Rear seat passengers are treated to segment-exclusive sunshades, an option typically found on luxury cars. Feedback from current Sonata owners resulted in a height-adjustable passenger seat and now both front seats can be heated and ventilated. Even rear-seat passengers enjoy the luxury of heated seats on a cold day. A heated steering wheel will be a favorite feature for owners of the 2015 Sonata Limited equipped with the Tech package. The desire to deliver class-above value allows these convenient technologies to trickle down from the all-new Genesis to the all-new Sonata making it the most sophisticated mid-size sedan available.

    MULTIMEDIA

    All 2015 Sonatas come standard with iPod®/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM® satellite radio and Bluetooth® phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include an 8.0-inch navigation system with downloadable apps, HD radio, Dimension or 400-watt Infinity premium audio systems with next-generation Blue Link® telematics.

    Hyundai’s 8.0-inch navigation system offers an enhanced display with improved touch sensitivity, a map and music split screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets 1-6. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer. Rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on a sports broadcast. SiriusXM Travel Link®provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. All 2015 Sonatas equipped with navigation will also support Pandora® and SoundHound applications as well as “Eyes Free” Siri integration, which allows drivers to perform a variety of functions without taking their eyes off the road. Apple CarPlay will take iPhone integration to the next level on the 2015 Sonata later this year.

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    I like the evolutionary look on the outside. Much better than the Honda or Toyota auto's.

    Interior is nice but slab bland. I am sure for people who like a utilitarian auto to get from point a to b this will win hands down.

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    Yep, looks too much like a Kia, I like the old one better. The rear taillights look similar to any Toyota or Ford, it seems like tail lights of all cars are looking like that. The interior is improved, less plasticy and more traditional styling, not so alien-futuristic with the all the vertical trapezoids in the old car. I like the flat bottom steering wheel and the center console looks more upscale. I'd say interior is better, exterior is worse, engines have less power, but that might not be noticeable in every day driving and maybe they got another 1 mpg out of it.

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    I haven't looked up specs, but I wonder if weight increased much with all of that sound deadening material they added. Their old claim to fame was having one of the lightest cars in the segment while offering a lot of room...but all the road noise would make you deaf. Now they (maybe) fixed the road noise issue, but is it still the lightest in the segment?

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    I haven't looked up specs, but I wonder if weight increased much with all of that sound deadening material they added. Their old claim to fame was having one of the lightest cars in the segment while offering a lot of room...but all the road noise would make you deaf. Now they (maybe) fixed the road noise issue, but is it still the lightest in the segment?

    I think it might be the same case as the next-generation Genesis where it gained weight,

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    I come back to to sound isolation issue again, it was one of my big issues with the outgoing car, if they really cure this, it would be another big step forward for Hyundai but in a less visible way.

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    turditic sculpture.

    that new interior makes GM's interiors of the past look luxurious. that new interior is reprehensible.

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      Aerodynamics
      The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:
      Bumper lip Front- and rear-wheel deflectors Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay Center floor undercover Rear undercover Digital Key
      Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  
      Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. 
      Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
      Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
      By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
      Convenience Technology
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   
      The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
      SmartSense Safety Technologies
      Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard) Highway Driving Assist (optional)
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Model Sales
      Vehicle
      Dec-19
      Dec-18
      2019 YTD
      2018 YTD
      Accent
      2,311
      3,830
      25,628
      29,090
      Elantra
      18,720
      15,076
      175,094
      200,415
      Ioniq
      1,164
      1,275
      19,574
      15,076
      Kona
      6,678
      8,319
      73,326
      47,090
      Nexo
      15
      8
      267
      44*
      Palisade
      5,654
      0
      28,736
      0
      Santa Fe
      10,350
      11,347
      127,373
      117,038
      Sonata
      7,105
      8,705
      87,466
      105,118
      Tucson
      11,224
      15,384
      137,381
      142,263
      Veloster
      712
      1,161
      12,849
      10,871
      Venue
      787
      0
      1,077
      0
       
      Dec-19
      Dec-18
      2019 YTD
      2018 YTD
      Hyundai
      64,720
      65,107
      688,771
      667,634
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
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