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William Maley

Quick First Drive: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

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A few weeks back, I attended an event at Hyundai’s technical center which resides outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The reason for my visit was to get a preview of what they’ll be showing at the LA Auto Show (which I’ll be able to talk about later today once the NDA lifts). But Hyundai also offered the chance to drive some of their latest products on a small drive route. I had the chance to drive three models; the Santa Fe, Kona, and Veloster. 

A quick note about this first drive report. You will not get any impressions on the handling of the three models. The short drive was mostly made up of straight roads around the technical center. You’ll need to wait until I can my hands on the vehicles for a week-long evaluation to see how they fare in the bends.

First up is the Santa Fe.

  • I’m quite impressed with the work done on the Santa Fe’s exterior as it has much more presence on the road than the Santa Fe Sport it replaces. The square shape is accentuated by a more aggressive grille and a more upright rear end. One downside to the new look is the raised belt line, which reduces the overall glass area and makes the interior feel slightly cramped.
  • Step inside and Hyundai has taken a huge leap forward here. A lot of their current interiors tend to focus more on utility and having controls in easy reach. The Santa Fe adds a bit of style with rounded edges, sculpted sides for the driver and passenger, and brushed metal accents. One nice touch in the Ultimate is a contrasting roofline that looks and feels like a piece of soft linen. One item that hasn’t changed is the controls. They are still easy to find and operate.
  • The front seats are quite comfortable and offer a number of power adjustments to help dial in the perfect position. The rear seat is massive with loads of head and legroom, even with the optional panoramic sunroof.
  • A 2.4L four-cylinder with 185 horsepower serves as the base engine, while a more powerful 2.0L turbo-four pumping out 235 horsepower is available on the higher-end Limited and Ultimate. An eight-speed automatic is standard on either engine, and you do have the choice of either front or Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system.
  • I drove the turbo-four with AWD and found it to be a bit underwhelming. The issue is the noticeable delay with power delivery when leaving from a stop or accelerating suddenly from a low cruising speed. I can’t fully tell if this due to the tuning of the engine, transmission, or combination of the two. It is quite the shame because the engine really shows it has punch when making a pass. 
  • Ride quality is towards the top of the class as the suspension is able to smooth out most rough road surfaces. Road and wind noise are well-muted.
  • There’s a lot to like about the 2019 Santa Fe with its new look inside and out; spacious interior, and smooth ride. The turbo engine does sour my initial impression and has me wondering if you should wait a year until picking the turbo engine. Those who have driven the 2.4L say the engine is slightly sluggish, but I would take that over the mess that is the turbo-four.

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided Breakfast, Lunch, and the Santa Fe for this Event.

Gallery: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Year: 2019
Make: Hyundai
Model: Santa Fe
Engine: 2.4L 16-Valve DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder or Turbocharged 2.0L CVVT DOHC Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front or All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 (2.4); 235 @ 6,000 (2.0T)
Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 (2.4); 260 @ 1,450-3,500 (2.0T)
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 (2.4 FWD), 21/27/23 (2.4 AWD), 20/25/22 (2.0T FWD), 19/24/21 (2.0T AWD)
Curb Weight: 3,591 - 4,085 lbs
Base Price: $24,750 - $38,800


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This vehicle intrigues me but the turbo should really be a much better engine than you suggest... why did they mess it up so bad

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      Hyundai’s attempts at building a three-row full-size crossover has been quite difficult. Previous attempts either were slightly too small or didn’t sell. The company is hoping their upcoming Palisade will be able to change their fortunes.
      The Palisade is the largest crossover Hyundai has ever offered with an overall length of 196.1 inches, width of 77.8 inches, and a wheelbase of 114.2 inches. That puts it right in the middle of other three-row full-size crossovers like the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, and Volkswagen Atlas. It certainly looks much better than the outgoing Santa Fe it replaces due it part to a large front grille and squared off rear. I really liked the rear window treatment on the side as it reminds me of GM’s full-size SUVs. 
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      The Palisade comes with seating for eight as standard with second-row captain chairs as an option. The second-row provides very good head and legroom. The third-row is a bit of a different story. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough due to the narrow opening provided when the second-row seat is moved. Once you get into the rear-most seat, headroom is decent. But legroom can vary from adequate to non-existent depending how far back the second-row seat is set. I’m 5’8” and found my legs were pressed against the backside of the seat.
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      The Palisade will be available at dealers next summer.
      Gallery: 2020 Hyundai Palisade
      Source: Hyundai


      All-New 2020 Hyundai Palisade Mid-size SUV Makes its Global Debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
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      “The new 2020 Hyundai Palisade clearly evokes design imagery worthy of Hyundai’s flagship SUV, with new levels of all-road, all-weather capability, technology, safety, roominess and efficiency, all packaged in cutting-edge design,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “This new Hyundai SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for practical, comfortable daily use and memory-making road trips whenever the appeal of the open road should beckon.”
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      HEADS-UP DISPLAY    
      Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, Palisade’s available Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, helping the driver to better keep his or her eyes on the road. The feature uses a system of mirrors combined with a full-color TFT LCD display and features adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, speed limits, Lane Following Assist and audio system data is projected at an ideal virtual distance for maximum legibility.
      Palisade also offers a sophisticated Driver Talk in-car intercom system with rear seat conversation and sleep modes. This system allows the driver to communicate separately with the second and/or third rows of the vehicle via the Palisade audio system in a conversation mode. The system also includes a Rear Sleep Mode that allows the driver’s row to listen to their selected audio without that same audio being transmitted to the second- and third-row audio speakers, so that potentially sleeping passengers will not be disturbed.
      Palisade design seeks a very high perception of openness and exceptional visibility with a large, fixed-glass rear sunroof opening, wide rear seating rows and a generous, reconfigurable rear cargo area. All rear access areas have been ergonomically designed for ease of family access, with an available power rear-folding, unfolding and reclining third-row seatback. Palisade is larger in every exterior dimension than Santa Fe XL and Toyota Highlander.
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      POWERTRAIN
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      HTRAC® WITH SNOW MODE
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      SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
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      Hyundai’s standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) enhances driver awareness to the rear of the Palisade. Using the Blind Spot Detection system’s radar sensors when backing up, the system can not only warn the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side, it also applies the brakes automatically.
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      The Palisade also features a standard Safe Exit Assist system. To enhance the safety of Hyundai’s passengers, Safe Exit Assist uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster will alert the driver. In addition, if the driver attempts to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock feature, Safe Exit Assist will override the driver and ensure the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed. Once the road is clear, the driver can then deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock and successfully unlock the rear passenger doors.
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      Palisade has a very rigid structure, with strategic use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) in key suspension and crash areas to provide increased tensile-strength. Use of Advanced High Strength Steel has several benefits: lighter overall vehicle weight, greater vehicle strength and rigidity without the excessive costs of more exotic lightweight materials.
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      BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai’s attempts at building a three-row full-size crossover has been quite difficult. Previous attempts either were slightly too small or didn’t sell. The company is hoping their upcoming Palisade will be able to change their fortunes.
      The Palisade is the largest crossover Hyundai has ever offered with an overall length of 196.1 inches, width of 77.8 inches, and a wheelbase of 114.2 inches. That puts it right in the middle of other three-row full-size crossovers like the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, and Volkswagen Atlas. It certainly looks much better than the outgoing Santa Fe it replaces due it part to a large front grille and squared off rear. I really liked the rear window treatment on the side as it reminds me of GM’s full-size SUVs. 
      For the interior, Hyundai’s designers went for something that was quite airy and premium. This is shown through the use of high-quality plastics, soft-touch materials, and a floating console. It reminded of the Nexo hydrogen crossover which Hyundai had sitting alongside the Palisade at their technical center. Getting the chance to sit in the crossover, I really liked how the controls were laid out and the amount of technology on offer, including a 12.3-inch screen for the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system.
      The Palisade comes with seating for eight as standard with second-row captain chairs as an option. The second-row provides very good head and legroom. The third-row is a bit of a different story. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough due to the narrow opening provided when the second-row seat is moved. Once you get into the rear-most seat, headroom is decent. But legroom can vary from adequate to non-existent depending how far back the second-row seat is set. I’m 5’8” and found my legs were pressed against the backside of the seat.
      Powering the Palisade is a new 3.8L Atkinson-Cycle V6 with 271 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or HTRAC all-wheel drive. Maximum towing is rated at 5,000 pounds which Hyundai says is perfect for towing small boats or weekend toys.
      For safety, the Palisade comes well-equipped with Hyundai’s Smartsense suite of active-safety features. This includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, safe exit assist (lets passengers know if a vehicle is passing by when exiting), and rear occupant alert.
      The Palisade will be available at dealers next summer.
      Gallery: 2020 Hyundai Palisade
      Source: Hyundai


      All-New 2020 Hyundai Palisade Mid-size SUV Makes its Global Debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
      All-New 2020 Hyundai Palisade Flagship SUV Brings Exceptional Comfort, Technology and Safety in a Bold Midsize SUV Palisade offers seating for up to eight and commodious cargo space with convenient features like power third-row seats and One-Touch second-row seats for ease of use As Hyundai’s flagship SUV, Palisade offers a host of technology features ideal for family road trips including a 10-inch navigation display, wireless charging, seven USB outlets, second-row ventilated seats, shift-by-wire and innovative roof-based diffuser vents Hyundai SmartSense technology comes standard on every Palisade LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2018 – Hyundai today introduced its new flagship premium three-row Palisade SUV to global media at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2020 Palisade rides on an all-new SUV chassis with exceptional second- and third-row roominess coupled with generous cargo area and reconfiguration flexibility. The Palisade will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available at dealerships across the U.S. in the summer of 2019.
      “The new 2020 Hyundai Palisade clearly evokes design imagery worthy of Hyundai’s flagship SUV, with new levels of all-road, all-weather capability, technology, safety, roominess and efficiency, all packaged in cutting-edge design,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “This new Hyundai SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for practical, comfortable daily use and memory-making road trips whenever the appeal of the open road should beckon.”
      FLAGSHIP SUV DESIGN
      “Hyundai Palisade’s exterior and interior design clearly reflect its unique flagship identity with a premium, distinctive and bold road presence,” said SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai’s Design Center. “As the lead for Palisade design, it was a pleasure to work with our global design teams throughout its development and ultimately present this phenomenal product before you today.”
      Palisade’s styling conveys dignity with style in an understated theme that demonstrates clear differentiation worthy of a flagship SUV. From the front, a dominant, bold and wide cascading grille clearly represents a premium SUV. Separated composite headlamps and a vertically-connected forward lighting signature create a strong and distinctive front demeanor, with available LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED turn-signal mirrors. A powerful, extended hood profile creates an impressive road presence, while bold C-pillars and a panoramic glass side graphic convey generous third-row spaciousness. Full volume over-fenders and body sides offer muscular detailing. The rear view emphasizes a wide and stable stance via sinuous detailing and a vertical LED rear taillamp design. Panoramic rear glass coupled with a cutaway roof provides a generous sense of spaciousness to passengers. Available oversized 20-inch alloy wheels further fill out the Palisade flagship presence.
      This design has aerodynamic benefits as well, with a 0.33 coefficient of drag (Cd). Palisade achieves this low drag coefficient with specific design cues that include a fast A-pillar angle, a rear spoiler side garnish, an optimized front cooling area with an extended internal air guide, aero underside panels, and rear wheel aero deflectors.
      INTUITIVE UTILITY
      The interior design combines a sense of relaxation and comfort creating a serene environment with eight-passenger seating standard for family adventures. Leather-equipped models offer a premium, quilted Nappa leather, while on the instrument panel, smooth woodgrain trim in a wraparound interior design create a spacious, comfortable ambience. The One-Touch second row seat allows for one-touch operation of the seat forward and out of the way for easy access into and out of the third-row seat. For more convenience, the third row offers power-folding/unfolding and reclining seats. Second-row captain’s chairs are also available with ventilated seating surfaces. Every Palisade seating row offers USB outlets for convenience for all passengers, for a total of seven available USB outlets. Even more, a conversation mirror allows the driver to clearly see passengers in the rear.
      Palisade also offers a class-exclusive Blind View Monitor that complements the standard Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, which provides easy-to-see body-side views whenever the turn signal is activated. The audio and navigation display is a generous 10.25 inch touchscreen in widescreen format, coupled with a 12.3-inch fully-digital TFT center instrument cluster offering various view modes and differentiated drive mode illumination. Two Bluetooth® devices can be connected simultaneously, with one for a mobile phone connection and the other for audio streaming. The single IP gauge cluster integrated with navigation offers exceptional legibility and ease of use, coupled with an available head-up display feature. Center console innovations such as shift-by-wire controls free up valuable control space for the features drivers use most. The shift-by-wire system also includes automatic park logic that shifts the vehicle into park when the engine is off and the driver opens the door. Palisade’s center console bridge design also frees up convenient storage space underneath the center console control area with convenient driver and passenger access. The interior features seven available USB outlets, including front-seatback-based USB outlets for the second row occupants and mini-pockets for digital devices of all kinds. A generous 16 cupholders means there’s always a place to stow a beverage at any seating position. Seatbelt connection notification to the driver is active in every seating position.
      Palisade also features an industry-first, innovative new roof vent diffuser design that can provide a focused, partially-diffused or fully-diffused stream of air to rear passengers. This new diffuser vent design provides quieter rear air conditioning airflow, draft-free operation, more uniform distribution of  air and the capability for a focused stream of air whenever desired.
      Palisade offers abundant technology, including Hyundai’s latest navigation system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. To eliminate the need for a charging cord, there’s an available Qi wireless charging pad for compatible Android devices as well as recent Apple iPhones. When it comes to audio technology, the available premium sound system is well-suited to the Palisade’s upscale interior. The audio system features Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound technology. Clari–Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally-compressed music, while QuantumLogic™ extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail. The result is a more robust and enjoyable on-road listening experience.
      HEADS-UP DISPLAY    
      Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, Palisade’s available Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, helping the driver to better keep his or her eyes on the road. The feature uses a system of mirrors combined with a full-color TFT LCD display and features adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, speed limits, Lane Following Assist and audio system data is projected at an ideal virtual distance for maximum legibility.
      Palisade also offers a sophisticated Driver Talk in-car intercom system with rear seat conversation and sleep modes. This system allows the driver to communicate separately with the second and/or third rows of the vehicle via the Palisade audio system in a conversation mode. The system also includes a Rear Sleep Mode that allows the driver’s row to listen to their selected audio without that same audio being transmitted to the second- and third-row audio speakers, so that potentially sleeping passengers will not be disturbed.
      Palisade design seeks a very high perception of openness and exceptional visibility with a large, fixed-glass rear sunroof opening, wide rear seating rows and a generous, reconfigurable rear cargo area. All rear access areas have been ergonomically designed for ease of family access, with an available power rear-folding, unfolding and reclining third-row seatback. Palisade is larger in every exterior dimension than Santa Fe XL and Toyota Highlander.
      On the inside, Palisade has more interior first and second row legroom than Pilot, Pathfinder, and Explorer. It also has more cargo room behind the third row than Highlander, Pilot and Pathfinder.
      POWERTRAIN
      Palisade power comes from an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V6, dual CVVT, direct-injected engine, for excellent power and efficiency. This 3.8-liter powerplant produces an estimated 291 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and an estimated 262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm. Palisade offers more standard horsepower than any other SUV in its competitive set and an unsurpassed level of torque. Palisade delivers that power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with a multi-plate torque converter and offers both two-wheel and HTRAC® four-wheel-drive configurations, with a final drive ratio of 3.648 for confident acceleration. Special efforts were made to reduce Palisade NVH, with generous under-hood insulation, special sound-deadening carpets and powertrain tuning that delivers a smooth, linear response. In addition, Palisade offers drivers the ability to start the vehicle via remote key fob or via the Blue Link app.
      SUSPENSION GEOMETRY AND TUNING
      Front and rear suspension width was maximized on Palisade, for enhanced roll stiffness and stability. Tires are a generous 245/60R18 standard or an optional 245/50R20 size for stability, style and smooth ride comfort. Palisade front steering knuckles and rear carriers are made of aluminum, while front lower arms have been optimized and lightened via a new engineering design, resulting in reduced unsprung weight and improved responsiveness. 
      Palisade also achieves best-in-class body torsional rigidity through a variety of methods, including a multiple ring-shaped structure and hot-stamped door-ring parts that provide greater strength and rigidity. In addition, its torsional rigidity, when equipped with a sunroof, is nearly identical to versions without a sunroof.
      HTRAC® WITH SNOW MODE
      The Palisade offers Hyundai’s HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal, Sport and Smart modes help provide confident control in all weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty dynamic feel when desired. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- or high-speed cornering, and hill starts.
      Palisade also offers a newly-developed Snow Mode on its advanced HTRAC® AWD system, with special traction tuning for snow, optimizing available traction and driver control in adverse conditions. The Drive Mode System’s Snow Mode adjusts front and rear torque distribution, left and right wheel slip control, engine torque and shift patterns according to available traction levels. In addition, Palisade’s AWD HTRAC system includes an AWD locking differential function for challenging traction situations.
      SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
      Palisade offers a number of advanced safety technologies standard, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go.
      Hyundai’s standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) enhances driver awareness to the rear of the Palisade. Using the Blind Spot Detection system’s radar sensors when backing up, the system can not only warn the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side, it also applies the brakes automatically.
      Available safety features include Rear Occupant Alert (ROA). The system monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display. If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle and locks the doors it will honk the horn and send a Blue Link alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. The system is designed to prevent children and pets from being forgotten in the car, but it also helps in case children accidentally lock themselves in. 
      The Palisade also features a standard Safe Exit Assist system. To enhance the safety of Hyundai’s passengers, Safe Exit Assist uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster will alert the driver. In addition, if the driver attempts to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock feature, Safe Exit Assist will override the driver and ensure the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed. Once the road is clear, the driver can then deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock and successfully unlock the rear passenger doors.
      In addition, Palisade has seven standard airbags: dual front, dual side, driver’s knee, and roll-over-sensing side curtain airbags. Palisade uses a full-length large side curtain airbag that includes third-row seating coverage for enhanced rear occupant protection in the event of a collision. Tire pressure monitoring with individual position display, anti-theft security, three LATCH anchors in the second row and two LATCH anchors in the third row and a rearview camera are also standard on Palisade.
      Palisade has a very rigid structure, with strategic use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) in key suspension and crash areas to provide increased tensile-strength. Use of Advanced High Strength Steel has several benefits: lighter overall vehicle weight, greater vehicle strength and rigidity without the excessive costs of more exotic lightweight materials.
      Palisade is expected to achieve TSP+ from the IIHS and a 5-star NHTSA rating. Robust underbody and side structures are designed to increase energy absorption and cabin intrusion in a severe collision, especially in the small overlap test. Further, its underbody uses multiple load paths to better disperse potential crash energy in the event of a collision.
      BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
      Palisade Blue Link equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice guidance services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
      Widgets for easy access to remote features Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped) Access to Blue Link notification settings More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.
      COLOR
      Palisade will be available in a number of exterior colors, including: Beckets Black, White Cream, Lagoon Silver, Steel Graphite, Sierra Burgundy, Moonlight Cloud and Forest Rain. Interior combinations include unique molding accent colors tailored to the exterior combination.
    • By William Maley
      A few weeks back, I attended an event at Hyundai’s technical center which resides outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The reason for my visit was to get a preview of what they’ll be showing at the LA Auto Show (which I’ll be able to talk about later today once the NDA lifts). But Hyundai also offered the chance to drive some of their latest products on a small drive route. I had the chance to drive three models; the Santa Fe, Kona, and Veloster. 
      A quick note about this first drive report. You will not get any impressions on the handling of the three models. The short drive was mostly made up of straight roads around the technical center. You’ll need to wait until I can my hands on the vehicles for a week-long evaluation to see how they fare in the bends.
      First up is the Santa Fe.
      I’m quite impressed with the work done on the Santa Fe’s exterior as it has much more presence on the road than the Santa Fe Sport it replaces. The square shape is accentuated by a more aggressive grille and a more upright rear end. One downside to the new look is the raised belt line, which reduces the overall glass area and makes the interior feel slightly cramped. Step inside and Hyundai has taken a huge leap forward here. A lot of their current interiors tend to focus more on utility and having controls in easy reach. The Santa Fe adds a bit of style with rounded edges, sculpted sides for the driver and passenger, and brushed metal accents. One nice touch in the Ultimate is a contrasting roofline that looks and feels like a piece of soft linen. One item that hasn’t changed is the controls. They are still easy to find and operate. The front seats are quite comfortable and offer a number of power adjustments to help dial in the perfect position. The rear seat is massive with loads of head and legroom, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. A 2.4L four-cylinder with 185 horsepower serves as the base engine, while a more powerful 2.0L turbo-four pumping out 235 horsepower is available on the higher-end Limited and Ultimate. An eight-speed automatic is standard on either engine, and you do have the choice of either front or Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system. I drove the turbo-four with AWD and found it to be a bit underwhelming. The issue is the noticeable delay with power delivery when leaving from a stop or accelerating suddenly from a low cruising speed. I can’t fully tell if this due to the tuning of the engine, transmission, or combination of the two. It is quite the shame because the engine really shows it has punch when making a pass.  Ride quality is towards the top of the class as the suspension is able to smooth out most rough road surfaces. Road and wind noise are well-muted. There’s a lot to like about the 2019 Santa Fe with its new look inside and out; spacious interior, and smooth ride. The turbo engine does sour my initial impression and has me wondering if you should wait a year until picking the turbo engine. Those who have driven the 2.4L say the engine is slightly sluggish, but I would take that over the mess that is the turbo-four. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided Breakfast, Lunch, and the Santa Fe for this Event.
      Gallery: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Engine: 2.4L 16-Valve DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder or Turbocharged 2.0L CVVT DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front or All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 (2.4); 235 @ 6,000 (2.0T)
      Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 (2.4); 260 @ 1,450-3,500 (2.0T)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 (2.4 FWD), 21/27/23 (2.4 AWD), 20/25/22 (2.0T FWD), 19/24/21 (2.0T AWD)
      Curb Weight: 3,591 - 4,085 lbs
      Base Price: $24,750 - $38,800
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