By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we drove the seriously revamped Hyundai Santa Fe R2.2 Elite AWD. Built on a new platform, key updates include a large and wide grille with, redesigned LED lights and daytime running lights. The back also spots redesigned taillights that connect across the tailgate.
Interior, power and transmission
Inside, there’s a redesigned center console and a new 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. The former, features gear shift buttons (shiftdrive-by-wire) that replace the traditional gear lever to free up space, and the latter has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The interior is rounded off by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
The 7-seater Santa Fe is powered by a frugal yet powerful 2.2-litre 4-cyclinder turbodiesel engine with outputs of 148kW and 441Nm. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
A taste for the finer things on a budget? That’s what comes to mind with the refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe. Built on a new platform, the looks do it for us. It looks premium with its imposing grille, generously large LED and headlights, and massive wheels.
The interior is plush for the budget. It’s roomy and allows a lot of light in with the huge panoramic roof. The shift-by-wireshift by wire transmission is a hit with us. Not only because it frees up space but it’s good to look at and easy to operate. The dash is in fact very well executed with a good balance between practicality and modernity. Buttons are retained which makes accessing the many driver goodies like the heated steering and heated seats easy.
Connectivity gets a big tick. There are many USB ports meaning everyone’s device will remain charged. The front passengers also get wireless charging.
Drive and pricing
The Santa Fe is a pleasure to drive. It’s comfortable and the 2.2 diesel engine (148kW/441Nm) is a peach. It’s confident, frugal and powerful. Driver aids like cruise control and blind spot monitor also make the driving experience extra safe. Look, if you are after luxury but don’t want to break the bank, this should be on your list. Pricing starts from R769,500.
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