The all-new SANTA FE has been released, with Hyundai New Zealand claiming it is “designed to merge outdoor adventure with everyday life, in a spacious and well-equipped family 7-seat SUV”.

With over 26,000 SANTA FEs sold in New Zealand since 2000, this 5th generation model apparently improves in all aspects including interior and exterior design, space, technology, safety and efficiency.

The new SANTA FE was designed around Hyundai’s ‘Open for More’ concept, that drew on research revealing a high level of interest in outdoor activities among Millennial and Generation-X customers.

The ‘Open for More’ concept seeks to “connect the inside with the outside, to expand customers’ everyday experiences”. In all-new SANTA FE, this is characterised by spacious second- and third-row seating, and a roomy, practical cargo area – all made possible by an extended wheelbase, efficient packaging, and an enlarged tailgate opening, says Hyundai.

Inside, there is a panoramic-curved display incorporating a 12.3-inch digital cluster and infotainment displays and a comprehensive SmartSense safety suite.

Highlights among the driver assistance and active safety features in all-new SANTA FE are the second-generation technologies including Highway Driving Assist (HDA2), Forward Collision Assist (FCA2), and Lane Following Assist (LFA2).

Premium comfort and convenience features in the all-new SANTA FE include a first for Hyundai Bilateral Multi-Console storage space, which is accessible for both front and rear occupants, a 6.6-inch climate control display, and high-speed, dual wireless smartphone charging.

Calligraphy variants also feature first-row Relaxation Seating with leg rests, power reclining second-row captain’s chairs (6-seat option), a Digital Centre Mirror, and a UV-C Sterilisation Tray that eliminates bacteria from personal items.

One change in the new SANTA FE is making HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) as standard.

“The SANTA FE is an iconic nameplate in New Zealand. Now in its 5th generation, the new model builds on everything Kiwis love about the SANTA FE” says Hyundai New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Scott Kelsey.

“As a 100% kiwi owned and operated company, we select models that suit the kiwi lifestyle. In the all-new SANTA FE, there is more space than ever before, the powertrains are more powerful yet more efficient, and technology has never been so smart and intuitive.” he said.

There are three models on offer in New Zealand, all of them with a 1.6-litre hybrid petrol powertrain – meaning no more diesel SANTA FE. The electric motor of the hybrid system puts out 44kW of power, and is supplemented by a tiny 1.49kWh battery pack. Combined with the petrol engine, maximum power output is 172kW and torque is listed at 367Nm.

The base Active model ($84,990) and the mid-spec Limited model ($96,990) are both 7 seaters, while the top-spec Calligraphy ($104,990) can be purchased as either with 6 or 7 seats.

The all-new SANTA FE is due to arrive in dealerships in August this year with. The Recommended Retail Price (RRP) starts from $84,990 plus on-road costs however, for a limited time there is an introductory launch offer starting from $74,990 plus on-road costs.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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