2024 Hyundai Santa Fe detailed: Diesel dead for new model, in Australia next year

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe detailed: Diesel dead for new model, in Australia next year
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe detailed: Diesel dead for new model, in Australia next year

The new Hyundai Santa Fe is bigger, bolder, safer and more technologically advanced than before. But it will drop the option of a diesel engine – which accounts for about two-thirds of sales in Australia.

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seat family SUV will axe diesel power – and opt for petrol and hybrid propulsion only – when the new model arrives in Australia in the first half of next year.

The first official photos of the fifth-generation Santa Fe were published last month, revealing its bolder new look – reminiscent of the Land Rover Defender – plus a bigger body and high-tech interior.

However a diesel engine will no longer be offered – in Australia nor overseas – even though it has accounted for nearly two-thirds of Hyundai Santa Fe sales in Australia so far this year.

Before the hybrid was introduced last year, the diesel’s slice of the pie was even larger.

Drive understands Australia will be offered a choice of a new 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine – replacing the 3.5-litre petrol V6 – or a 1.6-litre turbo petrol-electric hybrid carried over from the current model.

The new Santa Fe is larger than the vehicle it replaces, with an imposing Land Rover-esque appearance, more advanced interior, greater passenger space, and new technology.

Prices are expected to rise to account for these changes – as well as the more advanced turbo-petrol engine as standard – compared to the $46,050 plus on-road costs entry point of today’s model.

The 2024 Santa Fe measures 4830mm long, 1900mm wide and 1720-1780mm tall (depending on model), riding on a 2815mm wheelbase.

It is 45mm longer overall, 20mm taller (comparing equivalent top-of-the-range models), 50mm longer between the wheels, and in fact no wider than its predecessor.

Claimed boot space has increased by 91 litres, from 634L to 725L. Hyundai does not state whether this measurement was taken with the third row of seats upright, however the figure suggests this is not the case.

The South Korean car giant says it started designing the new Santa Fe from the tailgate forwards to focus on growing the luggage area and improving passenger space for the rear-most occupants.

Highlights of the design include distinctive H-shaped LED headlight and tail-light designs, 21-inch wheels on top-of-the-range models, prominent wheel arches, and blacked-out window pillars for a ‘floating roof’ look.

There will be 10 exterior colours available in most markets, including a selection of matte finishes.

Inside, a pair of 12.3-inch screens – one infotainment touchscreen, and one instrument display – have been merged into a curved panel across much of the dashboard, running Hyundai’s latest software with over-the-air updates, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The steering wheel and climate-control panel – with two large dials flanking a 6.6-inch colour touchscreen – are reminiscent of a Range Rover.

As with other new Hyundai cars, the gear selector has been moved from the centre console to a stalk on the steering column to save space.

Hyundai claims “best-in-class” comfort for passengers in the reclining third row of seats – though it doesn’t say the other cars it is comparing its vehicle to – and “headroom improvements in response to customer feedback”.

Figures published by Hyundai claim increases in second-row legroom of 35mm for the petrol (to 1075mm) and 20mm for the hybrid (to 1055mm, likely due to the battery underneath the seats).

In the third row, the company claims 15mm more legroom (to 761mm), 69mm more headroom (to 958mm), a 30mm-higher seat bench, and a maximum 10-degree recline for the seatbacks, up from the old model.

The tailgate opening is said to be wider than before, while owners are able to access the roof more easily thanks to a handle hidden in the window pillar behind the rear doors.

Available features include dual wireless phone chargers, a “UV-C Sterilisation Tray” that can sterilise items inside the upper glovebox, a centre console storage area that can be opened by front and rear passengers, a digital rear-view mirror, and USB-C charge ports that can deliver up to 27 watts.

Some models are fitted with ‘Relaxation Seats’ with legrests for use when parked, six-seat versions offer power-reclining second-row seats with armrests, and South Korean variants feature “air bladders” in the driver’s seat for “optimal support”.

Other available features include heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, multi-zone climate control, a 360-degree camera, and a variety of drive modes, plus hill-descent control and the ability to lock the power sent to the front and rear wheels at 50:50 for off-road use.

Hyundai says “eco-friendly” materials have been used for soft surfaces – such as the headliner, floor mats, seatbacks, door trim and seat upholstery – while the available faux leather seats are claimed to be “made of materials that minimise human health hazards”.

“The glossy black paint applied to the exterior trim uses recycled carbon materials. Among the exterior colours, the Ecotronic Gray for North American markets uses a natural bamboo charcoal coating method,” Hyundai says in its media release.

Powering the Hyundai Santa Fe in Australia is expected to be a choice of a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, or a hybrid combining a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder with an electric motor.

The 2.5-litre turbo engine – first seen in a Hyundai in Australia in the Sonata N Line sedan launched in 2021 – develops 207kW and 422Nm, up from the 200kW and 331Nm of the 3.5-litre non-turbo petrol V6 available since 2020.

It is matched with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, replacing the outgoing eight-speed torque-converter auto. Hyundai does not say if it is front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; today’s petrol V6 is front-drive only in Australia.

Meanwhile, the 1.6-litre hybrid carries over from the current Santa Fe, with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Combined outputs are yet to be disclosed, but the engine alone produces 132kW and 265Nm – the same as the current model, suggesting the overall power and torque ratings may remain 169kW and 350Nm. It is unclear if all-wheel drive will be standard as it is today.

In overseas markets, there will be a 1.6-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid – with a six-speed auto and 118kW/265Nm outputs from the engine alone – and a non-turbo 2.5-litre petrol engine with 143kW/246Nm and a regular eight-speed auto.

A diesel engine will not be available in any market, as Hyundai moves away from the technology in its passenger vehicles. A similar move is expected for the next-generation, full-size Palisade SUV due in 2025.

Hyundai claims vehicle weights (unclear if ‘kerb’ or ‘tare’) of 2155kg and 2225kg for the 2.5-litre turbo and 1.6-litre hybrid models respectively – compared to 1858kg kerb for the current Santa Fe Highlander petrol V6 front-wheel drive in Australia, and 1983kg kerb for the current Highlander hybrid all-wheel drive.

Zero to 100km/h acceleration times for the 2.5-litre turbo and 1.6-litre hybrid are quoted as 8.0 and 9.5 seconds respectively. Drive independent testing has previously recorded an 8.4-second 0-100km/h time from the current Santa Fe hybrid all-wheel drive.

Estimated fuel economy is quoted as 9.1 litres per 100km for the petrol, or 6.5L/100km for the hybrid.

In South Korean testing the current model claims fuel efficiency of 6.5 to 7.6L/100km for the hybrid, 9.3 to 10.5L/100km for the current version of the 2.5-litre turbo engine sold in South Korea, and 7.1 to 7.8L/100km for the diesel.

It is unclear what testing standards the new model’s figures – which are still estimates, Hyundai cautions – are based on.

Available advanced safety features include autonomous emergency braking, lane-centring assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, assisted lane changes on highways (in some markets), driver attention warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree and rear-view cameras, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and door exit assist.

Also fitted is a driver monitoring system – which focuses a camera and sensors on the driver’s eyes to check attention and drowsiness – and traffic-sign recognition, likely the same system in the latest Hyundai Kona small SUV and Ioniq 6 electric sedan.

Hyundai has also shown a Santa Fe XRT Concept, with off-road tyres and wheels, roof-mounted spare tyre, rear-mounted ladder, and other enhancements. However it says there are no plans for a production version.

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe is due in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2024, after going on sale in South Korea later this year.

The post 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe detailed: Diesel dead for new model, in Australia next year appeared first on Drive.

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