At the 2018 Geneva Auto Show, an event known more for outrageous hypercars and concept cars, Hyundai rolled out a decidedly practical car in the form of the redesigned 2019 Santa Fe. This fourth-generation crossover SUV adopts Hyundai's current design ethic of a cascading grille and narrow headlights, but does so in a more pleasing manner by blending them more cohesively. Besides style, the naming convention also changes. The smaller Santa Fe Sport is now simply called the Santa Fe, while the larger three-row SUV version is now called the Santa Fe XL.
Under the hood of the Santa Fe is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine that produces 185 horsepower. An upgraded 232-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will also be available and will likely be a better fit for the larger Santa Fe XL. The big difference this time around is the inclusion of a 2.2-liter turbodiesel that is rated at 200 hp. All these engines will be paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive offered as an option.
The Santa Fe's interior also gets a makeover, with contemporary themes such as an infotainment screen mounted atop the multitiered dash and a virtual instrument panel. Hyundai claims other improvements to outward visibility as well as a better ride quality from a reworked suspension. It will also be eligible for a load-leveling rear suspension that promises fewer sacrifices to comfort when the Hyundai is unladen or towing.
Along with the now customary complement of advanced safety features, Hyundai's new Safe Exit Assist system will be available. This feature detects if a vehicle, motorcyclist or cyclist is approaching and alerts the driver. It also locks the doors to prevent passengers from swinging them open into the path of said hazard.
When the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale this summer, it will compete against strong rivals that include the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4. The larger Santa Fe XL will challenge vehicles such as the Honda Pilot, the Mazda CX-9 and the Toyota Highlander. The Hyundai, which carries the industry's most generous warranty coverage, should enjoy an edge for value.