Chicago Auto Show Blog

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe - A bolder, safer and more efficient SUV

Posted by: Holly Macaluso

Hyundai recently introduced its completely redesigned 2019 Santa Fe, the brand's most tech-savvy SUV to-date. The fourth-generation Santa Fe is stronger, safer and more efficient than previous models.


The big news is the 2019 Santa Fe's styling; the compact SUV looks more like an SUV than a minivan, one of Hyundai's main design goals. Hyundai believes the Santa Fe's distinctive styling sets this vehicle apart from competitors in the segment. On the exterior, the SUV has grown in both length and width, and the exterior detailing was enhanced for a muscular appearance. The Cascading Grille, for example, emphasizes the muscularity and strength of the vehicle especially due to its upright position and strong chain mill texture. The beltline is more distinctive and present along the profile of the vehicle; it's more stable and horizontal, stretching from the headlights to the taillights.

Hyundai also aimed to increase visibility and utility with the all-new Santa Fe. Visibility is increased not just for the driver, but for passengers as well. The beltline was lowered, the outside mirrors were repositioned lower and further rearward, and side windows are larger. Many of the Smart Sense Safety Features also assist with visibility. To increase utility, Hyundai improved cargo space within the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe including a second-row, one-touch folding technology; cargo-area seat release; cargo underfloor storage; and selectable liftgate speed.

The Santa Fe also offers two improved engine options including the 2.4-liter CDI 4-cylinder engine with 8-speed A/T or the 2.0-liter Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine with 8-speed A/T. Both engines apply new electrically-actuated variable valve timing technology to improve overall fuel economy and performance.

The Santa Fe offers three drive modes: Comfort to optimize stable driving dynamics; Smart for fuel efficiency; and Sport for acceleration and sporty dynamics. The HTRAC AWD feature allows drivers to get added vehicle control and handling for inclement weather conditions. It also controls engine power, torque and braking between the front and rear wheels to improve road-holding capability.


To allow for a more comfortable ride, the second-row leg room has been lengthened to be best-in-class and the instrument panel has been pushed down to allow for a wider, more spacious feel.

Hyundai also strived to make advanced technology more accessible for driver and passenger safety, targeting NHTSA 5-Star & IIHS TSP+. The body structure performance prioritizes passenger safety in case of a collision. The head-up smart display allows for drivers to stay focused on the road, while monitoring speed and other road distractions. There are also many Hyundai SmartSense safety tech features that come standard, including:

  • Head-Up Display
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • High Beam Assist
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist


Another key feature that is available is the Rear Occupant Alert. This system was designed to alert the driver if they've left a child or pet in the back seat of the vehicle, for instance. This system has a pop-up warning that reads, "check rear seats" upon exiting the Santa Fe. If the driver does not acknowledge this alert, there are Ultrasonic Sensors above the rear passenger seats that can detect movement for up to 24 hours. If these sensors detect any movement, the horn will sound and lights will flash. The driver will also receive a text message and an email to alert them that movement has been detected. This system was developed in order to keep people and animals safe, as well as provide peace of mind.

The final new feature provided for passenger safety is the Safe Exit Assist. This safety feature is new to the 2019 Santa Fe and its purpose is to protect rear seat passengers from approaching vehicles. In order to release the child lock on the vehicle, the road must be clear. If the area is not clear, the vehicle will not allow the driver to release the child lock. If the child lock is disabled before the road is clear and a vehicle approaches, a message will appear on the dash board to warn you of the vehicle.

The 2019 Santa Fe offers nine exterior colors and three interior color options. The interior colors each were designed to provide a special atmosphere for the vehicle. These colors include black, grey and beige. To emphasize quality within the vehicle, contrast stitching and complex fabrics and textures were added.


The price of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe begins at $25,000 MSRP and ranges to $35,450. The redesigned SUV is now available at local dealerships. To find a dealer near you, visit For more information on the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, visit

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