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Hyundai's new Santa Fe released

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11th November, 2012

Hyundai Motor Company Australia has released the all-new Santa Fe seven-seat SUV, presenting the next evolution of the company’s signature ‘Fluidic Design’ – ‘Storm Edge’.

The styling of the new Santa Fe was led by Hyundai's North American Design Centre in Irvine, California and exemplifies Hyundai’s philosophy. The new Hyundai Santa Fe demonstrates the company’s cutting-edge capability to combine bold design, state-of-the–art safety technology, impressive fuel economy and confident performance with feature packed specification.

The new Santa Fe is available in three trim levels (Active, Elite and Highlander) and is powered by an efficient Theta II 2.4-litre GDi petrol engine, or a powerful R-series 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine and is available with a six-speed automatic with electronic sequential manual mode or six-speed manual transmission which achieves an combined fuel economy of 6.6 L/100 km (diesel manual on the combined cycle).

With the manufacturer’s list pricing* starting at $36,990*, the new Santa Fe brings outstanding levels of style and capability to the brand's range of vehicles. A price list* is shown at the bottom of this story.

Key Features of the new Santa Fe

  • ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ styling.
  • Seven seats for each model.
  • Seven-airbags as standard across the range.
  • Rear view camera standard across the range.
  • Rear park assist standard across the range.
  • Automatic dusk-sensing projector beam headlamps standard across the range.
  • Electric lumbar support standard across the range.
  • Excellent level of standard safety technology: VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BAS, HAC & DBC.
  • Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC) standard across the range.
  • Front & rear air-conditioning with third row air-conditioning vents standard across the range.
  • Choice of two engines.
    • Theta II 2.4-litre GDi Petrol engine.
    • R-series 2.2-litre CRDi Diesel engine.
  • Six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with sequential manual mode.
  • AWD powertrain.
  • Australian tuned suspension and steering.
  • MDPS with Hyundai Flex-Steer™ system.
  • Full iPod®/USB connectivity and Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.
  • 4.3" touch screen audio system (Active models).
  • 7” touch screen premium audio system with satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic & 3-year MapCare™ plan (Elite & Highlander models) - (conditions apply).
  • Climate control air conditioning (Elite & Highlander).
  • Glove box cooling (Elite & Highlander).
  • 12-Way power driver’s seat (Elite & Highlander).
  • Electrochromatic rear view mirror with compass (Elite & Highlander).
  • Full-length panoramic glass sunroof (Highlander).
  • HID Xenon headlamps and LED rear combination lamps (Highlander).
  • Power front passenger’s seat (Highlander).
  • Heated front and second row (outboard) seats (Highlander).


A distinctive new interpretation of Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language evokes the impression of irrepressible motion through a unique design concept called ‘Storm Edge’, capturing the strong and dynamic images provided by nature during the formation of a storm.

Establishing the illusion of constant movement, the new Santa Fe strikes a dynamic and tough stance with its bold hexagonal front grille, signature eagle-eye projector beam front headlamps and sweeping bonnet line.

In profile the low stance, sleek rising beltline blended with three-dimensional moulding, body-side character lines, low profile roof rails, and rear roof spoiler offer an aerodynamic silhouette.

Additional design elements include chrome door handle accents and body coloured mirrors with integrated LED side repeaters.

Elite and Highlander variants feature solar control glass with a privacy tint applied from the B-pillar backwards. Designed to reduce and moderate cabin temperatures, it also shields cargo from prying eyes.

Wheel arch and surround mouldings house new design alloy wheels matched to each trim level.

In-cabin environment

Satin chrome details are matched back to all-new cloth or leather/leatherette design upholstery featuring elegant touches such as door arm rest emblems. Crash pad and interior surfaces effuse a premium soft-touch feel, while the advanced interior lighting system offers map lamps, mood lamps, and cabin lighting to provide a premium ambience.

The supervision instrument cluster with large TFT LCD colour centre display (Elite & Highlander models) provides clarity, and benefits the driver with access to a wide array of vehicle information including trip computer, distance to empty, odometer reading, service intervals and more.

Elite and Highlander models offer a suite of features including; proximity key with push-button start, auto-dimming mirror with in-built compass, climate control air-conditioning, and solar control glass with a privacy tint designed to reduce and moderate cabin temperatures, and offer additional concealment and security.

Intelligent convenience touches include the addition, in Elite and Highlander models, of a manually operated retractable mesh blind cleverly hidden in the top of the rear door trims for enhanced security or further protection from sun ingress for children.

An ingenious door wrap design will see the end of dirty trouser bottoms, skirts and dresses. The system uses a decreased bottom door frame width to ensure mud, dirt and road grime is swung away from the door, rather than catching and collecting.

On the Highlander model, the full-length panoramic sunroof is an electric tilt and slide glass roof which allows natural light to flood the cabin. The sunroof has been designed to open fully or tilt open, offering flexibility and functionality, and features an adjustable full-length shade which affords the cabin effective heat insulation.


The new Santa Fe offers ample storage and stowage options including moulded cup holders to fit large and small bottles, spacious seat back pockets, door pockets, and clever tubs and wells conveniently located in the centre console.

An intelligent seating configuration allows for a multitude of stowage options including longer items utilising split-seating.


The new Hyundai Santa Fe offers a myriad of seating possibilities with a flexible, multi-function second row which operates with forward-and-back slide; recline for ultimate passenger comfort, and 40:20:40 split to offer exceptional convenience for loading and stowage.

Elite and Highlander models offer a 12-way power driver’s seat, with four-way lumbar support to ensure a good driving posture, while on Highlander models, the addition of heated front and second row (outboard) seating provides a new level of refinement.

The third row features 50:50 split full-folding seating for a total seven seats across the entire model line-up. In addition both second and third row seats can be folded flat to offer optimal load transporting capability, and a one-touch fold lever conveniently allows operation of the second row fold from the rear cargo space.

A lightweight luggage screen cover is standard across the range, offering added security and aesthetic for the cargo space. Conveniently, the screen can be stowed in a purpose-designed space in the cabin for ease and safety.

Performance and efficiency

Hyundai's new Santa Fe is available with two powertrains options – the Theta II 2.4-litre GDi petrol available in Active models, or the powerful R-Series 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine available in all trim levels across the range.

New to the Santa Fe line-up and developed by Hyundai engineers over almost four years the Theta-II 2.4-litre petrol engine utilises the latest gasoline direct injection (GDi) technology to deliver a peak power output of 141 kW @ 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 242 Nm @ 4,250 rpm.

The Theta-II high-tech 16-valve engine features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing.

The new Santa Fe offers the powerful R-Series 2.2-litre Common Rail Direct injection (CRDi) diesel engine featuring a Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) to minimise turbo lag and increase efficiency at higher engine speeds. The intercooled turbo engine produces maximum torque of 421 Nm (manual) and 436 Nm (auto) between 1,800 and 2,500 RPM and 145 kW of power at 3,800 rpm.

New Santa Fe engine specifications:


Theta II 2.4-litre GDi petrol engine

R-Series 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine


Six-speed manual

Six-Speed Automatic

Six-speed manual

Six-speed automatic


Transverse front mounted driving front and rear wheels

Transverse front mounted driving front and rear wheels

Cylinder capacity

2.4-litres (2,359 cc)

2.2-litres (2,359 cc)

Number of cylinders

Four in-line 

Four in-line

Valve system

Twin overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder

Twin overhead camshaft, four valves
per cylinder

Maximum power

141 kW @ 6,300 RPM

145 kW @ 3,800 RPM

Maximum torque

242 Nm @ 4250 RPM

421 (man) 436 Nm auto @ 1,800-2,500 rpm

Fuel System

Gasoline Direct Injection (GDi)

Common Rail Diesel injection (CRDi)
with electronic control Variable
Geometry Turbo

Bore x stroke

88.0 mm x 97.0  mm

85.4 mm x 96.0 mm

Compression ratio



Combined fuel consumption





(L/100 km)#

CO2 (g/km)#





 Note: GDi operating on Standard Unleaded Fuel


Hyundai has matched the new Santa Fe’s Theta II 2.4-litre petrol and R-Series 2.2-litre diesel engines to either a six-speed manual, or optional six-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual mode.

The six-speed manual transmission utilises multi-cone synchronisers for improved shift quality, and the inclusion of a button-operated reverse gear lock-out provides ease of operation, whilst the short stroke provides a quick and accurate shift action.

The six-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual mode is characterised by smooth gear shifting and exceptional fuel economy. The use of an ultra-flat torque converter results in improved durability and weight efficiency.

To further enhance the economy of automatic models, an Active ECO system modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response and increase real-world fuel economy. The Active ECO system can be engaged via a switch. In manual models a gear shift indicator on manual variants prompts the driver to shift gear to maximise fuel economy.

Ride and handling

Extensive tuning and specific calibration of the suspension system was undertaken in Australia over thousands of kilometres and numerous road conditions to ensure maximum stability while maintaining exceptional comfort. This ensures the vehicle delivers optimum performance for our unique road surfaces.

For enhanced ride performance, the new Santa Fe employs a compact and light MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension for optimised cabin volume and ride quality.

The MacPherson strut design uses the application of the H-shaped sub-frame to enhance stiffness and improve vibration, while on the road, a 25mm stabiliser bar assists to reduce cornering lean and enhance stability. Dynamic dampers are applied for improved shock absorption.

The rear suspension uses a 21 mm solid stabiliser bar, which aids to improve body roll and increases stability in cornering. The multi-link system contributes to improved ride and handling characteristics.

Dual Flow Dampers (DFD) is standard across all trim levels on the new Santa Fe. DFDs deliver a smooth and more comfortable ride under cruising conditions, whilst providing superior vehicle dynamics under more demanding driving conditions.

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Speed sensitive Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) is standard on the new Santa Fe, utilising an electric motor to enable varying degrees of power assistance for varied conditions. MDPS not only minimises weight and fuel consumption, but also integrates with the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system.

Flex Steer™ offers three driver-selected steering calibrations. The Normal setting provides an optimal balance between steering effort and feedback, making it ideal, in Hyundai's opinion, for the majority of drivers on the road. The Comfort setting further reduces the weight of the steering and allows for effortless manoeuvring, making it ideal for drivers who prefer a more relaxed driving experience.

Finally, the Sport setting reduces steering assistance and increases feedback for maximum driver involvement.

MDPS tuning for each of the Flex Steer™ settings was performed locally in order to optimise the system for Australian conditions.

Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC)

Standard across the range, Hyundai’s new Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC) system distributes torque via an electro-mechanical multi-plate 4WD coupling, working in conjunction with the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, to anticipate traction requirements and deliver additional vehicle stability. ATCC can mechanically transfer torque from front to rear and apply individual brakes to make pro-active adjustments to the torque delivery through each wheel.

An intelligent system, ATCC continuously monitors and analyses data from the vehicle controller in relation to vehicle speed, throttle input, steering angle and yaw rate to determine power delivery front-to-rear and left-to-right. This process, known as ‘torque vectoring’, is completely transparent and indiscernible to the driver, enhancing agility, reducing understeer, and improving vehicle stability.

The new Santa Fe rides on a selection of wheels and tyres individually selected for each model variant:

  • Active 17-inch alloy wheels & 235/65 R17 tyres.
  • Elite 18-inch alloy wheels & 235/60 R18 tyres.
  • Highlander 19-inch alloy wheels & 235/55 R19 tyres.

Off-road performance

The new Santa Fe operates with an active AWD system, which assesses road conditions and automatically implements rear wheel traction control for optimum full-time all-wheel-drive performance.

The 4WD ‘Lock’ mode is engaged at the push of a button, conveniently located on the console, and instantly arms a 50/50 power split front-to-rear. When the vehicle reaches an on-road speed of 40 km/h the system switches to ‘Auto’ mode, and once vehicle speed decreases to 40 km/h or less the system will re-engage and operate in ‘lock’ mode.

Advanced safety technology

Active safety is augmented with the use of Hyundai’s innovative Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, to provide enhanced directional stability and driver control.

VSM integrates all the active safety systems in the vehicle, including the MDPS steering. VSM intervenes alongside other active safety features such as ESC, TCS, ABS and EBD to help maintain vehicle control by applying a variable input to steering weight, helping prevent the vehicle losing control in emergency situations, such as when suddenly braking or rapidly accelerating under asymmetric (wet or slippery on one side and dry on the other) road surface conditions.

An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System (BAS) are also standard across the range.

Hillstart Assist Control (HAC) is also standard across the range. It operates when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The HAC prevents the Santa Fe from rolling backwards on inclines by automatically initiating the brakes, providing a confident and comfortable transition from brake to accelerator.

Providing further peace-of-mind by optimising descent speed during more adventurous driving, Downhill Brake Control (DBC) controls the operation of the braking system for the driver, applying the appropriate amount of braking to maintain a steady and measured descent.

In Elite and Highlander models, Electronic Park Brake (EPB) and Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH) systems are standard. The EPB offers a space saving advantage to the interior while providing additional driver convenience with a switch for activation of the parking brake. When the footbrake is depressed and a gear is selected, the EPB will automatically disengage.

Working in conjunction with EPB, AVH provides further reassurance for ‘momentary’ stoppages. The EPB is automatically activated when the vehicle is in AVH mode for 10 minutes or longer, or when the driver has their door open, and has momentarily exited the vehicle e.g.; school/airport drop off, quick load or unload of stowage etc. Once the brake pedal is depressed in drive, reverse or sport gear modes, the braking function continues to engage and hold the vehicle, even after the pedal is released. The braking function is cancelled once the accelerator pedal is activated. The AVH system only operates when the ‘Auto Hold’ button is activated.

The new Santa Fe features seven airbags standard across the range including driver and front passenger, driver knee, driver and front passenger side (thorax) and side curtain airbags (front and second row).

All models also feature a reverse camera built into the tailgate handle, which relays images via the in-dash 4.3” (Active) or 7” (Elite and Highlander) touch screen.

A four-head rear parking sensor system operates via parking sensors mounted on the rear bumper when parking or manoeuvring the vehicle in confined spaces. In addition to an audible alarm when an obstacle is detected, the centre cluster shows which of the four sensors are active.

The new Santa Fe is protected by a security system which includes; central locking, engine immobiliser, Hyundai Active Locking Operation (HALO) including speed sensing auto door locking, auto-door unlock and inside door unlock function, impact sensing door unlock system and keyless entry with alarm.

Improved rigidity and high tensile steel

The extensive use of High Tensile Steel in key structural locations, combined with targeted enhanced structure connection and reinforcement, further improves crashworthiness and overall vehicle integrity.

The all-new architecture of Santa Fe incorporates an innovative design increasing the high tensile steel application ratio to 37.7% (up from 7.8% on previous model) to not only improve torsional rigidity by 15.7%, but also improve vehicle weight and collision energy management. High-strength steel reduces weight and allows the suspension to work optimally.

State-of-the-art manufacturing technology, hot stamping and roll forming, have been applied to impact members to form complex geometries which provide added strength, reduce the number of body parts and make the vehicle architecture lighter. The amount of structural adhesives applied to critical joint areas has been increased significantly for improved body rigidity, crashworthiness and durability.


An integrated 4.3” colour touch screen audio system is standard on all Active models, and incorporates four speakers and two tweeters, in-dash MP3 CD player, AM/FM radio tuner, jukebox storage functionality, USB/Auxiliary connectivity with digital iPod® compatibility, Bluetooth™ hands free telephone and audio streaming.

The premium audio pack, standard in Elite and Highlander models, has a 10-speaker sound system with two door and two rear speakers, two tweeters, two third row speakers, a centre speaker and an 8” subwoofer all powered by an external amplifier. The system features a 7” LCD touchscreen with multi-functional satellite navigation system.

The system’s navigation screen and intuitive command system incorporates SUNA live traffic updates, lane guidance, junction views, speed limits, speed warnings and camera alerts. Also included is a 3-year NAVTEQ™ MapCare™ plan, which provides up to two annual complimentary map updates on completion of a scheduled service at a participating Hyundai service centre.

Colour and trim

The new Santa Fe is available in three trim levels - Active, Elite, and Highlander, and is available in nine exterior colours including, exclusive to the Highlander models, two new colours; Arabian Mocha and Beach Sand.

Interiors treatments are cloth black tones for Active and leather/leatherette black tones for Elite and Highlander. In addition, exclusive to Highlander models, there will be a choice of Beige leather/leatherette interior (matched to Arabian Mocha/Phantom Black exterior colours only) and Brown leather/leatherette interior (matched to Beach Sand/Titanium Silver exterior colours only).

Hyundai Genuine Accessories

In keeping with the new Santa Fe’s lifestyle versatility, a comprehensive range of Hyundai Genuine accessories are available including a handy portable 12-volt 15-litre cooler box, dual-position cargo barrier and side steps. Hyundai Whispbar™ roof racks offer a fully integrated system with easy fitment and quick interchange for fork-mounted bike carrier, surfboard, ski and snowboard carrier. A towbar and towball, and trailer wiring harness offer easy and convenient haulage options.

Hyundai iCare programme

Hyundai back the new Santa Fe range with the comprehensive Hyundai iCare** programme, offering a suite of ownership benefits including the introduction of a Capped Price Service schedule at $289 for the Theta II 2.4-litre petrol engine equipped models, and $379 for the R-series 2.2-litre diesel engine equipped models per annum. Each 12 month/15,000km service ensures the cost of vehicle ownership and operation is transparent, and provides real-time value to owners.

The Hyundai iCare programme includes:

  • Australia’s first 5-year Unlimited Km Warranty.
  • Complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on all new vehicles (does not include fleet purchases).
  • Complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months for servicing customers (up to seven years old).
  • Capped Price Service for three years.
  • NAVTEQ™ MapCare™ Plan for three years.
  • 1,500km Complimentary first service.
  • Convenient Quick Service.
  • Hyundai Genuine Parts.
  • myHyundai – exclusive owner website, magazine, customer events and offers.
  • Customer Care Centre – customer support 24/7.

All-new Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing*










2.4L GDi Petrol

6-Speed Manual




6-Speed Automatic




2.2L CRDi Diesel

6-Speed Manual




6-Speed Automatic




Metallic/Pearl Paint is optional on all models for $595*.


* Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.
# Combined cycle
** Conditions apply.



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