Hyundai plans to launch its new SUV Santa Fe, meaning Holy Faith, in India by mid-2009. It shall be launched in the luxury car segment where Hyundai intends to mark its presence. Looks and engineering of Hyundai Santa Fe promise to be hit on the Indian roads as the new car shall be a feature laden SUV at a low price suitable for Indian roads. It would be a cross over SUV for the budget minded people.
The Engine and Engineering
The new Hyundai Santa Fe coming to India shall have upgraded features of a compact SUV. It shall be pitted against models like Honda CRV, Ford Endeavour Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Hyundai Tucson, and similar SUVs that currently dominate the SUV car segment India. The new Santa Fe shall have a second generation engine with options for diesel as well as petrol version. The diesel version shall be D-2.2 that shall deliver 153bhp at 400 rpm and 35 kgm of torque at 2000rpm facilitated by Variable Geometry Charger.
It shall also be available with choice of V6 petrol engines called as “Mu” by Hyundai that offers better fuel efficiency. The 2.7L petrol engine is capable of delivering optimum power output of 138KW at 6000 rpm and 248 Nm of Torque at 4200 rpm. The oil burner of the car shall be accompanied with 5-speed manual transmission as well as automatic transmission options. However, the petrol version shall be available with 4-speed automatic transmission.
Design and Styles
The new Hyundai Santa Fe carries its look from Audi Q7, BMW X3 and VW Toureg. It has all the standard features of a compact SUV with a bold design to lure the customers. Front end has smooth curves with fine headlights and diffused parking lights. The wheelbase has excess dimension for comfortable interiors but the roof line makes the vehicle look smaller. Interiors are quite spacious with large stowage space as well. The aluminium trim complemented with wooden interiors fairly impresses the onlooker and expresses fine two-tone interiors for a pleasant ride. Interiors and other controls are lit in blue colour to in contrast to its other interiors.
The flip and fold back seats make easy third row. The best feature about the third row is that you cannot really make out that a third row exists until you actually put it up. It floors nicely to stay well hidden and make extra room. The AC vents are well placed even for the second row and third row passengers. The limited climate control is automatically switches between fresh air and re-circulated air in the car.
Hyundai Santa Fe has already bagged the “Safety Pick” award by IIHS in the international market which ensures safe driving. However, heavy engines tarnish its performance level. Santa Fe shall fall in the price band of Rs. 8.5 lakh and would be imported as a completely-built unit from the Hyundai Tucson plant in Korea. The higher price can be attributed to the import duty it attracts as a CBU.