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Hyundai updates its Sante Fe


THE Hyundai Sante Fe has been a bit of a dark horse in its segment since its introduction a few years back. Hyundai see it as a BMW X3, Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery Sport and of course a Kia Sorento rival. To keep up with these well-established rivals Hyundai has implemented minor updates to its flagship SUV and tweaked the local range, as I found out.

Exterior enhancements

The updated Sante Fe looks only slightly different to the car that it replaces. Up front there is a redesigned chrome grille, reshaped bumper which also includes new fog lamps and daytime LED lighting, while the Xenon headlamps have also been restyled. In side profile you’ll notice new alloy wheels available in 17, 18 and 19-inch, while at the rear there’s also a new bumper design as well as new tail lamps and reshaped exhaust tips. The pre-facelift Sante Fe wasn’t a bad looking car so the updated visuals are simply in place to bring the car in line with the rest of the range.

Interior appointments

There have also been minor updates inside, with a revised instrument cluster; a new infotainment system, which includes a decent SatNav system as well as new standard features. These include a traffic alert system, which has a blind spot alert system and a rear-cross traffic alert system, both of which use radar technology. There is now a radar-guided cruise control system too, along with an automatic tailgate function, which opens the boot of the vehicle should the owner stand behind the vehicle with the key on their person.


The Sante Fe didn’t need any revisions to its powertrain; the 2.2-litre turbo diesel motor in combination with the six-speed automatic gearbox works well. The motor still produces 145kW/436Nm while using a claimed 8.0 litres/100km for the front-wheel-drive model and 8.3 litres/100km for the all-wheel-drive version. This powertrain is a gem; it’s very smooth and effortless, while being reasonably efficient in the process.

Model range restructuring

Hyundai has decided to streamline the Sante Fe model range with only two models being available, both receiving the same standard equipment. The cheaper of the two is the five-seater front-wheel-drive model, while the top-of-the range version gets an all-wheel-drive system and has seven seats. Both models, in addition to the aforementioned safety and convenience kit, get a panoramic sunroof, climate control, rear-view camera, electric windows and mirrors as well as driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags.


The changes made to the Sante Fe range are minor. However, the range is now more focused while the technology that its rivals will bill you for is standard in this car. It makes a very good case for itself versus the German and British competition but its own cousin, the Kia Sorento, is also a value-filled proposition in this segment.

Warranty and Service plan

The Sante Fe range comes with a five-year/150 000km warranty as well as a five-year/90 000km service plan.


Sante Fe 2.2 CRDi 2WD Five-seater Elite  R659 900
Sante Fe 2.2 CRDi 4WD Seven-seater   R699 900


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Article written by Sean Nurse
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