Hyundai revamps the Santa Fe

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Hyundai revamps the Santa Fe


A computer-generated image of Hyundai Motor’s all-new Santa Fe, which is getting fully revamped for the first time in six years. [HYUNDAI MOTOR]

Hyundai Motor will launch a fully revamped version of its midsize SUV Santa Fe next month, giving it a brand new look and upgraded safety features.

Korea’s largest automaker held a media preview event on Tuesday and gave a sneak peek of the new vehicle’s key features.

The fourth generation model has gone through a major facelift, adding the latest version of Hyundai’s signature cascading grille to emphasize the family look of the automaker’s SUV lineup.

The grille matches the new headlight design, tying in with an emerging trend in Hyundai Motor’s SUV lineup.

Hyundai Motor said the new light design, which has two separate headlamps, was first seen in the Kona, as well as the fuel-cell model Nexo, suggesting that it will eventually be rolled out throughout the SUV range.

Enhancing the user experience is at the core of the latest Santa Fe, according to the company.

Based on the industry term “Calm-Tech,” the automotive company said that various features in the car will work to predict the driver and passengers’ needs and respond even before they take action.

One of the features is what’s called Safe Exit Assist, a feature developed by Hyundai Motor. The function uses radar in back of the car rear to detect oncoming vehicles. If the passenger in the back seat tries to get out of the car without noticing an approaching vehicle an alarm will sound.

Rear Occupant Alert uses a sensor installed in the ceiling of the back seat to recognize if a passenger is sat there. If the driver leaves the vehicle and the passenger is still in the car an alarm will play inside the vehicle followed by an alert sent to the driver’s phone. This is the first time such a feature has been showcased in any vehicle globally.

“Enhancing user experience was a vital point when developing the new Santa Fe,” said Kim Hyo-lin, director of Hyundai Motor’s User Experience Planning Group on Tuesday. “We did a lot of research on how people’s perception of cars has changed and how they are no longer just a method for transportation, but a companion,” she added.

The Santa Fe was first introduced in 2000 and has sold an accumulated 1 million units in Korea so far. The midsize SUV will start receiving pre-orders from Feb. 7 and will officially start sales by the end of February.

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