The new Hyundai Santa Fe just debuted in South Korea, and the automaker has already announced details for the U.S.-spec 2019 Santa Fe that will go on sale this summer. The midsize crossover will offer the usual naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder gas engines, but the biggest news is that we’ll be getting it with a diesel option.
The lineup shuffling described in the press release is a bit confusing, but we gather that this model essentially replaces the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. That would explain the new Santa Fe’s tweener dimensions. Meanwhile, the current-generation long-wheelbase three-row Santa Fe will carry over renamed as the Santa Fe XL. This will act as a stopgap until Hyundai’s upcoming large eight-passenger crossover arrives. The automaker confirmed that model will get an all-new name.
Just like the Korean-market Santa Fe, the crossover bound for the U.S. will receive a Kona-like front end complete with the brand’s signature “Cascading” grille and slender LED headlights. Diamond-cut 19-inch alloy wheels will be available. Hyundai promises the new Santa Fe will offer improved ride comfort and handling thanks to new suspension geometry.
The base 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe will offer a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making an estimated 185 hp. That sounds like the same unit available in the outgoing Santa Fe Sport so expect a similar 178 lb-ft of torque. The upgrade engine will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 making an estimated 232 hp, down slightly from the 245 hp that other Hyundais equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo currently make. If buyers want torque, they can always opt for the new 2.2-liter CRDi turbodiesel I-4 that makes about 200 hp at 3,000 rpm and 320 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm. All engines come mated to a new in-house-designed eight-speed automatic transmission and will have the option of HTRAC all-wheel drive.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe will get a completely redesigned interior that’s similar to other recent Hyundai models. Base Santa Fes receive a 7.0-inch infotainment screen that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, as well as Qi wireless charging. Higher-end models can be ordered with a heads-up display, a 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system. Though buyers will have to step up to the Santa Fe XL if they need three rows, the diesel Santa Fe will offer an optional “occasional-use” third row.