Hyundai launches the all-new Santa Fe in India

Hyundai utilized the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi to launch the Santa Fe, its most-awaited Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), in India. Currently in its third generation, the new Santa Fe has received rave reviews across the globe and has been one of the Korean brand's consistent top-sellers worldwide. Assembled at Hyundai's sprawling manufacturing facility in Chennai, three variants of the new Santa Fe are on sale, with the base 2WD manual variant priced at INR 26.30 Lakhs. The 2WD automatic variant retails at INR 27.15 Lakhs while the top-end 4WD automatic is priced at INR 29.25 Lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.

Hyundai's performance in the premium SUV segment in India can be termed lackluster at best, with the Terracan and Tucson failing miserably before the previous-generation Santa Fe came and sold in relatively decent numbers. With the all-new Santa Fe, Hyundai would be hoping to build on that success and gain market share in a segment ruled by the Toyota Fortuner.

Premium Sports Utility Vehicles are all about looks and presence and on that count, the Santa Fe impresses. Following the Korean brand's "Storm Edge" design philosophy that has evolved from the highly-successful Fluidic Sculpture theme, the new Santa Fe has oodles of presence. The sleek, elongated headlamps and the huge hexagonal chrome grille gives this Hyundai massive street presence. The steeply-raked windows, the flared wheel arches and the sharp belt line stand out and so does the stylish taillights. The headlight clusters house square-shaped projectors while the taillight clusters have a streak of Light Emitting Diodes.

With Hyundai models at a fraction of the price coming with all bells and whistles, will the Santa Fe lose out on interior features and creature comforts? Of course, not. The flagship 4WD variant comes fully loaded with xenon headlamps, fog lamps with cornering function, touchscreen interface, push-button start, 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, air-conditioning vents for all three rows, dual zone climate control, cruise control, rear view camera, auto-folding mirrors and steering mounted controls apart from the other regular stuff that we are used to. Hyundais are traditionally not known for their handling and steering feedback and the Santa Fe's new 'Flex Steer' feature aims to overcome that by offering three steering modes - Comfort, Normal and Sport to choose from.

Safety is taken care of by a whole gamut of active and passive features that include 6 airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Brake Assist (BA), Advance Traction Cornering Control (ATCC), Hill Start Assist and Down-hill Brake Control. Shockingly, for the price at which it retails, the 2WD variants are devoid of most of these safety features and customers will have no choice but to opt for the 4WD variant if they want 5-star levels of safety.

Powering the new Santa Fe is a 2.2-liter CRDi engine with an electronic Variable Geometry Turbocharger (e-VGT). Delivering 197 PS of maximum power at 3800 rpm, this R Series engine is mated to a 6-speed manual and automatic transmission. While the manual variant generates a peak torque of 42.9 kgm between 1800 to 2500 rpm with an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 14.74 km/l, the automatic variant generates 44.5 kgm and returns 13.01 km/l.

While the looks, features and specifications of the all-new Santa Fe are undoubtedly impressive, the fact that it commands a price higher than some models from BMW and Audi is tough to ignore. Even if Hyundai is able to convince potential customers that its Santa Fe is worth more than the models flaunting luxury badges, the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Honda CR-V, Ford Endeavour, Nissan X-Trail, Chevrolet Captiva and Renault Koleos will make life tougher for the Korean SUV. Let's wait and see how the Santa Fe fares in the Indian market.


  1. What is Hyundai thinking? Santafe is available for half the price in other countries.

    1. We agree, the Santa Fe is priced higher than what it should have been. But the same applies to many of its competitors too!

  2. Price is very high. Toyota Fortuner is cheaper than this.

    1. Toyota Fortuner might be cheaper than the Santa Fe, but the Hyundai decimates the Toyota by offering much more features that justifies the additional price.