AA Driven COTY 2018: Why the Hyundai Santa Fe made the top 10
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The new Hyundai Santa Fe is described as a “highly artificially intelligent” SUV, fitted with a host of new electronic features that helped propel it into the final 10 contenders for the AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year Award.
“There’s more to the fourth-generation Santa Fe than just good looks,” said the judges, “It boasts a new platform, a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox and a new steering system. But more important to potential buyers looking for a family vehicle is the huge, impressive list of safety vehicles like rear-seat occupant alert and safe exit assist.”
The Santa Fe is easier to get in and out of than previous models, is quieter and offers more practicality.
Driven tester and award judge Paul Owen reported the seating arrangements can be reconfigured from seven to five in seconds, while a bed-like flat floor can be created by folding down the second and third row seats with the push of a couple of buttons.
A new powertrain innovation is the HTRAC system, which adjusts front to rear torque distribution according to whichever of the four driving modes is selected.
In addition to Eco, Comfort and Sport modes, there is a fourth selection called Smart which monitors the driver’s use of the vehicle and automatically adjusts the Santa Fe to whatever driving scenario is being encountered.
The Santa Fe starts at $59,990, and entry-grade equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear view camera, front and rear parking assist, HTRAC, cloth upholstery, daytime running lights, a 7-inch touch screen, tyre pressure monitoring and blind spot monitoring, front and rear collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, and radar-guided cruise control.
Elite models start at $69,490 and feature 19-inch alloy wheels, leatherette trim, the Infinity audio system, sat-nav, LEDs, and power front seat adjustment.
The two powertrain-defined Limited models ($76,990 and $82,990) come with an auto-link remote phone control (allowing you to monitor the vehicle from your smartphone), a TFT touchscreen, surround-view parking vision, auto-park, a panoramic sunroof, and a heads-up display unit.