Santa Fe Sport 2019 First Drive

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Planned to go on sale for the 2019 model year, the fourth-generation Santa Fe has been recently spied doing its thing at the automaker’s development center in Germany. The prototype, though extensively camouflaged, looks as if it is just about ready for series production.

The most striking design-related attribute of the Santa Fe is, wouldn’t you know, the lighting system. Separated into two sections, we’re able to spot slim upper LED lights and larger headlamps on either side of the front grille. Speaking of the grille, the honeycomb design is an evident one up compared to the horizontal bars of the present-gen Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Sport 2019 Interior

In all likelihood, the 2019 Santa Fe’s face is heavily inspired by what Hyundaiis trying to pull off with the B-segment Kona crossover. The side profile shows a slightly longer wheelbase, whereas the rear end incorporates LED-accented taillights and chromed dual-exhaust tips.

It’s pretty early to start talking about powertrains, but the most likely outcome is Hyundai will continue to offer inline-four and V6 engines. In Europe, some sort of turbo diesel will also make the cut, but it’s not known if the South Korean manufacturer can make a case for both the 2.0- and 2.2-liter mills. Considering that the Kia Stinger can be had with the latter, my two cents go on the 197-hp 2.2-liter CRDi.

Another change that’s certain for the 2019 Santa Fe is replacing the six-speed Shiftronic auto with a more modern and fuel-efficient transmission. The most likely candidate is an eight-speed box that was introduced last fall, an in-house developed transmission that occupies the same space as the six-speeder, yet weighs 3.5 kilos less. The Kia Cadenza uses the said tranny.

Santa Fe Sport 2019 Interior

8 Photos of the Santa Fe Sport 2019 First Drive

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