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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
IT IS AN ALL-NEW AND HIGHLY CAPABLE 2019 HYUNDAI SANTA FE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Just so there is no confusion, the Santa Fe Sport model is out. From 2019 onward, all you have is a two-row, five-passenger Santa Fe offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. And it will be a while before the three-row Santa Fe XL hits the market.
Available in five trims, the popular and much-touted midsize crossover from Hyundai will come in two power trims: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 184 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 178 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm; or the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder cranking out 235 hp @ 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 3500 rpm. However, the turbo engine can be found only in the top two trims: Limited and Ultimate. The previous lackluster 6-speed auto gearbox has been replaced with a more competent and fuel-efficient 8-speed. Suspension has been improved though the SUV retains a front MacPherson strut and a rear multilink system.
The 2019 Santa Fe is not just longer than 3 inches from its predecessor, but also wider and higher too. It gets 67 percent advanced high-strength steel and 45 percent more structural adhesive. Sound-absorbing materials have been boosted too for a quieter ride. The completely redesigned SUV shows off a signature cascading Hyundai grille with chrome elements. Stacked headlights, functional air curtain, bulged fender flares and a rugged lower fascia are other apparent changes on the exterior.
The Santa Fe comes standard with Hyundai SmartSense, which includes blind-spot, forward-collision avoidance, safe exit and lane keep assists; smart cruise control; and of course 10 air bags. Also offered are comfort, smart and sport drive modes, 8-way power driver seat, 8-inch LCD touch screen for nav, phone and audio, Bluetooth phone capabilities, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heads-up display, cooled/heated front seats, 60/40 rear seat, panoramic sun roof, 6-speaker sound system, surround-view monitor, tilt/telescopic steering column, manual or dual auto a/c, and many more amenities depending on the trim you pick.
Base-priced at $25,500 and peaking at $35,450, the overhauled 2019 Santa Fe is a heck of a deal. Both the power trains result in a responsive ride, which boasts bold styling and an inviting cabin. And the Hyundai five-year, 60,000-mile basic, and 10-year, 100,000-mile power train warranties should convince you to sign on the dotted line.

SANTA FE (FWD)
Tires: 235/65R17
Wheelbase: 108.9 inches
Length: 187.8 inches
Weight: 3,591 pounds
Steering: power rack and pinion
Fuel capacity: 18.8 gallons
City: 22 mpg
Highway: 29 mpg
Web site: www.hyundai.com

CALLING ALL HYUNDAI DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com