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The immensely-practical Hyundai Santa Fe has gained a few enhancements for 2015 in the US, chief among which is the addition of a new 32-bit microprocessor to the electric power steering system that claims to offer more feel.

Suspension improvements as well – the front suspension features stiffer wheel bearings and lower control arm bushings, while the rear gets revised geometry and bushings. The result is an increase in overall lateral stiffness, improving handling.

Daytime running lights, a driver’s blind spot mirror and an auto front passenger power window now come as standard, and optional is a Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open – with the key in your pocket, wait within a few feet of the rear bumper and the tailgate opens automatically.

New also are two colours – Sparkling Silver and Platinum Graphite – and the Santa Fe Sport (that’s the standard-wheelbase five-seater) gets a two-tone grille that “emphasises its sportier personality,” as well as mildly-restyled fog lamps.

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No powertrain changes – the standard-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport is powered by a 190 hp 2.4 litre four-cylinder or a 264 hp 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo. The long-wheelbase Santa Fe hides a 290 hp 3.3 litre V6 under its bonnet. A six-speed auto is standard fare.

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe continues to be offered in front- or all-wheel drive, standard- or long-wheelbase and five-, six- or seven-seat versions. Prices start from US$24,950 (RM81,560), excluding US$875 (RM2,860) freight charge.

Our trusty Euro spies have spotted the Santa Fe facelift undergoing testing – we’re expecting that to surface next year. The current third-gen DM has served us well – read our review of the 2.2 litre turbodiesel-engined car, or turn back the clock with our comprehensive local launch report.