Hyundai-Sime Darby has released specs of the facelifted Santa Fe SUV, which will be officially launched at the KL International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2010. As previously revealed on this site, the refreshed seven-seat SUV will not only come with fresh looks, but new drivetrains as well. Hyundai’s new six-speed automatic gearbox will feature here, as will the Theta II 2.4L petrol and the R-series 2.2L CRDi diesel.

Let’s start with the petrol. The old 2.7L V6 will be replaced by the Theta II 2.4L engine as found in the Tucson and Sonata. This Dual CVVT four-cylinder engine with variable intake system (VIS) makes 174 PS and 228 Nm, which is not too much of a deficit on the V6 (188 PS/248 Nm at 4,000 rpm) considering it has two less cylinders and is 300 cc smaller. You save on road tax as well.

On the diesel front, the 2.2 R diesel engine is a big improvement over the current 2.2, which is already a decent performer. This commonrail engine with electronic variable geometry turbocharger (e-VGT) puts out a mighty 197 PS and 442 Nm (at 1,800-2,500 rpm) which is a substantial 47 PS and 107 Nm more than the current car. These figures are miles ahead of diesel powered seven-seat SUV rivals in Malaysia, as well as the 174 PS/403 Nm of the “Mother Trucker” Nissan Navara 2.5, the most powerful pick-up in town.

The equipment list is more comprehensive than before. Keyless entry, steering wheel audio controls, electric driver’s seat, GPS system, reverse camera, Nappa leather seats and a sunroof are included. Other interior changes include the addition of carbon-fibre paneling (hope it’s not too tacky), relocation of switches, chrome treatment and an organ type accelerator pedal. ESP is also standard on this 4WD (with lock button) SUV.

Prices will be announced at the launch, but our sources say that there won’t be much change in the diesel’s price despite the improvements, making it a very attractive proposition, while the petrol should be priced below RM160K.

Currently, the 2.2 CRDi is priced at RM165,358.50 while the 2.7 V6 costs RM163,827.60 (OTR excluding insurance). It is locally assembled at Inokom’s Kulim plant, so will the facelifted car.