Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors has announced the introduction of a premium variant of the Inokom-badged Santa Fe, with both 2.2 Diesel and 2.4 Petrol seven-seater models now available in the new spec level option.

Externally, the Santa Fe premium gets a subtly enhanced exterior and interior, with a redesigned front grille, black gloss fog lamp rings and front and back skid plates part of the dress-up package. There’s also a chrome tailgate garnish and newly-designed 18-inch wheels for the variant.

Going the Premium route also bags you Downhill Brake Control (DBC); the system receives information from the wheel speed, steering angle and acceleration sensors, and through its hydro-electronic control unit maintains control and speed of the vehicle on steep declines without having to use the brakes. The DBC function can be activated through a push-button located at the gear area.

No revisions to the output of the engines, which are 174 PS and 228 Nm from the 2.4-litre Theta II petrol block and 197 PS and 442 Nm from the “R” 2.2 CRDi turbodiesel mill; both continue to work with the six-speed auto transmission.

The Premium Specification 2.2 Diesel is priced at RM169,258, while the 2.4 Petrol version goes for RM158,517 (both on-the-road, without insurance). You’ll need to be a bit patient to view one though – the variants will only be seen in Hyundai showrooms next week, starting October 7.