Hyundai Santa Fe facelift-21

After months of spyshots – including some of the interior – the facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe has finally been unveiled in its home market of South Korea. The five/seven-seat SUV gets a range of tweaks inside and out to bring it up to speed with the rest of the competition.

First things first, the looks – the bulk of the changes are situated in front, with new projector headlights, restyled grille slats and a reprofiled bumper with C-shaped chrome highlights around the front fog lights. Also new are the wing mirrors – the odd diagonal indicators on the pre-facelift car have given way to more conventional horizontal items.

At the rear, the internal graphics of the LED combination tail lights have been redesigned; there’s also a new bumper with reshaped reflectors, as well as trapezoidal exhaust exits. New wheel designs and three new colours (Tan Brown, Beige Chalk and Mineral Blue) complete the makeover.

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The interior, meanwhile, is much the same as before, with improved textures, new garnish on the knee pads and a simpler instrument cluster with more legible fonts. New options include a larger eight-inch touchscreen operating the Smart Navigation system, Around-View Monitoring (AVM), park assist and a 10-speaker JBL premium sound system.

Koreans get a choice of new 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre R e-VGT four-cylinder turbodiesels. These engines now meet Euro 6 emissions regulations and get a healthy bump in power – the 2.0L produces 186 PS (up 36 PS) at 4,000 rpm and 402 Nm (up 19 Nm) from 1,750-2,750 rpm, while the 2.2L develops 202 PS (up 5 PS) at 3,800 rpm and 441 Nm (up 5 Nm) from 1,750-2,750 rpm.

In terms of fuel consumption, the 2.0 litre version achieves a claimed 13.8 km per litre, while the 2.2 litre mill manages 13.4 km per litre. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

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Top-spec Malaysian-market Santa Fe models may have recently been upgraded to six airbags, but in terms of safety the facelifted Korean-market Santa Fe is even more advanced – in addition to standard seven airbags and stability control as well as optional Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), the Korean-market Santa Fe now gets Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) as optional extras.

Hyundai also claims it has reinforced the body to fare better in small overlap crashes, as tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.