The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe SR, revealed last year, will go on sale in Australia as the brand’s flagship SUV. The performance-oriented seven-seater sits alongside its SR siblings which include the Accent SR, i30 SR and Veloster SR. As it occupies the top spot in Hyundai Australia’s SUV range, the Santa Fe SR carries a premium of AU$6,750 (RM19,467) over the previous flagship Santa Fe variant, the Highlander AWD.

Based on the 2015 model year Santa Fe, the SR variant receives a set of aesthetic upgrades to help it project its sportier intentions. Goodies include a bodykit (comprised of a sportier front bumper design, side skirts and a rear diffuser) and a set of darkened 19-inch OZ alloy wheels wrapped in 235/55 Michelin Latitude Tour tyres. Added retardation comes from a set of four discs (340 mm front, 302 mm rear) clamped by four-piston monobloc Brembo calipers.

Additional work has been done to improve the capabilities of the Santa Fe SR’s suspension and chassis, as well. The Santa Fe SR is equipped with H&R performance springs that are 6% stiffer in front and 11% at the rear. The springs themselves are paired to Korean-made Mando dampers. Hyundai’s Flex Steer and Active On-Demand four-wheel drive system are featured.

With that said, mechanicals under the bonnet remain the same. The Santa Fe SR soldiers on with a turbocharged 2.2 litre diesel engine with 194 hp and 436 Nm of torque – power is distributed to the wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

On the inside, the seats are trimmed in black leather with the driver’s unit receiving 12-way electronic-adjustability with lumbar support. The front seats are heated and ventilated while the second row receives only heating facilities. Elsewhere, the Santa Fe SR is equipped with front and rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a powered tailgate.

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe SR will be available with a choice of four exterior colour schemes – Creamy White (solid), Sleek Silver, Titanium Silver and Phantom Black. Prices begin at AU$59,990 (RM173,058), plus on-road costs. Aside from that, the facelifted Santa Fe is slated to go on sale in Australia later this year.

GALLERY: Hyundai Santa Fe facelift unveiled