The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has finally made its world debut in Goyang city, Seoul. The fourth-generation SUV, according to the company, is packed with the latest high-tech features and will go into production from the second quarter of 2018, with sales to follow after.

Design-wise, the Santa Fe takes after the Kona, sporting slim LED daytime running lights (Hyundai’s new identity for its SUVs) and a large Cascading Grille. The main beams are LED (projector units) and are built below the DRLs.

The Santa Fe’s profile is highlighted by a strong shoulder line that stretches from the headlights to the taillights, and the near-flat roofline gives off a familiar silhouette as its predecessor. The upswept window line is retained, but executed with more finesse this time around. At the back, it gets a pair of LED tail lights with unique checkered C-shaped graphics, and the more rounded rump does a fine job in masking the car’s bulk.

The SUV measures 4,770 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and has a wheelbase of 2,765 mm. Just as a comparison, the preceding model measures 4,690 mm long (-80 mm), 1,880 mm wide (-10 mm) and a much shorter 2,700 mm (-65 mm) wheelbase. Here, it rides on 19-inch dual-tone diamond-cut alloys.

Inside, the cabin gets completely redesigned and takes after the Kona as well, featuring a three-tiered dashboard – the freestanding seven-inch infotainment display sits up top, followed by slim air vents, dual-zone climate control and a Qi wireless charging tray below. The leather seats are part perforated, part quilted for a more premium feel, and depending on the trim, there’s heating and ventilation function, as well as 10-way power adjustable front seats.

Hyundai says rearward visibility is improved with this generation, thanks to the employment of a larger rear quarter glass that’s 41% larger than before. The longer wheelbase also means that there’s more legroom for passengers in the second and third row. In the second row, legroom is up by 38 mm and the seat is 18 mm higher. There’s a new one-touch seat folding function for easy access to the third row seats – headroom back there is up by 22 mm.

For audiophiles, the Santa Fe gets a 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system with an 11-channel amplifier with Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology. Clari–Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally compressed music, while QuantumLogic extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into a multi-dimensional soundstage for playback that is “clear, refined and full of detail.”

The Korean automaker is offering six engines (four petrol and two diesel units) to go with the SUV. Its home market will receive the 2.0 T-GDI petrol turbo (232 hp) and both 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre CRDi turbodiesel engines, the latter producing 200 hp and 434 Nm (estimated). Also available for other markets are 2.0 GDI, 2.4 MPI and 3.3 MPI naturally-aspirated petrol units.

All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s developed in-house. Despite having two extra gears, Hyundai says it’s lighter than the older six-speeder, and the extra cogs allow for extra thrust off the line, and it’s three percent more economical than before.

Drive is sent to all four wheels (Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system) – it’s a multi-mode AWD system, providing an electronic, variable torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. There are four drive modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart) to choose from – in Sport, up to 50% of torque is distributed to the rear wheels. In comfort mode, about 35% is sent to the back, but in eco mode, power is primarily sent to the front wheels for optimal fuel efficiency.

In the ride and handling department, the SUV’s steering has been tuned to be more responsive, and the upgraded suspension (now stiffer and angled more vertically for longer travel length) is said to improve vehicle stability while enhancing comfort, NVH and overall quietness. Road noise is also reduced through the use of more sound deadening materials. Those wanting more can opt for the self-load-leveling suspension continuously adjusts ride height regardless of vehicle load.

For the first time in a Hyundai SUV, the Santa Fe comes with a full head-up display, and the company guarantees nothing but the best visibility in different lighting conditions. The HUD displays vital info such as navigation commands, fuel level and various alerts from the active safety and driving assistance features.

Speaking of safety, the car features the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features. This bundles Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, Safety Exit Assist and Speed Limit Info Function.

The Rear Occupant Alert system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect movements of children or pets in the rear seats. When detected, it alerts the driver that there are still passengers in the rear seat when leaving the car. It will also activate when children accidentally lock themselves in the car.

As with all Hyundai models, the Santa Fe boasts extensive application of high-tensile strength steel – in fact it features more high-strength steel than any other Hyundai vehicle with 57%, or 15% more than the older model. Thrown in the mix are six airbags. So, do you like what you see? Let us know below.