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A smarter Santa Fe available for preorders from Feb. 7

Posted January. 31, 2018 09:32,   

Updated January. 31, 2018 09:32


Hyundai Motor has unveiled a redesigned Santa Fe, hoping the makeover of the SUV will help boost the Korean carmaker’s sales in the first half of the year. On top of a significant overhaul in design, a range of advanced safety features supported by the latest technology are expected to draw attention from consumers.

The fourth-generation Santa Fe was first revealed to the Korean media on Tuesday at the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul in Gangnam District, Seoul. Ordinary consumers, if they have signed up in advance, can also take a glimpse of the revamped model starting on Wednesday.

The new Santa Fe is considered to be the automaker’s bread and butter model for this year. Industry insiders are watching with keen eyes on whether the two-row, five-seater SUV can receive the baton from the Grandeur IG, which drove Hyundai’s sales in the domestic market last year, to stimulate sales this year.

Upon first glance, the new-generation Santa Fe looks “stronger” and “smarter.” With its full width, overall height, and full length larger than those of its predecessor, the model has also some impressive bold character lines in both sides.

What stood out at the media preview event were the new SUV’s safety features powered by the state-of-the-art technology. “We gave much thought to who would drive the Santa Fe in what circumstances, and what would they do and want driving the car,” said Kim Hyo-lin, director of the User Experience Planning division at Hyundai Motor.

One of the main safety features incorporated in the all-new Santa Fe is the industry-first safety exit assist (SEA) system. When objects approach from the rear after a car stops, the system automatically makes warning sounds and keeps the doors of back seats temporarily locked, which are usually taken by babies or young children. The carmaker applied this feature to the revamped Santa Fe considering that families are the main consumers of the model.

Another notable safety feature is a rear occupant alert (‎ROA) system, which alerts the driver if he or she forgets an occupant in the rear seat and leaves the car. This will prevent accidents in which parents would leave behind their children in rear seats in hot summer days, resulting in injuries or death of children left in the car. In such a case, the new Santa Fe informs the driver of the situation through messages, voice warning and SMS notifications.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com