Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have been dominating the automotive market for over a decade, and three-row SUVs have gained significant popularity worldwide. In Pakistan, there's a growing demand for locally assembled three-row models, including Honda BR-V, DFSK Glory, Tiggo 8, Oshan X7, and the ever-popular Toyota Fortuner. Globally, Korean automakers like Hyundai and Kia are not far behind, offering a range of models. Hyundai Pakistan introduced the "Hyundai Santa Fe" as a CBU (Completely Built-Up) or imported unit in 2019. However, with a hefty price tag of almost Rs. 20 Million, it faced challenges in the market. Now, there's exciting news for Pakistani car enthusiasts as the locally assembled Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is on the horizon.
A Legacy of Success
The Hyundai Santa Fe is not a new nameplate; in fact, it's one of Hyundai's most successful models. The first generation rolled off production lines in 2000, marking Hyundai's entry into the SUV market. Since then, it has amassed nearly 5.3 million global sales. Initially a compact SUV, it has evolved into a mid-size model, offering both 2-row, 5-seat, and 3-row, 7-seat configurations depending on the market.
A New Generation Beckons
Hyundai recently unveiled the all-new 5th-generation Santa Fe, set to go on sale in North America, Korea, and Europe later this year. Pakistani consumers have eagerly awaited this model, and their hopes seem to be materializing with the recent sighting of a 4th-generation Santa Fe in Pakistan. Although we won't see the 5th generation here immediately, the 4th generation promises a compelling package.
Platform of Hyundai Santa Fe
The 4th generation Santa Fe, with chassis code "TM," hit production lines in 2018 and received a significant facelift in 2020. This generation shares its platform with the Kia Sorento, a partnership that has yielded impressive results. Hyundai and Kia developed a modular platform, known as the N-platform, which underpins various models for both brands. This platform offers advantages like increased rigidity, reduced weight, improved safety, better fuel efficiency, and adaptability for unibody crossovers, cars, and vans.
The 4th-gen Hyundai Santa Fe boasts a length of 4785mm, a width of 1900mm, and a wheelbase of 2765mm. Ground clearance varies, and although specific numbers for the Pakistani model aren't confirmed yet, it's essential to compare these measurements with other 3-row models on the market.
The facelifted Santa Fe boasts a modern and luxurious exterior design.
Its wide cascading grille, sleek headlights, and T-shaped LED DRLs provide an appealing front fascia.
Depending on the variant, the headlights offer different configurations, including dual projector high and low beams.
The wheels are 235/55 R19 aero-type alloys, which may also feature an imported tire brand.
While interior details from Pakistan's Santa Fe remain a mystery, we can anticipate a high-tech layout.
The facelifted model offers a floating center console with controls for HVAC, media, and more.
The shift-by-wire transmission adds a unique design element, creating extra storage space.
Infotainment options vary, with an 8" or 10.25" screen available, depending on the variant.
While the overseas model lacks wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, we hope the local version will offer these features.
The 4th-gen Santa Fe comes in various configurations, including conventional gasoline engines, diesel, and hybrid options.
The hybrid model combines a 178hp gasoline engine with a 59hp electric motor for a combined 227hp and 350Nm of torque. This setup allows for electric-only driving at low speeds and regenerative braking for improved efficiency.
Santa Fe features ABS brakes, power steering, and a MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension. The type of transmission varies based on the engine, with options for 6-speed automatic, 8-speed automatic, or 8-speed DCT.
The hybrid models come with a 6-speed automatic. The Hyundai HTRAC AWD system is available, though the specific configuration for the Pakistani market is yet to be confirmed.
Safety in Hyundai Santa Fe
The Santa Fe boasts a range of safety features, including airbags, hill start assist, stability control, downhill assist, traction control, and brake assist.
The overseas model also offers advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, and more. The top models feature a 360-degree view monitor and a blind-spot monitor with live video feed in the instrument cluster.
The price of the Hyundai Santa Fe in Pakistan remains uncertain due to economic fluctuations.
However, it's estimated to be around Rs. 12-13 Million. It's crucial for Hyundai Nishat to offer a competitively priced, well-equipped model to navigate the challenging economic conditions and meet customer expectations.
The impending arrival of the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid in Pakistan is a promising development for the local automotive market. With its blend of modern design, advanced technology, and hybrid powertrain, it has the potential to be a compelling choice for SUV enthusiasts. The key will be pricing it competitively while maintaining high standards of safety and features to cater to the discerning Pakistani consumer. The future looks exciting for Hyundai's Santa Fe in Pakistan.