This is the engine that powers the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate AWD. It’s a 2L turbo four cylinder engine that puts out 235 HP but more importantly an impressive 260 pound feet of torque to all four wheels via an eight speed automatic transmission which you can shift yourself if you so choose. But don’t bother doing so as it is a well sorted transmission that seems to be in the right gear more often than not and is generally a very smooth shifting transmission.
The AWD system in the Santa Fe is worth mentioning in more detail. Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a similar system that is used in the Hyundai Genesis that I reviewed a few years back. But unlike that system, it is front wheel biased rather than rear wheel biased.
Driving Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate AWD is pretty rewarding. The power comes on pretty early in the rev range and pulls strong through the middle part of the rev range. So what that means is that you have lots of power off the line, as well as to pass transport trucks and merge onto the highway with ease. I never felt that this vehicle was lacking in power in any way. Handling is superb as it is very nimble at any speed. Body roll is very well controlled and it feels solid thanks to a combination of the in house high strength steel the Hyundai uses and the suspension which doesn’t beat you senseless while being firm. Quite frankly, it feels like I am driving my 2016 Tucson, only with a bit more power at my right foot. It’s also generally quiet to drive even with the winter tires that are on the vehicle.
Fuel economy is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size. I say surprisingly because I was not sure what to expect coming into this test drive. I am currently floating around 12.1 L/100 KM in largely city driving, which I think is pretty good. That is being aided by an engine stop/start system which will power down the engine at a stoplight when you have your foot firmly on the brake, and power it back up when you start to take your foot off the brake. You do notice that process happening and I have to admit that the first few times that it happened I was kind of unnerved at the engine stopping and starting. But after about a day or so you stop noticing it. Another thing that I should note is the drive modes. You get three in this vehicle. Comfort, Sport, and Smart. And they’re appropriately color coded (e.g., a red speedometer border for Sport) so you’ll never have to guess which drive mode you’re in. My advice is to set it for Smart and leave it there as that will give you the best balance between performance and fuel consumption.
Next up I’ll walk through the interior which Hyundai has clearly brought its “A Game” to. Tune in tomorrow to find out why I say that.