The AutoJudge Awards sponsored by the Texas Automotive Media Association (TAMA), named the 2019 Santa Fe SUV of the Year today during the SEMA trade show. Celebrating their 13th year as the first automotive awards of the auto show season, an expert and well-respected panel of automotive journalists select the best sedans, SUVs, and Pickup Trucks after an entire year of test driving vehicles.
“The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe represents Hyundai’s strong SUV heritage. As the best-selling SUV in our history, we are continually striving to build on this success and deliver vehicles that reflect the needs of today’s drivers,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. This award selected by an esteemed panel of AutoJudge journalists inspires our team to continue to be a leader in this competitive segment.”
Texas Automotive Media Association President, Marlon Hanson, publisher of Focus Daily News, added “Hyundai continues to deliver appealing choices of vehicles that highly resonate among our panel of veteran automotive journalists that evaluate new models all year based on performance, quality, functionality, and overall value; qualities beyond cosmetics to provide consumers with the most detailed driving impressions available. This year, Hyundai’s fourth generation Santa Fe was selected as the SUV of the Year for setting new benchmarks in safety and comfort-based technologies while remaining true to their established roots of abundant value and affordability.”
The face of the new Santa Fe is highlighted by Hyundai’s signature cascading grille and a composite light design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned sleekly above the LED headlights. The exterior design is characterized by a powerful, wide stance and an athletic body that makes a statement from 100 feet away. The Santa Fe interior design combines premium quality with a roomy layout featuring a strong horizontal design theme and enhanced visibility. Premium touches such as the layered, three-dimensional instrument panel and contrasting seat stitching ensures a high level of luxury within the cabin. The Santa Fe’s larger daylight opening enhances the interior’s feeling of openness with generous amounts of natural light.
The 2019 Santa Fe line-up offers a choice of proven powertrains. There is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder GDI engine with 185 horsepower or a more powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower. All engines are mated to a brand-new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai Smart Sense technologies are now available on Santa Fe. New safety features include the optional Rear Occupant Alert, which Hyundai is debuting with the Santa Fe. The system monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display. If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle and locks the doors it will honk the horn and send a Blue Link alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. The system is designed to prevent children and pets from being forgotten in the car, but it also helps in case children accidentally lock themselves in.
The 2019 Santa Fe also features Hyundai’s first standard Safe Exit Assist system. To enhance the safety of Hyundai’s passengers, Safe Exit Assist uses radar to help detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster may alert the driver. In addition, if the driver attempts to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock feature, Safe Exit Assist will override the driver and ensure the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed. Once the road is clear, the driver can then deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock and successfully unlock the rear passenger doors.
The 2019 Santa Fe is on sale now and available at dealerships nationwide.