BUYER’S GUIDE: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Martin Aguilar

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) has a new challenger in the tightly-contested, seven-seater midsize SUV segment in the Philippines. Meet the all-new 2019 Santa Fe, an SUV that’s now in its fourth-generation. This Korean SUV first made its Philippine debut at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) last April 2018. Five months later, Hyundai organized a three-day regional test drive to Subic and Bataan, featuring the all-new Santa Fe. As such, what are the things that can make the Santa Fe stand out amongst its rivals in the local market? To answer that, here’s an overview of the all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe.


HARI is only selling one variant, the GLS, of the 2019 Santa Fe as of this writing. The sole local spec variant of the Santa Fe is powered by a 2.2-liter CRDi diesel engine the delivers 197 hp and 442 Nm of torque. The engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Santa Fe has a price tag of PHP2.338 million, which is relatively higher compared to its rivals like the Ford Everest 3.2L Titanium, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2.4L GT, and the Toyota Fortuner 2.8L V. In case you’re into numbers, the Santa Fe is 4,770 mm long, 1,890 mm wide, and 1,680 mm tall along with a wheelbase of 2,765 mm.


The exterior of the 2019 Santa Fe is striking, aggressive, and unique. It’s like an animal that’s patiently stalking its prey and waiting for the right moment to deliver a killer strike. The slim LED headlights with dynamic bending function, wide grille, large bumper, and LED fog lamps result into a striking fascia. Turning to the side, the vehicle is characterized by sharp lines, which gives it an overall crisp look; and who would miss spotting those prominent wheel arches and 19-inch alloy wheels?

The rear, on the other hand, comes with wrap-around LED taillights, muscular bumper, spoiler, and dual exhaust pipes. The rear has the same amount of striking design and it compliments the Santa Fe’s front and side looks. You can also see that the Korean automaker has made a huge jump when it comes to the exterior design of its seven-seater midsize SUV.


The interior of the Santa Fe looks premium, which will make you realize that its price tag is reasonable. It has leather seats, power/electronic front seats, three-spoke steering wheel with audio/phone controls, among others. The star of this SUV’s interior is the tablet-like seven-inch infotainment system (with Apple Carplay or Android Auto) that’s placed in the middle of the dashboard. Aside from this, it also has a seven-inch LCD instrument cluster and an electronic parking brake.


This Korean SUV can accommodate up to seven occupants with enough cargo space to spare. It comes with the usual 2+3+2 seat configuration. Three average sized Filipino adults can easily fit the second row. The third row is best reserved for kids as legroom can be a bit tight especially for tall individuals.


The Santa Fe is equipped with a bunch of safety features such as dual front airbags, side airbags, and curtain airbags, It is also integrated with Safe Exit Assist, a tech which prevents your kids from stepping out onto the road, especially if there’s a fast vehicle approaching. Adding to the vehicle’s safety feature is the Rear Occupants Alert–this is designed for absent-minded drivers as it reminds the driver if he/she left someone inside the car. It uses a motion sensor and when it detects movement when the car is parked, it alerts the driver.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a seven-seater SUV that has stand-out looks and smart safety features, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe should be on your list. Yes, this vehicle may have a higher price tag as compared to its rivals but, the Santa Fe’s striking exterior, premium-looking interior, and safety features could be enough to convince you to choose this Korean SUV over its competition.

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