The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has been given a new look, name and tech updates. But it’s not a radical departure in any way from the SUV briefly known as the Santa Fe Sport, and the brand’s anchor SUV since before SUVs were cool.
To reiterate the difference between the Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL, the two-row Santa Fe Sport is back to simply being the Santa Fe. The current three-row Hyundai Santa Fe is unchanged except for the name and is the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL. All will be cleaner when Hyundai’s coming redesigned three-row arrives under its own new name.
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The outgoing Santa Fe Sport was a good value and a comfortable hauler that went about its business without fuss or calling attention to itself. Everything about the new version indicates it will be the same, just a bit better.
The new look is sleeker and leaner, a bit more upscale, but the only real drama is in the front, with a big Hyundai cascading grille, aggressive bumper and unusual dropped-headlight lighting arrangement that drew comment but seems fine to me (and maybe less likely to blind others in the lower position).