To keep the sales volume chugging, the 2019 model year has seen Hyundai introduce a completely redesigned Santa Fe and Veloster hatchback as well as a completely new alternative-energy vehicle in the form of the NEXO crossover. The new Santa Fe seeks to keep Hyundai SUV sales going with a new offering of new-tech features such as a head-up display and compatibility with Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car Services, while with the Veloster, Hyundai has focused on upping the performance ante and driving dynamics, adding a new high-performance N model which was developed on the Nurburgring. Meanwhile, the upcoming NEXO is the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV and showcases the best of the company’s alternative-energy vehicle research. Read on to see what Hyundai has done with each new model…
The Santa Fe midsize SUV can now accommodate five passengers only, though it has family-oriented interior with an available power-folding split rear seat and is loaded with practical cutting-edge technologies. (A new seven-passenger Palisade SUV is coming for the 2020 model year.) There are six trim levels to choose from: base SE, midrange SEL and SEL Plus, well-equipped Limited and Limited 2.0T, as well as the high-end Ultimate and Ultimate 2.0T. The standard engine offering is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 185 horsepower while 2.0T models get a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder generating 235 horsepower. Front-wheel-drive is standard on all trims with all-wheel-drive optional and all models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Many safety features come standard, such as Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go is also standard. Equipment available on higher level trims includes a 12-speaker Infinity stereo system, heads-up display, LED headlights, and surround view monitor.
Hyundai’s Veloster hatchback, notable for its unique two-plus-one door asymmetrical bodystyle configuration, has received an extensive redesign, engine changes, and a bunch of new high-tech features. Customers can choose from five different models: base 2.0, 2.0 Premium, tuner-oriented Turbo R-Spec, Turbo, and Turbo Ultimate, and high-performance N. In the engine department, 2.0 models get a 2-liter four-cylinder making 147 horsepower while Turbo models have a turbocharged 1.6-liter unit generating 201 horsepower. Meanwhile the Nurburgring-developed N gets a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 250 horsepower, but getting the Performance Package option increases output to 275 horsepower. A 6-speed manual is available on 2.0 and Turbo Ultimate models and is the sole transmission offering on Turbo R-Spec and N models. Otherwise, 2.0 models get a 6-speed automatic and Turbo models get a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Standard features include a 7-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Equipment available on higher-end trim levels includes LED headlights, heated front seats, blind spot collision warning, and heads-up display as well as a limited-slip differential on N models.
The NEXO, only available in California, showcases the best of hydrogen fuel-cell technology that Hyundai has to offer. There are two trim levels: base Blue and Limited. Standard features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Driver Attention Warning, an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, and Lane Following Assist, which helps assist steering to help keep the vehicle more precisely centered in its current lane of travel. The Limited model adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, power liftgate, 8-speaker 440-watt audio system, ventilated front seats, and remote smart parking assist, which enables the vehicle to either autonomously park or retrieve itself from either a parallel or perpendicular parking space with or without a driver inside. The fuel cell system makes 161 horsepower and is paired to a single speed automatic transmission. The NEXO is front-wheel-drive only. In addition, the NEXO Blue model has an estimated driving range of 380 miles while the NEXO Limited trim has an estimated range of 354 miles.