The all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with new seating configurations, unique technology, and even an optional diesel engine. Whether it meets your needs may depend on how much space you need.

The names of the various trim levels are changing, and so are most of the specs.

The five-passenger, two-row SUV, which goes on sale later this summer, will be called the Santa Fe (replacing the Santa Fe Sport). The current three-row, long-wheelbase SUV with room for seven will remain on sale and will be called the Santa Fe XL. Those who need more space can wait for a larger, eight-passenger SUV that Hyundai says will debut soon.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
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Engine options will include either a 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 232-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic instead of the outgoing vehicle’s six-speed.

In early 2019, consumers will also be able to opt for a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine that’s good for 200 horsepower. The vehicle will be Hyundai’s first U.S.-market diesel, and the only Santa Fe to feature what Hyundai calls an “occasional-use third-row seat.”

Front-wheel drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is optional.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe dash

Overall, the new Santa Fe is 2.8 inches longer and has up to 7.3 cu. ft. more interior space than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport, although it’s still smaller than the Santa Fe XL.

Outside, the Santa Fe gets a whole new look that promises greater visibility at the front, rear, and sides—an issue we had with the outgoing car. Standard LED headlamps are also part of the car’s new look.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe back seat

But some of the most interesting new features aren’t visible. For instance, Safe Exit Assist will temporarily keep doors from being opened when a motorcycle, bicycle, or vehicle approaches from behind even when the doors are unlocked. The technology might save you from a fender-bender—and it also might save the life of a passing cyclist.

Rear Seat Occupant Alert uses an ultrasonic sensor to keep an eye out for kids and pets. If the sensor detects motion in the backseat when the doors are locked, it will flash the vehicle’s lights and sound its horn, in addition to sending an alert to the owner’s smartphone via Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system.

On the SE trim and higher, standard safety and driver-assist features include lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic warning with automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Santa Fe buyers have a choice of a 7- or 8-inch infotainment screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and a built-in Qi wireless smartphone charging pad is optional.

We had no major complaints about the 2014 Santa Fe Sport when we tested it, so we expect good things from the 2019 Santa Fe when it goes on sale in August. 

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe rear