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Santa Fe aims to break new ground
Santa Fe. Supplied picture

The four-wheel-drive market is the Achilles' heel in Hyundai's model armoury.

While just over 8 per cent (60,500) of new-car buyers have opted for Hyundai models this year, the Korean brand is not on the shopping list of 4WD buyers.

The Santa Fe only accounts for about 3 per cent of market share in a segment dominated by the Toyota Prado and Kluger and Ford Territory.

Those people looking for the "value-for-money" buy have been turning to Holden's Korean-built Captiva.

And it is these buyers that Hyundai will be targeting with its third- generation Santa Fe.

While giving the Hyundai a new look and adding a heap of safety technology and features, Hyundai has kept the cost at the current level.

The Santa Fe is available in three trim levels - Active, Elite and Highlander. All models come with seven seats.

The range kicks off at $36,990 (plus on-road costs) for a petrol Active with a 141kW 2.4-litre engine using 9.0L/100km.

The diesel Active, which is $39,990, is powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel producing 145kW and 421Nm with the manual transmission and 436Nm when teamed with the auto gearbox.

Auto adds $2000 to both Active models.

These prices make it one of the most affordable 4WDs in the segment.

Standard features include a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, a touchscreen stereo with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, seven airbags, cruise control plus hill descent and ascent control.

The mid-range Elite is only available with the turbo-diesel automatic drive train at $45,990.

Features include 18-inch alloys, stainless-steel scuff plates, folding heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers.

It also has a touch-creen media system with sat-nav, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather trim, a smart key with push-button start, climate control and a cooled glove box.

The range-topping Highlander is $49,990 and only available as a diesel automatic.

It has 19-inch alloys, a panoramic glass roof, xenon headlights, LED rear lights, and heated front and second-row seats.