Waiting for That Diesel Santa Fe? Hyundai Says Forget About It
If you’re enamored by the thought of a high-torque, compression ignition Hyundai crossover, dream on. After promising a diesel version of its new-for-2019 Santa Fe, which began arriving at dealers this past summer, Hyundai has announced a diesel is off the table.
The automaker admitted as much to Green Car Reports following a plant tour in Seoul. Apparently, Hyundai feels Americans just aren’t interested. With the diesel’s stillbirth comes another change for the revamped crossover: the removal of its third-row option.
Hyundai spokesman Brandon Ramirez claims the decision to scrap the 2.2-liter turbodiesel came after studies showed North American buyers held little interest in an oil-burning option. That mill was said to make 190 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque — more pulling power than either the Santa Fe’s base, carryover 2.4-liter inline-four (185 hp, 178 lb-ft) or turbocharged 2.0-liter four (235 hp, 260 lb-ft).
Upon its debut, Hyundai said the 2019 Santa Fe’s third row would be a diesel-only option, meaning the model, like its Santa Fe Sport predecessor, will remain a two-row-only vehicle. Buyers looking for extra seating had best wait for the larger Palisade arriving next year.
As Green Car Reports notes, other promised diesel crossovers — namely, the Mazda CX-5 — have yet to materialize. It’s likely buyers would prefer a fuel-sipping hybrid Santa Fe option over a diesel. Hyundai showed a pair of electrified models (hybrid and plug-in hybrid) in Geneva last March, and it seems the possibility of one or more of those variants arriving here isn’t off the table.