Waiting for That Diesel Santa Fe? Hyundai Says Forget About It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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.

[Images: Hyundai]

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