When Hyundai announced the all-new 2019 Santa Fe for the United States, the headlines were all about the SUV becoming the brand’s first model to feature a diesel engine.
The carmaker initially planned to offer a 2.2-liter diesel engine as an option for the 2020 model year. Fast forward to late 2018 and it appears that Hyundai’s strategy changed dramatically. Hyundai spokesman, Brandon Ramirez, told Green Car Reports that the diesel-powered Santa Fe won’t be coming to the U.S. after all.
According to the representative, Hyundai canceled the power plant as studies indicated the buyers’ reluctance to have a turbo diesel engine in a crossover. The current low gas prices and the advent of electrification probably didn’t help the Santa Fe Diesel’s case either.
The move follows a similar decision from Kia earlier this year to cancel the 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine for the Sorento. An indirect result of that decision is the Santa Fe won’t offer a three-row version either, Ramirez confirmed. That’s because the seven-seat Santa Fe was initially planned to be offered exclusively with the diesel engine.
In the future, customers will need to step up to the 2020 Palisade if they want a three-row SUV from Hyundai — the current 2019 Santa Fe XL is based on the previous-generation model and will be replaced by the Palisade for 2020.
With no diesel-powered Santa Fe on the horizon, Hyundai might offer a plug-in hybrid version in the future. The only major carmakers that currently offer diesel-powered SUVs and crossovers in the United States are Chevrolet, GMC, Jeep, and Land Rover.
Note: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe pictured