It wasn't even given chance and for good reason.
Interested in buying a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe diesel? Well, you can forget about it because it’s not going to happen. Green Car Reports has confirmed that the oil burner version of the popular Santa Fe crossover will not come to the US after all. The original plan earlier this year was to sell a three-row version as a diesel only, but it was ultimately determined that American buyers no longer had interest in buying a turbo diesel any longer. Was there even a market for them in the first place? Debatable, but we’ll likely never know.
Hyundai’s decision follows that of sister brand Kia which already canceled the 2.2-liter turbo diesel option for the Sorento crossover.
But there’s something else the absence of a turbo diesel in the Santa Fe will bring: no third-row option. Will that deter potential buyers? Hyundai doesn’t seem to think so, at least for now. Fortunately, a third-row Santa Fe is no longer really even necessary because of the all-new full-size and three-row Palisade crossover. Hyundai desperately needed a true three-row crossover, not just an extended version of the previous Santa Fe, the Santa Fe XL. The market demand for three-row crossovers has greatly increased and Hyundai dealerships were annoyed and frustrated they lacked the necessary product. That problem has now been solved.
With the demise of the Santa Fe diesel before it even made its way to the US, there’s now an opening for another Santa Fe variant that many buyers may find attractive: a plug-in hybrid version. We already know such a vehicle exists when the latest generation Santa Fe debuted last March at Geneva, so the question now is whether or not the electrified variant will take the diesel’s place in America. We’ll be speaking more with Hyundai next month at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show so hopefully more details will come then.