An all-new, fifth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe is heading to showrooms in 2024, and the Korean car maker has given us a first look at the seven-seat SUV ahead of its official debut in August. While previous versions of the Santa Fe have ranged from the awkward through to the relatively anonymous in terms of looks, the new model has benefitted from Hyundai’s current design-led revolution and is quite an imposing machine.
While Hyundai’s first press release calls the Santa Fe a mid-size SUV, it’s mid-size in global terms (Hyundai offers the even larger Palisade SUV in North America and Asia), and it will be the largest SUV offered by the company in the UK when it arrives next year.
Boxy and H-branded
The overall silhouette of the new Santa Fe is boxy, and some would say it has hints of the Land Rover Defender about it. However, the angular detailing is unique, while H-pattern daytime running lights up front flank a large grille with an LED light bar running across it. The ‘H’ theme continues into the lower grille where Hyundai says it’s a reinterpretation of Hyundai’s ‘H’ logo. There are squared-off wheelarches, too, while black door pillars create a Range Rover-style floating roof. The windows narrow to the rear of the car, while the upright tailgate features LED lights that are set low across the back of the car and again feature an ‘H’ motif.
Inside, the dashboard features a long, thin horizontal strip for the air vents that splits the layout in two. There is a wide centre console between the driver and front passenger, while twin 12.3in curved displays are mounted side-by-side on the upper part of the dashboard. The climate controls are located on a panel at the top of the centre console where it meets the dashboard and there are plenty of device charging options on display between the front seat occupants, too.
There are light-coloured fabrics for the seats and headliner that are designed to create a greater feeling of spaciousness, while soft-touch, wood-patterned trim and Nappa leather boost the sense of luxury on board.
Terrace-style seating and the option of a tent?
Hyundai has placed an emphasis on the Santa Fe’s rear cargo capacity, and it will continue to be offered as a full seven-seater. The two back rows use ‘terrace’ style seating so that passengers have a clear view ahead, while the cabin features more H-shaped design cues.
Speaking at the car’s unveiling, SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s Executive Vice President and Head of Global Design, said: “The all-new Santa Fe is an SUV that finds a perfect balance between city life and the great outdoors, handling everything from busy family itineraries to car camping adventures. With its longer wheelbase, roomy interior and terrace-like tailgate space, the new Santa Fe leans into its SUV strengths to offer more versatility than ever before as well as a premium customer experience.”
Hyundai included images of the new Santa Fe’s interior that clearly place an emphasis on this being a family lifestyle vehicle. The two rearmost rows fold completely flat into the floor, while the extended tailgate offers maximum accessibility to the interior. Hyundai also included images of the Santa Fe with a tent mounted on the roof, further extending its ambition for the Santa Fe to be considered as a lifestyle vehicle.
Sustainable materials have been used in the Santa Fe’s construction, with the suede-effect headliner, mats and the backs of the second and third-row seats all made from recycled plastic. Elsewhere the dashtop and door trims are made from eco-friendly leatherette instead of real leather.
Plug-in hybrid but no EV
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is powertrains. The current Santa Fe is available in the UK with hybrid, PHEV and diesel engines, with two- and four-wheel-drive versions on offer. We can expect a similar line-up from the new model and no electric option because Hyundai is preparing the Ioniq 7 for launch as its electric seven-seat SUV.
Details of the Hyundai Santa Fe’s engines should be revealed when the car makes its official world premiere on Hyundai’s YouTube channel in August.
- After reading about the new Hyundai Santa Fe, you might like to read Will Dron’s review of the Hyundai Ioniq 6
- Also check out our review of the regular Hyundai Ioniq 5
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