Hyundai has released the first details for international markets of its new Santa Fe SUV. In a bid to enhance the premium appeal of the model, the new-gen Santa Fe comes with bold styling, hybrid powertrain options and an all-new platform. The 7-seater uses the architecture of the ‘third generation’ of Hyundai, which already underpins the Sonata sedan on sale on the US market. The brand claims that the new platform will provide “enhanced performance, efficiency and safety”
Headline improvements include a modern ventilation system that increases air flow across the engine room, enabling dissipation of heat and increasing the reliability of the Santa Fe. For a lower center of gravity large components are often placed lower in the frame. The responsive efficiency of the SUV is also allegedly enhanced by relocating the steering arms. Reinforced steel for the absorption of sound and vibration in the frame will aid in refinement.
The Santa Fe 2020 will be eligible for the first time on electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains. While technical information is yet to be released, the SUV is likely to be offered with the same 265hp PHEV powertrain as its sibling Kia Sorento, who was recently refreshed. It will also feature a hybridized petrol engine and conventional diesel.
The latest Santa Fe has also been totally physically overhauled, bringing a bright new logo. The front grille, which has been significantly widened to cover the whole width of the vehicle, incorporates a modern 3D mesh design and is accompanied by a pair of prominent daytime driving lights in T-shaped form. The lower air intake sits within a new skid plate, while the side vents are still positioned vertically.
On the back, the Santa Fe has gained a new reflector bar that stretches out in the same style as the front end between redesigned brake light clusters and a new lower bumper. The external redesign is completed with wider wheel arches and new alloy wheel designs. Inside, the new platform is said to provide greater comfort and convenience over the outgoing car, with a focus on premium, soft-touch materials throughout. The dashboard and center console were revamped and the 7.0-inch infotainment display of the outgoing car was switched out with a regular 10.25-inch unit. The gear selector is also gone; it has been replaced on the new floating center console by a shift-by-wire button arrangement.
At the top of the Santa Fe lineup, a new premium package was launched, featuring custom-made 20-inch aluminum wheels with a color coordinating bumper and wheel arch design, rather than the black pieces seen on lower-spec models.