The next Hyundai Santa Fe will go to the Geneva motor show
...where it'll be revealed with a new look and new tech...
...and sharpened driving dynamics
The Santa Fe is the largest car Hyundai sells in the UK
Hyundai has worked hard to make sure its range handles as dynamically as possible
The next Hyundai Santa Fe will get a drastically different design and new interior technology in order to give the fourth-generation model its best shot of fighting it out in the SUV segment's sharp end.
Ahead of its reveal at the Geneva motor show this March, the new car's exterior has been previewed with sketches. These show an aggressive front end with a split headlight design – similar to that of the smaller Kona – and a pinched rear with an angled tailgate.
Among the tech highlights are a rear occupant alert - a warning to let the driver know when leaving the car if there’s someone in the rear seats – as well as automatic emergency braking (AEB) added to the rear cross-traffic alert system, effectively giving the car AEB in both forward and reverse.
The new Sante Fe has been part-developed at the Nürburgring, as Hyundai looks to sharpen the handling of its range by testing all of its models there, no matter how performance-focused they are.
The Santa Fe is the largest car that Hyundai sells in the UK, and is a rival to the Ford Edge, Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail. Previous versions have been criticised for substandard interior quality, mixed ergonomics and high CO2 when equipped with the automatic gearbox.
It's currently powered by a 2.2-litre CRDi engine, and this is likely to be updated for greater efficiency and fewer emissions for the new model. The higher-powered 2.0-litre CRDi engine from the Tucson may also be carried over to the next-generation car.
It's part of a far-reaching effort by Hyundai to make its models more stylish and better to drive. “It would be very nice if in 10 to 15 years we can have people on the street seeing Hyundai as a brand that makes cars that are fun to drive,” said Klaus Köster, Hyundai’s director of high-performance vehicles.
“We have already established ourselves as a reliable, quality car maker that makes cars with good designs,” he said. “But now we have the knowledge to add sportiness to that image – which is something us Europeans like.”
Hyundai is also expected to reveal an electric version of the Kona in Geneva.