The Korean firm's large SUV, which will be revealed to the public next month, gets a bold new look, uprated technology and two new engine choices

Hyundai has revealed the new Santa Fe ahead at the Geneva motor show with a new look an more cabin space.

The fourth-generation Santa Fe gets a design derived from the smaller Kona and Nexo SUVs, with split headlight clusters and a trapezoidal grille. At 4770mm long and 1890mm wide, it is 70mm longer and 10mm wider than the outgoing model. The additional length also brings about a longer wheelbase, and leg room for rear-seat passengers is said to have been improved.

Under the bonnet will be a choice of three engines, two of which are new to the model. The existing 194bhp 2.2-litre diesel – the only engine offered on the current Santa Fe in the UK – will be joined in the line-up by a new 2.0-litre diesel. A 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is also in the range. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available with all three units.

An electronic four-wheel-drive system that's new to mass-market Hyundai models is also being used on the Santa Fe. Named ‘HTRAC’, short for 'Hyundai TRACtion' and previously used by Hyundai's premium sub-brand, Genesis, it provides multiple driving modes, capable of sending up to 50% of torque rearwards, and is likely to bolster the new SUV’s potential as the most rugged and capable model in the Hyundai range. Torque vectoring capabilities are also part of the system, offering increased grip and control, says Hyundai. 

Technology takes a step forward over the previous model, with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), lane keep assist and lane departure warnings all standard on the new car. A driver alertness system and other safety assistance features are also installed, as well as a voice recognition system with build-in Artificial Intelligence. It’s yet to be decided if the latter system will make it to UK cars, however. 

Also new to Hyundai is a Safety Exit Assist system, which uses sensors in the rear of the car to prevent rear-seat passengers from opening the doors into the path of approaching traffic, and warns front-seat passengers if they are about to do so. Passive safety is taken care of with a 57% use of high-strength steel - the highest use across the brand's range and a 15% increase on the outgoing model. 

Inside the new Santa Fe, the styling has been brought into line with the latest i30. The precise UK specifications and trim levels that will be offered in the UK have yet to be confirmed, but are likely to be largely the same as those of Korean cars, according to a Hyundai spokesman.

Prices are likely to rise slightly over the current model's £32,845 start point, while first deliveries are expected towards the end of the year.

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Our Verdict

Hyundai Santa Fé

Does this new Hyundai Santa Fe build on the recipe for success of its forebear?

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6 February 2018

Looks good. The premium makers need to work harder on design to justify their increasingly expensive prices. This looks better than any 4x4 coming out of Munich just now. Way better. 

6 February 2018

This new Santa Fe just looks so much more desirable, expensive looking and just plain better looking than a dull and hardly prestigious looking X3, GLC or Q5 inside and out. And the design is so much more cohesive and balanced. And while it's not considered a premium brand, the Santa Fe looks much more premium than the Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

6 February 2018

Hyundai's inspiration appears to have shifted from Ford to Citroen/DS. Still better looking than the efforts of BMW/Audi/Mercedes. 

6 February 2018

When viewing the initial sketches shown a few weeks ago I was really worried it would just look like a poor Citroen / DS copy, but the execution is so much better.  The Kona looked poorly executed at lauch, but the Santa Fe has made it look absolutely dire.  I wonder if my wife will trade in our current Santa Fe for this new one...?Also interested to see the specs for the 2litre diesel and if it will be coming to the UK.  Will the ecomomy and CO2 improvements outweigh the expected drop in performance over the 2.2?

"Why is not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

6 February 2018

It may look better, but there is more to looks...

We hired one of these in the US last summer and the driving seat was really uncomforatble - not enough cushioning, such that after exactly 40 mins at the wheel I would be in pain. We had a Ford Edge the previous week, and that was way more comfortable. And better built.

6 February 2018

Asking for a friend........

Steam cars are due a revival.

6 February 2018

Sorry, it was the current model we hired. My point was I hope they sort the seat/suspension out and not just the styling.

6 February 2018

I think the ultra slim LED headlight units look great, contrast these with the oversized, blobby units manufacturers such as Mercedes are currently fitting. And the high set central screen, with seperate climate control dials is surely much safer to operate on the move than, for example the tablet solution that Volvo is offering .

7 February 2018
I think it regains top spot among 5+2 soft roaders. With the Kodiaq, Tiguan LWB, 5008, Sorento , X-trail and Outlander, the choice is vast.

9 February 2018

But why are most of the so-called premium manufacturers so poor at designing attractive SUVs. The Q3, Q7, GLE and all X BMWs (except new X2) are completely horrendous. Santa Fe, Sportage, Edge, XC90, XC60, NX and CX-5 are all better looking or more interesting than anything the German big three currently produce. 

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