The fourth-generation Santa Fe gets a look 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 and is likely to bolster the new SUV’s potential as the most rugged and capable model in the Hyundai range.
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.
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.