Currently reading: Next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe given dramatic styling overhaul
Boxy styling reflects SUV’s billing as a family hauler with off-road ‘lifestyle’ capabilities

The next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe will become the brand’s most flexible family car to date, adopting a boxy design aimed at the off-road ‘lifestyle’ market.

The Santa Fe has been completely overhauled compared with the outgoing model, doing away with that car’s curvaceous lines in favour of clean-cut edges and wide wheel arches.

The effect is reminiscent of Land Rover and Jeep 4x4s and clearly communicates the new car’s positioning as a more rugged proposition.

It gives the Santa Fe a distinct appearance from the rest of Hyundai’s line-up – an approach to styling established with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and reinforced by the curvaceous Ioniq 6.

The new Santa Fe’s wheelbase is longer than the outgoing model's, bringing what Hyundai claims is class-leading interior space.

The tailgate has also been enlarged with the intention of providing a “terrace-like” space when the second and third rows of seats are folded down, with room for a small workstation or lounge area.

New hyundai santa fe front lead silver

Nonetheless, the SUV’s length is unlikely to increase too significantly, because the front overhang has been shortened. However, Hyundai has yet to officially disclose the exact dimensions of the new model.

Inside, a focus on usability and practicality is evident, with physical buttons and dials provided for critical functions such as the climate, radio and drive mode controls.

USB ports and wireless pads abound for charging mobile devices and there is also an abundance of storage cubbies and cupholders throughout the interior.

Infotainment is provided by a curved 12.3in touchscreen, mounted in parallel with a digital instrument display of the same size.

Hyundai has highlighted the use of sustainable materials inside the new Santa Fe, with the suede-like headliner, mats, and second- and third-row seatbacks being made from recycled plastics. 

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New hyundai santa fe front interior

SangYup Lee, executive vice-president and head of Hyundai’s global design centre, 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.”

The South Korean manufacturer has yet to officially detail technical specifications for the next-generation SUV. However, preview images show that it will be available with the outgoing model’s turbocharged 2.5-litre engine – not currently offered in the UK – confirming there will be some element of powertrain sharing between the two generations.

As such, the new Santa Fe is expected to be sold in the UK with the existing range of electrified powertrains: a 1.6-litre T-GDi hybrid powertrain sending 226bhp through either the front or all four wheels; and the 261bhp, four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid.

Each powertrain’s output may rise marginally, but their development briefs are expected to have been concentrated on improving efficiency and electric range, reducing emissions in turn.

Given the new model’s upmarket billing, it is likely to be priced at a significant premium compared with the outgoing Santa Fe, which starts at £43,240.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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harf 17 July 2023

Rear end reminds me of a .... SsangYong Rodius I'm afraid.

Not something I hoped I'd ever have to say ever!

FastRenaultFan 17 July 2023
Does that rear remind anyone of any car? It reminds me of the Alfa 145.
harf 17 July 2023

SaangYong Rodius I'm afraid :-0

harf 17 July 2023

SsangYong Rodius I'm afraid !!!

FastRenaultFan 17 July 2023
Not horrible but not exactly eye catching or revolutionary either. It is certainly colour sensitive. The one that is brown looks terribly dull where as in the white with chrome stripes on the side at the rear it looks much better.