Hyundai has moved away from the Russian doll strategy, now giving each of its SUVs a very distinct look. The revamped Santa Fe that debuted today continues this trend of individuality. We’re not sure we’re in love with the new look, however.
The biggest change is the new grille that expands the entire length of the vehicle’s front end. Attached to ends of the grille are the new headlights. If that’s not odd enough, the LED daytime running lights pass through the headlights vertically and into the slim light housings above, creating a T-shaped signature. The redesigned lower vent area is surrounded by a bold trim piece resembling a clamp, and that design element continues all the way through the sides of the vehicle.
In the rear, the Santa Fe dons new taillights, once again adopting a T-shaped light pattern. A thin illuminated bar now connects the lights together. There’s also a new wide rear reflector.
Open the doors, and the interior looks sharp with a digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch touchscreen. The Santa Fe uses a push-button shifter, freeing up space for other controls on the lower center console. A new rotary knob allows drivers to choose between various drive (eco, sport, smart, and comfort) and terrain modes (sand, snow, and mud).
Hyundai says the redesigned interior provides more space than the outgoing model. So far, the automaker hasn’t released any concrete specs for the new vehicle. But we do know the model sits on a new platform, which should improve ride and handling. When detailing the European model, Hyundai said the Santa Fe will offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. It’s unclear if these variants will make it to the U.S.
The recent update is a huge one given that Hyundai just redesigned the Santa Fe for the 2019 model year. Today, we consider the Santa Fe to be a spacious crossover with a strong set of safety features and lots of value. Hyundai says the new Santa Fe will be available late in the fourth quarter of this year.