The Hyundai Santa Fe is nowhere near as popular as it used to be, much like several other two-row SUVs. The current generation launched for 2019 and received extensive updates two years later, but the results have been underwhelming. In fact, Canadian sales dropped 31 percent in 2022.
A brand new Santa Fe is in the works, which is good news. We don’t know yet for sure if it will be a 2024 or 2025 model, but look for a radically different vehicle to hit the road.
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Physically, the Santa Fe will adopt a much boxier exterior, moving away from the smaller Tucson and closer to the Palisade. Based on the heavily camouflaged prototypes that have been caught testing in recent months (we can’t show you the spy shots here), the front and rear ends are pretty upright, the hood is flatter and bridge-type rails are mounted on the side of the roof. Speaking of which, blacked-out pillars give the illusion that the roof is floating above the cabin.
It also appears that Hyundai designers are making big changes to the headlights and taillights. Their boss SangYup Lee has confirmed that the new Santa Fe will feature a horizontal light bar similar to that of the 2024 Kona and Sonata, but with small variations as to create an H-shape.
Inside, Lee hinted that the cabin will have a more premium look and feel. He also explained that designers worked the other way around this time, starting in the back and then moving forward, as they put more emphasis on cargo space. For the record, the current Santa Fe can fit anywhere between 1,032 litres and 2,041 litres depending on rear seat position.
Drivers will find a fully redesigned centre console and dashboard, the former with fewer controls and the latter getting a wide, curved display for the instruments and infotainment. The shift buttons will be replaced by a stick on the steering column, much like Hyundai’s electric vehicles. The word is that the logo on the steering wheel will be replaced by four dots lined up to represent the letter “h” in Morse code—another EV influence.
Mechanically, it will likely be more of the same, meaning a selection of four-cylinder engines in addition to hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. Keep following The Car Guide for more details about the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe.