In addition to the high-performance 2025 Hyundai IONIQ 5 N electric crossover, the star of Hyundai’s booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week is the completely redesigned, fifth-generation 2024 Santa Fe. Larger and boxier, the midsize SUV from Korea uses a new approach with inspiration coming from Land Rover.
The naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is not returning, which means base models in Canada will now be motivated by a hybrid system combining a turbocharged 1.6-litre gasoline engine with an electric motor. More upscale Santa Fes will use the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder mill. The same two powertrain options are available in the U.S., but in a reverse role.
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The gas-electric combo generates 232 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque, with the Gamma III engine mated to a six-speed transmission. Meanwhile, the Theta III turbo-four produces 277 horsepower and 311 lb-ft. of torque through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
With regard to styling, the latest Hyundai Range Rover, er, Santa Fe is all about angular shapes, yet its drag coefficient is somehow improved from the previous generation. It has also grown in size, including the wheelbase, resulting in a roomier interior and the return of third-row seats as standard equipment. An interesting design cue is the new H-shaped headlights and taillights.
That being said, the main highlight of the new Santa Fe is arguably the super-large rear liftgate allowing easy access to the cargo area and enhancing versatility. Select models ride on 21-inch wheels, which are a first for this vehicle. Available body colours in Canada include Phantom Black, Serenity White Pearl, Earthy Brass Matte, Hampton Gray, Terracotta Orange, Atlantis Blue and Rockwood Green Pearl.
For drivers who like to venture off-road, a new XRT model bolsters the 2024 Santa Fe lineup. It offers nearly 1.5 inches of extra ground clearance, all-terrain tires and numerous black accents.
A Familiar Cockpit
The interior will be familiar to those who’ve sat in the IONIQ 6 electric sedan, with a panoramic curved display encompassing the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment system. The electronic shifter is also borrowed from the brand’s EVs. Customers will have a choice of four interior colours including Obsidian Black, Supersonic Gray, Pecan Brown and Forest Green.
Standard content in Canada includes dual wireless chargers, the world’s first bilateral, multi-console storage space that can be opened by either front or rear passengers, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as dual glove boxes (the upper one offering a UV-C sterilization compartment for frequently used items such as cell phones, wallets, glasses and more). A 12-speaker Bose audio system is available.
The Car Guide has been invited to put the new 2024 Santa Fe to the test in South Korea, and we’ll post our driving impressions when the media embargo lifts on November 28, so watch this space. By the way, the 2024 Santa Fe 2.5T model goes on sale in March 2024, with the Hybrid model on sale in spring.