That face may prove challenging.
With a global premiere slated for February, Korean carmaker Hyundai is wasting no time in drumming-up the hype surrounding its fourth-generation Santa Fe, with the large three-row family wagon set to replace the highly-regarded 3rd-gen DM model that’s been with us for the last 6-years. Where the present-day car has won great acclaim for its driving manners, refinement, and handsome demeanour, this new car sets to challenge convention somewhat, at least on the aesthetic front.
What we now know for certain is that the Santa Fe will adopt the same fascia aesthetic as the (much) smaller Kona, with a split-headlight arrangement that separates the LED daytime running lights from the main beam. There’s a new interpretation of the marque’s cascading grille too, with a more shapely form of the signature hexagon we’ve seen before. Flanking these are the headlights (which appear to be comprised of two high-intensity LED modules), as well as a skid-plate.
The flanks of the car show a character line that runs from the upper LED daytime running lights all the way to the tip of the taillights, a feature corroborated by the shadowy teaser image that Hyundai released earlier this week. Pronounced fenders and shapely door panels complete the look down the side.
The rear sees slim taillights with complex surfacing, with a notable Y-shaped segment in the middle (whether that’s just a surface or an internal graphic, we’ll have to wait and see). There’s also a skid plate here, flanked by chrome trim that appears to visually connect to the chrome down the sides. That, looks pretty cool.
What’s also evident from the rear shot is the larger rear three-quarter window, addressing an issue with the outgoing car that had a fetching profile but robbed third-row passengers (those in the 6th and 7th seats) of a view. That element also alludes to how Hyundai’s put a focus to the cabin, where they claim to have best-in-class 2nd-row legroom, and more headroom for the rearmost occupants. They’ve also thrown in things like a one-touch fold for that third row, which they also claim will be easier to access by passengers (how, we’re not sure).
Further, the Santa Fe will come with features under the ‘SmartSense’ umbrella, including things like ‘Rear Occupant Alert’ which utilises sensors in the rear seats to determine if a child has been left in the car. The 4th-gen Santa Fe will also be offered with rear cross-traffic alert, replete with braking, as well as ‘Safe Exit,’ which aims to prevent exiting passengers getting swiped by cars when opening their doors into traffic. Don’t know about you, but we always found looking out the window was effective enough. Maybe it’s for absent-minded children.
In any case, the new Hyundai Santa Fe will likely pick up where the present-generation car left off, and continue to supply steady sales and profits for the Korean marque. The Santa Fe is, in many markets, one of the brands’ top sellers, due to its unwavering commitment to value, comfort, and versatility, which the new car will build on.