These are the first images of the production version of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe that’s due to be revealed next month at the Geneva Motor Show. This 4th-generation model is all-new and adopts styling cues clearly taken from the smaller Kona crossover.
Following its official debut in the Swiss capital, Hyundai intends to waste as little time as possible in getting the first units off the production line and into the hands of new owners. Orders will reportedly start this week for their local market of South Korea, and a more global rollout is expect to follow closely behind.
Looking back at the teaser sketches that were released just a week before, it’s clear the design team have kept the exaggeration to a minimum. Sure, the roofline was unrealistically low but many details, such as those on the fascia with its two-tier front illumination layout, profile, and even the wheels all remaining faithful.
In addition to the new look, the all-new Santa Fe promises to offer an interior experience that’s a marked improvement over the 3rd-generation SUV it replaces, having been around since 2013.
There’s also an updated assortment of safety technologies that Hyundai calls ‘SmartSense’, including Rear Occupant Alert, front collision warning, rear cross traffic alert and braking, as well as Autonomous Emergency Braking in most (if not all) variants.
Shown in what is most likely the highest trim level - Highlander? - there’s plenty of leather shown in dual tone, including the seat upholstery, dashboard, and door trim. In terms of ergonomics, Hyundai is further proliferating the basic layout shared with the i30 and Kona.
Namely, the more minimal-looking three-tier dash that features a freestanding touchscreen infotainment display and a concentrated assortment of HVAC controls. The display itself looks to measure around 8-inches diagonally, with presumed support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built in.
We also spy some tasteful peppering of contrast stitch work and satin finish metallic items such as on the door pulls, steering wheel, gear lever, and climate control vent surrounds. There also seems to be a partially digital instrument cluster to top things off.
What’s still a little unclear are the engine line-up Hyundai will offer in their all-new Santa Fe. Most variants of the 7-seat SUV are expected to be powered by a 2.0-litre Theta GDI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with identical outputs as the facelifted Sonata, generating 180kW and 353Nm.
Apart from this, there should be the trusty 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel carried over from the soon-to-be supplanted version with 147kW and 440Nm. It would be interesting to see the 3.3-litre Lambda naturally aspirated V6 return, or indeed be in turbocharged form, but we’re not holding out breaths.
No matter the engine choice, though, all-wheel drive is expected to remain a standard feature, with power funnelled through an 8-speed automatic transmission.