These are the first pictures of the new Hyundai Santa Fe, which will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The South Korean firm has confirmed that the next Santa Fe will feature its latest ‘Smart Sense’ active safety technology, including clever additions like rear seats that detect passengers and a rear alert system that works in conjunction with the car’s automated emergency braking system (AEB) to help prevent reversing accidents when visibility is poor.Hyundai Santa Fe design
When it arrives, the Hyundai Santa Fe will continue to be Hyundai’s flagship in the UK, offering buyers an alternative to the Skoda Kodiaq, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail. As such, it features even sharper looks than its predecessor, while continuing to boast the seven-seat practicality SUV buyers increasingly favour. The look of the new Santa Fe will point the way for the styling of the firm"s forthcoming SUVs.
There are a few areas, however, where we expect the next-generation Santa Fe to herald significant improvements, and the first of these is design. The current Santa Fe is a handsome, sleek SUV, but it was launched back in 2013 and looks dated next to newer Hyundai models – like the latest i30, for example.
Hyundai has clearly sharpened things up for the new car, though. The side profile is dominated by bold lines, giving a swept-back look that’s right on-trend for the market. Dramatic wheelarches and chrome detailing also feature, and we’d expect its redesigned headlights to be LEDs.
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It has a large front grille and separate units for the main headlights and daytime running lights. Hyundai describes the rear as "confident and stable", with two exhaust tailpipes and a "voluminous bumper design".
The interior is a marked improvement over today’s car, with a more up-to-date look. The single image released by Hyundai shows a particularly upmarket dashboard, although the trim shown is likely to be reserved for highter-spec models. Interior space is likely to be improved too. The new car is 7cm longer and 1cm wider than the current car, but more tellingly, the wheelbase - the distance between the front and rear wheels - has increased to grow interior space.
Finally, the new Santa Fe may have more engine options than the outgoing car. At present, if you want a Santa Fe, you can only have a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine. While this is a good fit for the car, it’s showing its age a little. Consumers – particularly at this end of the market – tend to want more choice than that.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the new Santa Fe will get a hybrid setup, but Hyundai and sister brand Kia have stated they want to offer 31 low-emission vehicles by 2020; fitting an electric motor and batteries to a conventional petrol or diesel engine is a good way to achieve that end.