The 4th generation Hyundai Santa Fe has received a bold new makeover for the European market. Hyundai says that the updated Santa Fe goes beyond a mere facelift, and that’s because the SUV has received hybrid powertrains – a first for a Hyundai vehicle in Europe.
As for the styling updates, it doesn’t seem to match any of the Hyundai vehicles we’ve seen so far. It doesn’t appear to have the brand’s signature elements such as the Cascading Grille or the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ theme. It seems like the new Santa Fe has taken on a design language of its own that nobody seems to recognize.
While it retains the dual-lamp setup, the main headlights are now designed to make them appear a part of the new grille. The hybrid variants appear to have a different pattern on the grille. The T-shaped LED running lights connect the top and the bottom units and also double as turn signals.
On the lower bumper, there’s a large intake with sculpted surrounds. The corners of the bumper are garnished with aerodynamic inlets.
There are new alloy wheel designs too, including a 20-inch option. At the rear, a red reflector band connects the redesigned taillights. There’s also another reflector on the bumper, which together with the new taillights, emphasize the width of the car.
Hyundai says that the updated Santa Fe is based on an all-new third-generation platform, that allows for significant improvements in performance, handling, fuel efficiency and safety.
By featuring a system that controls the flow of air, the new platform improves air movement through the engine bay and allows heat to dissipate. This enhances stability in the lower part of the vehicle. Vehicle stability is further enhanced by the lowered position of heavy equipment within the platform, which reduces weight and lowers the centre of gravity. Aerodynamics has also been improved so that air resistance is minimized to deliver excellent fuel efficiency, power and driving performance.
The fixed points for the steering arms have been positioned closer to the middle of the front wheels, allowing for more agile handling. Meanwhile, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance is improved through reinforced sound-absorbing systems in vibration-sensitive parts.
The new platform also brings with it significant improvements in collision safety, thanks to improvements in engineering. Through the use of a multi-load path structure, hot stamping, and the integration of a super high-tensile steel plate, the platform will enable the car to better absorb the impact in the event of a collision while at the same time minimizing the deformation of the passenger space.
The updated interior features premium soft-touch materials, a redesigned centre console and of course, a new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There are shift-by-wire buttons too, for RND selection. For the first time, the Santa Fe comes with a Terrain Mode selector knob, also located on the centre console.
Rounding off the updates is a new 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster.
We modernized the new Santa Fe with premium features and appealing aesthetics that are sure to add value. The bold lines that extend from one side to the other and from front to back give Santa Fe a rugged yet refined look that SUV customers want. Besides, we have added numerous features and functions to create a truly family-focused SUV that is a pleasure to drive. – SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head, Hyundai Design Center
In addition to styling and feature updates, the Santa Fe has received hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains from the ‘Smartstream’ family. However, Hyundai has kept the details for another day.
With the range of new features, the new Santa Fe further progresses as a premium vehicle. It once again shows that we are listening to our customers and are constantly providing the latest features to serve their needs. This is also the case regarding our powertrain line-up. With the introduction of our new Santa Fe, our whole SUV line-up will be available with electrified versions ranging from hybrid solutions to fuel cell. – Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President of Marketing and Product, Hyundai Motor Europe
The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe from September 2020.
July 2020 update: Hyundai Santa Fe facelift powertrain details revealed