Hyundai is working on a complete overhaul for the Santa Fe. We have new spy photos with a test prototype of the SUV in winter conditions with heavy exterior camouflage. There are fake body panels attached to the front and rear, but at least we can see the overall shape of the model.
This isn’t the first time we’ve shared spy shots of the 2024 Santa Fe, but it’s our first chance to see it tested in snow. Unfortunately, the South Korean automaker kept a significant amount of camouflage handy, which likely indicates that we’re witnessing a relatively early stage of on-road evaluation. Even with all the cloth and vinyl camouflage, you can’t miss the Santa Fe’s boxy shape.
To some extent, these early sightings of the Santa Fe make us feel as if we’re looking at the much bigger Kia Soul. The flat roofline, large overhangs and edgy overall lines hint at a radical new design for this SUV compared to the model currently on sale. Those wheels may seem a bit small for the vehicle, though we believe they’re at least 18 inches in diameter.
We don’t know much about what’s going on under the skin. We know for a fact that the new Santa Fe will share its underpinnings with the Kia Sorento, but it’s unclear whether this next-generation model will bring any major under-the-hood changes. Currently the Santa Fe is being sold in the United States with petrol and hybrid engines, while Europe is also getting a turbodiesel powertrain.
We hope Santa Fe continues to be offered in five and seven seat versions. As a reminder, this model is being sold in South Korea in a six-seat variant with captain seats for the second row. The current generation of the SUV was introduced in 2019 and Hyundai is quick to give it a refresh in 2021.
Earlier this week, Hyundai officially confirmed the next-generation Santa Fe would launch this year. We don’t know the exact timetable of its debut but word is that we will see the model in the summer with sales likely to start before the end of the year as a 2024 model.