About two weeks have passed since Hyundai published a handful of images depicting its completely redesigned Santa Fe. Entering its fifth generation, the midsize SUV was stalked in traffic while roaming the streets of South Korea without any camouflage whatsoever. The full debut is scheduled to take place in the coming days, and in the meantime, spy videos allow us to get better acquainted with the vehicle’s bold and certainly unexpected redesign.
Several production-ready prototypes were spotted, and as is usually the case, we’d argue the new Santa Fe looks better in real life than in official photos. Granted, the rear design remains polarizing while the profile sends a strong Land Rover Defender 130 vibe, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We have rarely seen such a drastic change in how a car looks from one generation to another, so much so Hyundai might as well have called it something else.
Technical specifications should be released in the coming weeks, but Hyundai has said the 2024 Santa Fe has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The SUV does seem to be considerably larger than its predecessor, and we’re curious to find out how it stacks up against the fullsize Palisade. Some of the test vehicles had a little badge on the bottom-right corner of that massive tailgate, presumably an “HTRAC” logo to denote all-wheel drive.
Last week, a different prototype was seen with a “plug-in” badge and a charging port on the right-side rear fender. In the official images, one of the versions shown by Hyundai had a 2.5T logo. In the outgoing Santa Fe, the turbocharged inline-four is good for 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque sent to the front wheels or to an optional AWD via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai has already announced the new Santa Fe will be available for the 2024 model year in the United States and that the North American premiere is scheduled for later this summer. Reports from South Korea are stating the local debut is set for August 10.