Hyundai Offers Up First Look of New Santa Fe

Brawnier, tougher-looking SUV to debut in New York.

by on Jan.30, 2018

A brawnier exterior shape is the trademark of Hyundai's new 2019 Santa Fe exterior.

Just a few days after hinting around at what its new 2019 Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle will look like, Hyundai officials offered up a very detailed look by releasing design sketches of the new ute to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

The new model reveals Hyundai’s “new SUV design identity,” which features a beefy, robust exterior with a “large cascading grille.” The slit-like headlight “system” uses divided headlights with LED-style daytime running lights and main headlamps to provide a “unique, futuristic look,” the automaker notes.

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Hyundai’s new full-size Santa Fe is a critical product at the South Korean automaker continues to play catch up in the sport-utility segment. In addition to the bigger, brawnier exterior the new Santa Fe is expected to be decked out in an array of technology.

The new line-up of safety technology includes not only a new collision warning system with auto-braking but also what it is calling Rear Occupant Alert Monitor. It keeps an eye on “the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car.” The idea, apparently, is to prevent the car from driving off inadvertently.

(Hyundai teases fourth-generation Santa Fe. Click Herefor the story.)

The new Santa Fe is the fourth-generation of the vehicle.

There are two utes in the current Hyundai line-up, including the smaller Tucson. But with utility vehicles now accounting for half of U.S. new car sales, and a growing share of the global market, the South Korean company will be expanding its mix over the next several years, starting with the new Kona electric model.

It’s even working up a production version of the compact Santa Cruz pickup that was a hit, in concept form, at the Detroit Auto Show a few years back.

Several powertrain packages are likely, with an emphasis on a V-6 for the bigger model and an inline-four for the Santa Fe Sport. Hyundai has been pushing fast to electrify its line-up, as the addition of the Ioniq and the upcoming Kona demonstrate. Few would be surprised to see some sort of battery-based package added to the Santa Fe line-up over the next few years.

(Hyundai reported lower profits in 2017 as sales suffered in most markets. Click Here for the story.)

We’ll have to wait to see what’s in store for the smaller Santa Fe Sport but there have been some hints that Hyundai might rejigger its nameplates, perhaps even rechristening the three-row model the Veracruz. That’s what it called an earlier – and largely forgotten – model dropped back in 2012.

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