Hyundai's long championed the value factor, but especially in the last decade, the Korean automaker showed it could also build incredibly compelling cars while delivering on its core message. The new stretches that ethos.
The company on Wednesday revealed the, which now rides on a new platform and wears a fresh design inside and out. In fact, there are certainly brush strokes borrowed from the larger inside, which already boasts a mighty impressive cockpit.
The Santa Fe's front fascia receives the most changes with some pretty nifty T-shaped LED lighting. The accent lights split briefly in the main grille, only to continue on in the actual headlight design. The grille itself is also wider and spans the entire front clip. It helps the Santa Fe look wider than before, as do wider wheel arches that fit 20-inch wheels, but it also pulls the styling off quite well, at least in my opinion.
Changes to the rear aren't nearly as drastic, but the back end is tidier than before with new taillights and a thin lighting strip that connects them.
The interior is where shades of the Palisade really come through. The center stack now features its bigger brother's push-button gear selector and a new drive-mode selector sits on the stack. If the new Santa Fe's ergonomics are anything like the Palisade, the buttons should be well placed for the driver.
Sitting atop the redesigned center stack is a 10.25-inch touchscreen unit, though lowlier trims will surely receive a smaller screen, and the driver's treated to a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster -- again like the Palisade. A bonus that comes with this sleeker stack is extra storage beneath it.
While Hyundai USA didn't talk much about the new platform and powertrains, its European counterparts did. The Santa Fe is the first model to ride on what the company calls its "third-generation vehicle platform." General improvements include efficiency, performance and safety, but it can also house electrified powertrains.
Hyundai hasn't confirmed whether we'll see a Santa Fe Hybrid, but there's a mighty good chance we'll see it in the US. In Europe, the crossover will sport a new "Smartstream" hybrid powertrain with undisclosed specs and a plug-in hybrid system.
The automaker didn't share when the new Santa Fe will reach the US, but it'll likely be sooner rather than later. In Europe, the crossover will go on sale in September, and we'll receive more information on its powertrains before then.