Debuting with the latest generation of Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design language, it's easy to see echoes of the Veloster and new Genesis Coupe in the Santa Fe's hexagonal grille.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The larger of the two Santa Fe models is powered by the same 3.3-liter V-6 engine we saw debut on the Hyundai Azera sedan.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
With its stretched wheelbase and a third row of seats, the Santa Fe now seats up to seven passengers.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A blind-spot monitoring system is available on the larger Santa Fe model.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Power is estimated at 290 horsepower with a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The smaller Santa Fe Sport is aimed at buyers who don't need the extra chassis length, towing capacity, or third row of seats.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Buyers are given a choice of two powerplants. The first is a 2.4-liter direct-injected gasoline engine that outputs 190 horsepower. Fuel efficiency for this configuration is 33 mpg on the highway.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The more powerful engine is a 264 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged mill that gets a highway fuel efficiency of 31 mpg in its front wheel-drive configuration, thanks to direct-injection technology.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
No matter what engine you chose, power flows to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
An optional all-wheel drive system adds on-demand power to the rear axle.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
In its all-wheel drive configuration, the Santa Fe also gains torque vectoring and torque braking.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) system gives drivers the choice between three selectable power steering programs. Comfort, Normal, and Sport feature light, moderate, and heavy steering feel for a variety of driving situations.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Hyundai also claims that the Santa Fe Sport is one of the lightest vehicles in its class.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Inside the cabin, users are given a choice between three levels of cabin technology, all of which feature Hyundai's BlueLink telematics service.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
At the top level, the Santa Fe features a large 8-inch color touch screen, the third generation of Hyundai's navigation software, and a 550-watt Infinity premium audio system.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Expect the Santa Fe Sport to go on sale in late summer 2012 with the larger seven-passenger Santa Fe reaching dealerships in January 2013.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Updated:
Up Next
All the cool new car stuff at CES 2...
37