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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.
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.
With its stretched wheelbase and a third row of seats, the Santa Fe now seats up to seven passengers.
A blind-spot monitoring system is available on the larger Santa Fe model.
Power is estimated at 290 horsepower with a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
The smaller Santa Fe Sport is aimed at buyers who don't need the extra chassis length, towing capacity, or third row of seats.
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.
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.
No matter what engine you chose, power flows to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
An optional all-wheel drive system adds on-demand power to the rear axle.
In its all-wheel drive configuration, the Santa Fe also gains torque vectoring and torque braking.
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.
Hyundai also claims that the Santa Fe Sport is one of the lightest vehicles in its class.
Inside the cabin, users are given a choice between three levels of cabin technology, all of which feature Hyundai's BlueLink telematics service.
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.
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.