New Hyundai Santa Fe revealed

Article Stuart Milne James Howe
Feb 22, 2018
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Hyundai offers a glimpse at its forthcoming large Santa Fe SUV

The all-new Hyundai Santa Fe made its debut this morning at an event in Seoul, ahead of its public premiere at the Geneva Motor Show next month. It enters production in the next few months, and will go on sale later this year.

The new Hyundai Santa Fe will feature the firm’s latest ‘Smart Sense’ active safety technology, including clever additions like rear seats that detect when passengers are left in the car and a rear alert system that works in conjunction with the car’s automated emergency braking system (AEB) to help prevent reversing accidents when visibility is poor.

Hyundai Santa Fe design

When it arrives, the Hyundai Santa Fe will continue to be Hyundai’s flagship in the UK, offering buyers an alternative to the Skoda Kodiaq, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail. As such, it features even sharper looks than its predecessor, while continuing to boast the seven-seat practicality SUV buyers increasingly favour. The look of the new Santa Fe will point the way for the styling of the firm"s forthcoming SUVs.

Hyundai has clearly sharpened things up for the new car. The side profile is dominated by bold lines, giving a swept-back look that’s very on-trend for the market. Dramatic wheelarches and chrome detailing also feature, as well as LED headlights.

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The car has a large front grille with separate units for the main headlights and daytime running lights. Hyundai describes the rear as "confident and stable", with two exhaust tailpipes and a "voluminous bumper design".


The interior is a marked improvement over the outgoing car, with a more up-to-date look. Images released by Hyundai show a particularly upmarket dashboard, although the trim shown is likely to be reserved for higher-spec models.

The new car is 7cm longer and 1cm wider than the current car, but more tellingly, the wheelbase - the distance between the front and rear wheels - has increased to grow interior space. Hyundai promises more boot space too.

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Engines, ride and handling

Two petrol and two diesel engines will be offered in Europe, although it’s not yet known which of these will be offered to British buyers. The European line-up comprises of two 2.4-litre petrol engines, badged GDI and MPI, and 2.0 and 2.2-litre diesels. All are compliant with the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, and will be offered with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe uses a system to vary the amount of power sent to the wheels to improve stability, acceleration and fuel efficiency, and traction on snow, gravel and tarmac surfaces. Up to 50% of the engine’s pulling power can be sent to the rear wheels, as required.

Hyundai claims to have improved the car’s suspension and steering to improve responsiveness, stability, comfort and quietness. An optional self-levelling suspension system will be available.

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We’ll have to wait and see whether the new Santa Fe will get a hybrid setup, but Hyundai and sister brand Kia have stated they want to offer 31 low-emission vehicles by 2020; fitting an electric motor and batteries to a conventional petrol or diesel engine is a good way to achieve their goal.


Predictably, the 2018 Santa Fe will improve upon the current car when it comes to technology. A head-up display, which beams essential information on to the windscreen in the driver’s eye-line, will be available, as will wireless smartphone charging.

Three infotainment systems will be available, including an optional eight-inch touchscreen that will incorporate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a rear-view camera. A ‘Display Audio’ system is likely to come as standard on most models, and will use a seven-inch screen, while the entry-level version will feature a five-inch monochrome screen.

Other available tech will include Rear Occupant Alert, which can detect the presence of children or pets in the rear seats to alert the driver when leaving the vehicle, and Safety Exit Assist, which works like blind-spot recognition when opening the car’s doors.

More familiar kit will include rear cross-traffic warning to prevent crashes when reversing out of parking spaces or driveways; autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot recognition.

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Hyundai Santa Fe SUV