Like the upcoming Kona, the future Santa Fe features split headlights with a strip of LEDs near the hood and better illumination further down at the front end.
As opposed to earlier test mules, Hyundai no longer bothers to use swirling camouflage on the sections of the body that the cladding doesn’t hide. This reveals a little of the sculpting on the front fenders and the mirrors.
Hyundai is developing a unified look for its crossovers that includes broad grilles and two-tier headlights. Both design elements are evident on this Santa Fe test mule, and they also appear in spy shots of the Kona compact crossover.
A concealment panel at the rear distorts the Santa Fe’s profile, and the vehicle isn’t actually as boxy as this one appears. The roof has a slight downward curve but not enough of an arch to impact cargo space negatively. Hyundai’s team does quite a good job at hiding the rear, but the narrow, horizontal taillights are largely visible in these photos.
The Powertrain for the next Santa Fe remains a mystery. A choice of front- or all-wheel drive should remain on the options list, though.
Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowksi believes that customers confuse the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and seven-passenger Santa Fe. The larger model reportedly receives a new name for its next generation as a way to differentiate the pair.
Hyundai just refreshed the Santa Fe for the 2017 model year, and the updated product has given the company time to work on this new one. Expect the latest generation of the CUV to arrive in the latter half of 2018.