Spy photographers caught the SUV testing, and snapped a quick shot of the new layout.
Hyundai’s new Santa Fe SUV will make its global debut in March at the New York Auto Show, but here’s a chance to see what the new interior will look like well before the launch. Spy photographers caught a pre-production unit testing on the road, and managed to get close enough for a glimpse inside.
Compared to the current model, we can see the layout is completely new. The infotainment screen takes a new position on top of the dash, with vents now positioned below. It’s hard to see further down due to the passenger, but it appears the SUV will retain some traditional knobs and controls for the climate system. Also gone are the current inward-canted housings for the speedometer and tachometer, though we can’t quite tell if the new gauges are analog or digital.
We do know the Santa Fe is expected to get updated technology inside to better compete with the likes of Toyota and Honda. Among them will be a Rear Occupant Alert system to notify the driver of passengers in the back before leaving the vehicle. An updated cross-traffic alert system with automatic emergency braking is also expected to join the mix.
Though the on-road prototypes are still wearing rather thick camouflage, Hyundai recently released a couple teaser renderings showing the Santa Fe’s new exterior look. There’s an undeniable resemblance to the smaller Kona, which we’ve suspected would be the case for some time now. It will adopt a slightly edgier look overall, and it should be growing as well. A new eight-passenger variant is thought to be in the works, with better separation between it and the smaller five-passenger Santa Fe Sport. It’s possible the sport model could also get a name change to further separate the models.
Following its debut in New York, the Santa Fe is expected to go on sale later this year.