Hyundai had planned to sell the latest Santa Fe in the United States with three-row seating (XL model) and a diesel engine, but it never happened. It means those who want a more practical SUV from the Asian brand will have to step up to the larger Palisade. It's a different story with the Santa Fe sold in other parts of the world where seven seats and diesel engines have been available ever since the fourth-generation model was launched in 2018.

The lineup is being diversified at home in South Korea with the addition of a six-seat variant featuring captain's chairs for the second row. The new Santa Fe flavor is part of the updates introduced domestically for the 2022 model year and can be had with the hybrid powertrain. Meanwhile, Hyundai launched the 2022MY in the US several months ago with a new $32,300 XRT trim positioned between the SEL and Limited trim levels as a more rugged offering.

Hyundai Santa Fe with six seats (KDM)
Hyundai Santa Fe with six seats (KDM)

As you may recall, Hyundai was quick to give the Santa Fe a facelift considering the updated model debuted in early June 2020 or less than two and a half years since the Mk4 was originally unveiled. It's unclear at this point whether that means a shorter-than-usual life cycle or the practical family SUV will still follow the industry standard of 7-8 years.

Speaking of revisions, the bigger Palisade will get a mid-cycle facelift in 2022, while over in India, the Alcazar is a new seven-seat SUV. Coming in 2024 and recently previewed by the Seven concept, the Ioniq 7 will be a fully electric SUV also with three rows of seats. Kia will have an equivalent EV9 while luxury brand Genesis is rumored to be working on a GV90.

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