Two engines are available, including a 232-horsepower hybrid.
Hyundai's radically styled Santa Fe has finally arrived in America, with a stateside reveal taking place at the 2023 LA Auto Show.
Fully redesigned for MY2024, the popular family SUV introduces a new design language with boxy, rugged styling and delightful details. Two engines will be made available, one of which is a hybrid. The base motor is a turbocharged 2.5-liter, producing 277 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
A turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid mated to a six-speed automatic will also be available. This electrified motor puts out 232 hp and 271 lb-ft, making it less potent than the standard engine. However, the hybrid should be more frugal. Unfortunately, Hyundai hasn't shared mpg estimates at this time.
The Santa Fe has taken a drastic departure in terms of styling. It's edgier before and conveys a sense of luxury and ruggedness like a Land Rover Defender or Mercedes G-Class, but the Hyundai is much cheaper.
Up front, the SUV sets itself apart from the crowd with distinctive H-shaped lighting signatures, prominent wheel arches, and a longer wheelbase (110.8 in vs. the outgoing model's 108.9 in). Shorter overhangs contribute to the overall tough demeanor and should make the Santa Fe more capable off-road. 21-inch alloy wheels can be specified.
Perhaps the most controversial part of the new Santa Fe is the rear fascia, with its rectangular taillights and protruding tailgate. Hyundai says the new liftgate design is six inches wider than the outgoing Santa Fe model.
North American customers will be able to choose from several exterior colors: Earthy Brass Matte, Econtronic Gray Pearl, Ecotronic Gray Matte, Hampton Gray, Phantom Black, Rockwood Green Pearl, Serenity White Pearl, Shimmering Silver Metallic, Terracotta Orange, and Ultimate Red Metallic.
Hyundai has elevated the Santa Fe's interior to the premium segment with clean and classy surfaces, high-end materials, and tasteful design. The soft-touch surfaces are made chiefly from eco-friendly materials, including the door trim, seats, and instrument panel.
Customers can choose from a Relaxation Comfort seat for the first row. This package comes with a leg rest that creates a weightless passenger experience. With a six-seater configuration, Hyundai offers second-row power-reclining captain's chairs that enhance comfort for passengers. Power fold-and-dive seats also provide a cushion-angle adjustment for the second row.
Other exciting features include a UV-C sterilization compartment and dual wireless chargers. A Panoramic Curved Display keeps the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and infotainment system under one display.
The longer wheelbase creates more space for passengers. Hyundai claims the Santa Fe offers best-in-class third-row legroom. The 2.5-liter turbo has 1.4 inches of extra legroom in the second row, while the hybrid model gets an additional 0.8 inches.
Other convenience features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also an available USB-C port with a 27-watt charging rate and a third-row USB port. To enhance the luxury experience, a 12-speaker Bose sound system can be specified at extra cost.
Owners can keep their vehicles feeling fresh with regular over-the-air updates. The new Santa Fe can also be offered with the Digital Key 2, enabling owners to lock, unlock, and start their vehicles via a smartphone using near-field communication (NFC).
Hyundai will offer a navigation-based Smart Cruise Control system that helps the vehicle manage curves and maintain a set speed on the highway. It's not quite at the level of rival setups like BlueCruise, but it's enough for the needs of most buyers.
The XRT trim also makes a return for the new generation. Designed to tackle more challenging terrains, the Santa Fe XRT is designed for the adventurous customer. This is reflected in the dark chrome and black trim exterior elements, which include black roof rails with cross bars. The XRT gains about 1.5 inches of extra ground clearance and 30-inch all-terrain tires with 18-inch wheels.
Unfortunately, Hyundai hasn't released the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Hybrid pricing. The former will go on sale in March 2024, with the electrified model following in the spring. We anticipate the SUV will start at around $30,000, making it slightly pricier than the outgoing model. We'll have to wait for official pricing from the manufacturer, though.
Expect a plug-in hybrid derivative to arrive later with an impressive all-electric range.