Spy shots of the new SUV reveal it will be getting a markedly improved interior.
We've been impressed with the Hyundai Palisade's mix of smart technologies and a comfortable interior, and now it looks like the more affordable Sante Fe is set to borrow a few of the Palisade's interior features when the facelifted model is fully revealed.
According to the guys at Korean Car Blog, these three rather grainy pictures of a heavily camouflaged Sante Fe revealed a revised center console with shift-by-wire tech in place of the current model's traditional shift lever. In the Palisade, this design frees up additional storage space in the center console (we've included a picture of that SUV's center console for reference). It's a marked departure from the current Santa Fe's more traditional center console.
The facelifted Santa Fe is expected to be significantly revised, following on from the Hyundai Azera (known as the Grandeur in overseas markets), which itself received a facelift so dramatic, it appears to be an all-new model with its stunning diamond-studded grille.
Considering that the Santa Fe sold nearly 130,000 units in the US last year, Hyundai will want to ensure that this popular SUV remains competitive, so it makes sense to update it in line with the more premium Palisade. Last year, the automaker already did this by adding the Palisade's blind-view monitor safety tech to the Santa Fe.
Further possible enhancements to the updated Sante Fe could be hybrid powertrains, with Hyundai intending to increase its electrified range from 24 models in 2019 to 44 by 2025 - of course, not all of these models are available in North America.
Whether we'll get a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the Sante Fe remains to be seen, as Hyundai currently only offers the Ioniq and Sonata hybrid sedans in the US. The camouflaged Sante Fe has also been hinted to offer a longer wheelbase and the grille appears larger than on the current model, but only an official reveal will demonstrate how far Hyundai has gone to freshen up one of its top-selling SUVs.