Hyundai’s seven-seat family hauler has been given a bold makeover for 2020.
The updated Santa Fe will touch down in Australia later this year, although exact timing hasn’t been confirmed.
Hyundai also hasn’t yet locked in which engines will be available in Australia. Overseas markets will be offered a 169kW/350Nm hybrid powertrain shared with the new Kia Sorento, which is being “evaluated” for the local range.
CarExpert understands Hyundai Australia is pushing hard for a hybrid option to take on the 2021 Toyota Kluger.
Also available for overseas market is a plug-in hybrid model with the same outputs but a larger battery for extended electric driving.
Regardless of whether Hyundai Australia can secure the hybrid, expect the current petrol and diesel engine options to carry over into the facelifted model.
That means the base engine will most likely be a 3.5-litre V6 petrol with 206kW of power and 336Nm of torque, sending power to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with 149kW and 440Nm, all-wheel drive, and a new wet-clutch eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is also likely to feature.
Compared to the current model, the updated Santa Fe features a more aggressive front end. Gone is the old ‘cascading’ grille, replaced with a wider unit the blends into the lower headlight assembly.
The grille’s pattern varies depending on the model selected. Also new are the daytime running lights that slash downwards through the headlamp assembly.
The changes are less dramatic at the rear, where the tail lights feature new graphics, and are now linked by a slim light bar running across the boot lid.
New wheels have to have been added to the range, along with new bumpers and side skirts depending on the model selected. We’ll know more about which options will be offered in Australia when pricing is released later this year.
Inside, the Santa Fe benefits from a new 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle and a fresh 10.25-inch infotainment screen.
The transmission tunnel has been redesigned with a new off-road mode selector and a more button-heavy look than the current model. Under the raised transmission tunnel is a large storage space, according to Hyundai.
The company also promises “every component” is finished in “premium soft-touch materials” for a more luxurious, upmarket feel from behind the wheel.
Although unconfirmed by Hyundai, the updated Santa Fe is believed to ride on the same platform as the new Kia Sorento.
Hyundai says the fixed points for the steering arms are closer to the middle of the front wheels for sharper handling, while extra sound and vibration damping has been used to improve refinement.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest Santa Fe coverage in the lead-up to its local arrival in the second half of 2020.