Hyundai will launch its fifth-generation Santa Fe in Australia next year initially with just one drivetrain.

    The Santa Fe will land in the second quarter of 2024, at first only in all-wheel drive hybrid guise.

    Hyundai Australia has yet to confirm any other variants beyond this one, though CarExpert understands a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will follow – whether this arrives with front- or all-wheel drive (or both) is unclear.

    Hyundai revealed the new Santa Fe back in July, detailing its powertrain line-up the following month. There are two petrol engines, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, with Hyundai not yet confirming the return of a diesel engine.

    The hybrid features a turbocharged 1.6-litre Gamma III four-cylinder engine with 132kW and 265Nm mated with a 47.7kW electric motor, for a total system output of 173kW. It’s mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, and boasts a 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds.

    The turbocharged 2.5-litre Theta III four-cylinder engine is mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, produces 207kW of power and 422Nm of torque, while slashing the 0-100km/h time to 8.0 seconds.

    We don’t expect the base 143kW/246Nm naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four to come here, nor do we expect the plug-in hybrid that’s being targeted predominantly at Europe.

    Should the 2.5T AWD come here, it would be the first time Hyundai has offered a high-output petrol engine here with AWD. The outgoing model briefly offered a petrol/AWD configuration, but this was a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre four.

    The outgoing model’s petrol engine is a 200kW/331Nm naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 that’s offered exclusively with front-wheel drive here.

    That’s despite the same engine having been available in left-hand drive models with AWD, and despite the first two generations of Santa Fe offering AWD with a (considerably less powerful) V6 in Australia.

    The current 3.5-litre V6 has been gradually phased out, however, with Hyundai introducing the turbo 2.5-litre four in markets like North America at mid-life update time – Australia is one of the last few markets to still offer the V6.

    The company has yet to confirm what the 2024 Santa Fe model line-up will look like.

    In Korea, it will be offered in Exclusive, Prestige and Calligraphy trim levels, with the latter also offered with a Black Ink package – as seen on the updated Palisade – that brings lashings of gloss black trim.

    It’s unclear whether Hyundai will drop the familiar Highlander nameplate for Calligraphy, as it has done with the 2024 Palisade.

    Given carmakers have been increasing prices lately even when the cars themselves have been unchanged, this radically different Santa Fe will almost certainly wear a higher price tag when it arrives here in the second quarter of 2024.

    Hyundai has yet to confirm pricing for the new-generation range, though the current line-up is priced from $46,050 before on-road costs for the base front-wheel drive V6 all the way up to $69,550 before on-roads for the Hybrid Highlander.

    The Santa Fe is available with the following equipment in South Korea:

    • Power tailgate
    • Projector LED headlights
    • Full-width front LED light bar with welcome animation
    • LED tail lights
    • 18-, 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels
    • Dual sunroofs
    • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
    • 6.6-inch climate control array
    • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
      • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
      • Augmented reality satellite navigation
      • Over-the-air updates
    • Head-up display
    • 12-speaker Bose sound system
    • Heated and ventilated front seats
    • Front relaxation seats with thigh rest
    • 18-way power driver’s seat with four-way lumbar and massaging function
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Colour-adjustable ambient lighting
    • One-touch walk-in mode for second-row seats
    • Digital rear-view mirror
    • Remote Smart Parking Assist

    Digital Key 2 allows you to unlock the vehicle with an iPhone, Apple Watch or Android device, while there will also be – in Korea at least – a fingerprint authentication system and a built-in dashcam.

    There’s also a full suite of safety equipment available, including:

    • Autonomous emergency braking
      • Pedestrian detection
      • Cyclist detection
      • Junction assist
      • Reverse AEB
    • Blind-spot assist
    • Driver attention monitoring
    • Lane Following Assist (lane centring)
    • Lane-keep assist
    • Rear cross-traffic assist
    • Safe exit assist
    • Navigation-based adaptive cruise control
    • Intelligent speed limit assist
    • Multi-collision brake
    • Surround-view camera with 3D view
    • 10 airbags: driver, passenger, first-row side, second-row side, driver’s knee, front-centre, plus curtain ‘bags for all three rows
    • Reversing guide lights

    Hyundai will offer the Santa Fe with a range of interior colourways and, while it hasn’t confirmed which will be offered here, the brand has historically been more open to bringing different colour cabins to Australia than cousin Kia.

    There’s Obsidian Black, Supersonic Grey, Pecan Brown, Forest Green and Black Ink; each with its own corresponding inlay depending on the variant. The inlay options are mostly wood, though there is one black metal trim available on certain Santa Fe models.

    There’s also a wide range of exterior finishes, comprising:

    • Abyss Black Pearl
    • Creamy White Pearl
    • Creamy White Matte
    • Typhoon Silver Metallic
    • Magnetic Grey Metallic
    • Ocado Green Pearl
    • Terracotta Orange
    • Cyber Sage Pearl
    • Earthy Brass Metallic Matte
    • Pebble Blue Pearl

    Hyundai says it will manage the steady runout of stock of the outgoing Santa Fe, of which it currently has strong supply, over the next six months.

    Pricing and specifications for the new Santa Fe range will be announced closer to its Q2 2024 launch.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Santa Fe

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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