It appears the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe‘s Land Rover Defender-inspired looks will continue through to the interior.

    An image of a spied Hyundai Santa Fe prototype, published by Korean Car Blog, shows it has an angled climate control array like the Defender, as well as a chunky four-spoke steering wheel with square button clusters.

    The rest of the interior features elements similar to Hyundai’s own Ioniq 6, as well as the recently revealed Sonata and Kona updates.

    These elements include a dual screen setup inside a curved housing, a column-mounted gear selector, and matte plastics on the centre tunnel.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the interior of the new Santa Fe, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it without camouflage.

    As previously reported, the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe is set to be revealed later this year. It’s expected to arrive in Australia during 2024.

    Previously seen prototypes have shown it has a Defender-like silhouette, with a D-pillar that sits almost upright. This makes it look even bluffer than the larger Palisade.

    The LED headlights have a prominent ‘H’ motif we haven’t seen from Hyundai before. It’s a drastic departure from the current model and its twin-headlight design.

    It’s unclear if the changes beneath the skin on the new Santa Fe will be quite as dramatic as its new look.

    The Santa Fe moved to a new platform shared with the Kia Sorento in 2021, giving it access to hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains. Only the hybrid has ended up coming to Australia.

    Both electrified Santa Fe models use a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, lithium-ion battery and a six-speed automatic transmission. These powertrains are shared with the Kia Sorento hybrid and PHEV.

    The non-electrified Santa Fe range is currently available in Australia with a choice of 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder and 3.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol V6 engines. The latter has been largely phased out outside our market.

    Markets like Korea and North America get a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in lieu of the V6, while a naturally aspirated version is also offered in some markets.

    Hyundai played it extremely safe with the current Santa Fe’s styling, which despite the new platform looks almost identical to the previous model.

    But with the Santa Fe losing ground in Australia and Korea to its pricer Palisade stablemate and its Kia Sorento corporate cousin, Hyundai’s designers appear to have been given the go-ahead to pen a more radical design.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Santa Fe

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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