New spy shots have given us a better look at the interior of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe, featuring expansive screens and a pared-back centre console.
Though this Santa Fe prototype remains heavily camouflaged inside and out, we’ve gotten a better look at the new interior.
The updated Santa Fe is expected to launch in Hyundai’s home market of South Korea in the second half of this year, but likely won’t make it to Australia until 2024.
Both the driver’s digital instrument cluster and the infotainment touchscreen are situated in the same assembly, stretching from behind the steering wheel to the passenger side of the centre console.
Below the touchscreen is a selection of physical knobs and buttons for climate control and volume.
A row of buttons sit at the base of the centre stack, while on the minimalist centre console we can see a pair of wireless phone chargers.
The predominantly empty centre console is a change from the busy centre controls of the current model.
Rather than the push-button gear selector of the current model, there is a steering column-mounted shifter. Paddle shifters remain.
There are no major changes to report on concerning the exterior of the vehicle since the previous spy shots.
The boxy silhouette of the prototype vehicle is somewhat reminiscent of the design language of a Land Rover Defender.
The Santa Fe sits above the two-row Tucson and beneath the larger three-row Palisade in Hyundai’s current line up. It’s available only with three rows of seating in Australia, though in other markets it can be had as a five-seater.
The current Santa Fe is 4785mm long, which is 145mm longer than a Tucson and 210mm shorter than a Palisade.
The next Santa Fe is expected to be larger than the current model to provide a more spacious third row.
The current Santa Fe only (somewhat) recently received substantial upgrades, with Hyundai claiming the 2021 mid-life update saw it move to a new platform shared with the Kia Sorento. Despite this, its exterior styling was only subtly changed.
Said Sorento has been outselling it in markets like Australia and Korea, and with the Santa Fe losing ground to both the Kia and its larger Palisade sibling, Hyundai’s designers appear to have been given the go-ahead to pen a more radical design.
It’s unclear what powertrains will be offered in the new Santa Fe crossover. The current model has hybrid, petrol and diesel options, plus a plug-in hybrid overseas, which will all likely continue in some form.
The current model’s petrol V6 could be on its way out. It had already been replaced in other markets by naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engines at the time of its mid-life update, leaving Australia as one of the few markets to still offer it.
Alongside the new-generation Kona and the Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch, the new Santa Fe will reportedly make up Hyundai’s three major launches for 2023.