New 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV: first official pictures

First look at Hyundai’s new flagship SUV arrives, with a full debut this month and a public bow at Geneva scheduled.

Hyundai has released the first official images of its new flagship Santa Fe SUV, confirming that it’ll be revealed in full at a special world premiere event later this month, before making its full public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Hinted at by numerous spy shots and the official teaser sketch released by Hyundai a few weeks ago, the new Santa Fe ushers in a sharper look inspired by the freshest addition to Hyundai’s SUV line-up: the Kona. The slim LED headlights and large hexagonal grille flanked by two large lighting clusters are straight out of the latest Hyundai design playbook. A chunky front bumper with an integrated bash plate gives the Santa Fe a tougher look, as do the new, overemphasised wheelarches.

The one exterior shot released by Hyundai only showcases the car from the front, so we’re still waiting to see how the redesign translates towards the back of the car.

 

Hyundai promises that the new Santa Fe will boast class leading roominess in the seven seat SUV segment, and the new car is both longer and wider than the outgoing model, sizing up at 4,470mm long and with a width of 1,890mm. Inside, the dashboard has been overhauled with a floating tablet style infotainment system as found in many other recent Hyundais, new switchgear and vents, a new steering wheel and a fresh instrument cluster with a digital display too. Hyundai says that the new, horizontal style layout has been developed with an added emphasis on premium feel too.

In terms of safety and assistance tech, the Santa Fe builds on Hyundai’s current suite of SmartSense assistance features by introducing rear cross traffic alert, plus a new feature called Safety Exit Assist, which temporarily locks the doors when it senses a vehicle approaching from behind and removes the chance of a passenger opening the door into the path of a passing car.

The current Santa Fe boasts just one engine option in the UK – a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel pushing 194bhp through to the standard all-wheel-drive system. It’s been around since the second-generation model, so the next Santa Fe could switch to a newer, cleaner and more efficient power unit when the covers come off later this month.

It’s possible that hybrid technology could appear further down the line, too. Hyundai will introduce 31 new low emissions models across the Hyundai and Kia line-up by 2020, with plans to expand its hybrid line-up to include SUVs and large vehicles.

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