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Not what Hyundai used to be: 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV aims upmarket ahead of Australian launch


Hyundai doesn't want the Toyota LandCruiser Prado to be the king when it comes to outdoorsy large SUVs anymore, with its new Santa Fe coming next year with decidedly upmarket and "outdoor-focused" features.

It comes after Hyundai found millennials in particular "spend more time outside and more money on outdoor products than the average outdoor lifestyle consumer", while in South Korea, the popularity of camping has increased hugely since the pandemic according to a report by Aju Korea Daily.

As such, the new Santa Fe could prove a sturdy rival to the Prado and the likes of the Ford Everest or Isuzu MU-X.

The spacious SUV (it's 4830mm long, 1900mm wide and 1720mm tall with a wheelbase of 2815mm) focuses on interior comforts, its headroom and legroom dimensions all published ahead of launch specifically.  Everyone gets a little more than a metre of headroom, save for the third row's 958mm, while legroom is 1052mm in the front seats, 1075mm for the second row, and 761mm in the rear.

Hyundai says it has 120L more space for cargo than its predecessor, 1148L with the seats folded down.

Features like independent power reclining seats for the second row, dual wireless charging for devices, over-the-air (OTA) updates and even a 'UV-C Sterilisation Tray' for "easy sterilisation of frequently used items, such as cell phones and wallets" aim to level the large SUV up over its predecessor.

  • The spacious SUV focuses on interior comforts. The spacious SUV focuses on interior comforts.
  • Its headroom and legroom dimensions all published ahead of launch specifically. Its headroom and legroom dimensions all published ahead of launch specifically.
  • Everyone gets a little more than a metre of headroom, save for the third row’s 958mm, while legroom is 1052mm in the front seats, 1075mm for the second row, and 761mm in the rear. Everyone gets a little more than a metre of headroom, save for the third row’s 958mm, while legroom is 1052mm in the front seats, 1075mm for the second row, and 761mm in the rear.
  • Hyundai says it has 120L more space for cargo than its predecessor, 1148L with the seats folded down. Hyundai says it has 120L more space for cargo than its predecessor, 1148L with the seats folded down.
  • In terms of electrification, two hybrid Santa Fes with turbocharged 1.6-litre engines are to be available. In terms of electrification, two hybrid Santa Fes with turbocharged 1.6-litre engines are to be available.

Four powertrains will be available for the 2024 Santa Fe, the most rudimentary a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 143kW and 246Nm. A version of that engine with a turbocharger, good for 207kW and 422Nm, is the most powerful of the four.

In terms of electrification, two hybrid Santa Fes with turbocharged 1.6-litre engines are to be available, a traditional and a plug-in hybrid, the former with 132kW/265Nm and the latter with 118kW and 265Nm.

While Hyundai Australia is yet to confirm local pricing and specification for the new Santa Fe, to come closer to its launch in the first half of 2024, expect to see an evolution of its current line-up, the turbocharged 2.5-litre and traditional hybrid 1.6-litre versions of the new-gen SUV are highly likely.