Hyundai is currently riding a wave of success. The Koreans appear accordingly. “This is not a simple CUV, but a stylish SUV,” says chief designer SangYup Lee and puts his hand on the mighty bonnet of the new Hyundai Santa Fe. The designer knows that drums are part of the craft, after all he has worked for VW, Porsche, Bentley and GM. One of his creations, the Camaro Concept Vehicle, gained worldwide fame as Bumblebee in the first Transformers film. The career of the fifth generation of the Santa Fe should not be quite as glamorous, but the big brother of the Tuscon should be a sales success.

The exterior is a pictorial expression of the confident attitude. Where the fifth generation was plump, the new Santa Fe is edgy and powerful. This is also reflected in absolute figures: the Santa Fe V is 4.83 meters longer than before, 45 millimeters longer, and the wheelbase has grown by five centimeters to 2,815 millimeters. “The chief engineer called the car an aerodynamic disaster because of this”; says SangYup Lee with a laugh. The technician didn’t yet know the cW value of the new Santa Fe, which at 0.29 is 0.04 points below that of the current model. The shapers achieved better aerodynamics through well-known tricks, such as improvements to the underbody, the wheel arches, the rear roof spoiler and, above all, the blind radiator grille. The new SUV will soon be available from dealers in South Korea, Europe and the USA will follow in the first half of 2024. Unlike the US version, the European version does not have a light strip at the front and has 20-inch tires instead of 21-inch ones.

The exterior of the new Hyundai Santa Fe is a bit of a mélange of different automobiles. Take a bit of Volvo/Polestar (front/headlights), top that with a good dose of Range Rover (silhouette, shoulder line, interior) and throw in a dash of Honda Accord III Aerodeck (rear lights) and the fifth generation Santa Fe is ready . “In fact, we put the reins on the horse and started at the tail,” reveals SangYup Lee. So the Santa Fe has a wide-opening tailgate, a low loading sill and high-quality knobs. When the rear seats are folded down, the trunk volume of the five-seater variant increases by around 100 liters. Of course, the increased dimensions also appeal to the occupants. In the hybrid Santa Fe, legroom in the back seat has increased by 20 millimeters to 1,055 millimeters and in the third row by 15 millimeters to 761 millimeters. Since the headroom has increased by 30 millimeters to 282 millimeters and the backrest can now be tilted by ten degrees, there should also be room for adults at the very back.

The details that are so important to the Koreans also include practical aids such as handles on the outside of the body to make it easier to access the optional roof box or, if necessary, the roof tent. Inside, the steering wheel and the sloping 6.6-inch air conditioning display above the center console are immediately reminiscent of Land Rover, while the two 12.3-inch monitors come from the group’s own technology shelf. The infotainment touchscreen is naturally curved, which makes it easier to reach from the driver’s seat.

The pilot doesn’t have to constantly turn around to check the mood on the back seat, a radar sensor does that. It is also practical that the armrest or the center console can be opened from the front and rear. The driver’s smartphone can be used as a key and when it comes to charging, you simply place it in the large center console. Alternatively, you can plug the device into one of the USB-C ports, which then pumps 27 watts of energy into the batteries. A cool feature is the UV-C sterilization tray in the glove compartment, which is suitable for cell phones and wallets. The software is kept up-to-date wirelessly and it should also be possible to start the vehicle and pay when filling up with a fingerprint.

The Hyundai Santa Fe shares the technology with the Tuscon, but has been improved in detail. Among other things, the chassis is equipped with hydraulic bushings. There is no diesel in the drives. So the Santa Fe will have two electrified petrol engines based on the 1.6-liter turbo engine (Gamma III). In the hybrid with a system output of 169 kW / 230 PS, the petrol engine contributes 132 kW / 180 PS, while the PHEV variant will have 118 kW / 160 PS. The system performance should at least remain at the current level (195 kW / 265 PS) and possibly increase to around 221 kW / 300 PS, while the battery and thus the purely electric range of a maximum of 70 kilometers remains the same. Both powertrains are paired to the six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive is the same as in the Tuscon with an electrically controlled clutch. However, the new Santa Fe should also be able to cope better off-road, in line with its rustic appearance. The prices should rise only moderately. The PHEV Santa Fe currently costs at least 63,050 euros and the hybrid variant starts at 54,800 euros.