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Whoa! That’s a Hyundai Santa Fe?

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Hyundai design has been off the rails lately. First, we had the distinctive lighting signatures on the Tucson and Santa Cruz, then we had the Ioniq EVs with little-to-no family relationship. Now we have the new Hyundai Santa Fe that’s, well, very different from anything we’ve seen from the Korean automaker so far.

We’re stunned. But we also love it.

Boxy new design

Upright and boxy seems to be the new swoop. The photos released online this week portray a very upright and rugged for this fifth-generation model. Cargo space is also more upright, and Hyundai says this will maximize both urban and outdoor activities.

“The all-new Santa Fe is an SUV that finds a perfect balance between city life and the great outdoors, handling everything from busy family itineraries to car camping adventures,” said SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center, in a press release. “With its longer wheelbase, roomy interior and terrace-like tailgate space, the new Santa Fe leans into its SUV strengths to offer more versatility than ever before as well as a premium customer experience.”

Hyundai Santa Fe

New tech

From the photos, we see Santa Fe gets a more streamlined and simplified interior with a strong horizontal design. The gauge cluster flows straight into the info screen with a long curved display. We also see dual wireless charging and high-end material choices.

The exterior, in addition to being upright, gets 21-inch wheels and new signature H-shaped design cues.

The bottom line

Hyundai says the full reveal of the all-new three-row SUV will be coming in August. So, until then photos.

What do you think of this new design for the Hyundai Santa Fe? Is it too much like the Land Rover Defender and recently revealed Lexus GX? Or is this upright stance appealing in its own right, and does it have enough personality to stand on its own? Comment below.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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  1. Jared July 19, 2023

    Interesting design, overall I think I like it however I would like to see other trims. I don’t quite understand the squared wheel arches that are black but then the actual wheel opening is round, and I feel like the rear I have seen somewhere else but can’t quite place it. I am looking forward to finding out more about it in August!

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      Jill Ciminillo July 20, 2023

      We’ve heard people say this looks like both a Land Rover Defender and a Ford Flex. 🤔 But yes, definitely interested to see this IRL!


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