We had previously seen photos of the fifth-generation 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe, but we’ve now got more details, and we’ve seen it in person. We’ll start with saying this: The photos don’t do it justice.
So, be sure to check out our walk-around video on YouTube, and here are the five most important things to know about this radically different next-gen SUV.
Though there will be four available powertrains globally for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe, there are only two confirmed for the North American market. Though Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, implied during the press preview that this decision isn’t set in stone.
So, what have we got? A 2.5-liter turbo gas engine and a hybrid with a 1.6-liter turbo. The hybrid will be the base powertrain, delivering 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5-liter will deliver 277 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.
The powertrains we’re missing out on: a 2.5-liter non-turbo gas engine and a plug-in hybrid with the 1.6-liter turbo.
We also see these engines in the Tucson and Tucson hybrid, with slightly different power tuning.
In addition to having at least two cup-holders per seating position, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe offers some creative storage spaces. The most noticeable will be the floating console that allows for storing a medium sized purse underneath. This is possible due to column-mounted shifter.
There are also dual glove boxes in front of the passenger. The lower one is a normal storage space, but the upper one doubles as a UV-C sterilization tray.
Another interesting storage solution: The center console bin opens forward and aft, so both front and middle-row passengers have access to what’s in the bin.
The final cool storage space is the actual cargo area. Hyundai really wanted to maximize access to the space as well as the cargo volume itself. So the struts for the liftgate were moved to more outward, creating a big boxy opening. Plus, both second and third rows fold flat. Fitting with the outdoor theme, this allows for someone to put an air mattress back there and sleep comfortably.
With the three rows up, cargo capacity is 25.6 cubic feet, which is an increase of 3.2 cubic feet.
I’m always skeptical when a midsize SUV adds a third row. Santa Fe had done it before, then ditched it because it was abysmal. But I climbed around in the third row a couple times, and it doesn’t suck. I’d even say it’s pretty decent.
There’s always going to be a compromise between middle- and third-row passengers to optimize leg room for both rows, but this didn’t trap my feet and still left some good knee room. Plus, the actual seat itself was (gasp) comfortable. The headrests didn’t push my head forward (Nissan, I’m looking at you), and there was plenty of padding in the seat bottoms (GM, I’m looking at you).
There were USB-C charge ports on both sides, cupholders and – get this – fan controls for the HVAC system. I’ve never seen that in a third row before, so I was impressed. Plus, there’s a scoop in the roof for extra head room, and Hyundai only put two belts back there, so hip and shoulder room are also well done.
From the original photos we noticed the curved display and dual wireless chargers that were new to Santa Fe, but there’s a lot of additional tech we’ll see. Think digital key, rear camera mirror, second-row power folding seats, blind-view monitoring and navigation-based smart cruise control that will slow down around curves.
While the rear-occupant alert isn’t new, the fact that it now uses radar is. This is better than the version that uses an ultrasonic sensor, because the radar is so sensitive it not only senses movement but also breath. Similar to the previous system, if it detects a living thing left in the vehicle, it will send text messages as well as sound the car alarm.
While we did get a lot info with preliminary specs, there’s still a lot we don’t know. Like trims. All the vehicles on hand at the reveal were Calligraphy. So, we know that’s a thing. But the only other “trim” available was the XRT Concept, which they wouldn’t confirm verbally was coming, but we did get a couple of off-the-record winks from unnamed execs. This part of we thinks it’s a done deal.
The Korean market will get the 2024 Santa Fe in August of 2023 (aka this month!), but Europe and North America won’t get it until early 2024. We’ll see the full reveal – with pricing, complete specs and trims – at the LA Auto Show in November.
This is a damn cool and innovative vehicle for Hyundai, and frankly, I can’t wait to see what’s next. It continues the “chess piece” design strategy Hyundai implemented with Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, and that means it’s purpose built for the target customer’s lifestyle – but it will bear little resemblance to any other vehicle in the Hyundai lineup.
It’s an interesting strategy – and one that seems to be working. We’ll have more details after the full reveal in November.
I like it overall, and glad to see that the handle thing locks, otherwise I can see that breaking. It’s nice to have something this size outside that has the with the space it does on the outside. I am just hoping prices don’t go up to much. I saw one reviewer perdicting $34-35K.