THE next generation Hyundai Santa Fe, revealed at a global event this month, will be bigger and significantly more spacious when it his Australian showrooms in early 2024.

The crisp lines of the new, fifth generation large SUV follows an evolving design move away from organic lines and like the latest Land Rover Defender has square-edged panels that give greater cabin and cargo room.

Hyundai unveiled its next SUV — in the region of Santa Fe, New Mexico — under the ‘Open for More’ concept that it said conveys the model’s radical transformation centred on its new wide tailgate.

It said that the tailgate area, once a storage space, now becomes an open terrace that can be used to effortlessly enjoy the outdoors.

“The fifth-generation Santa Fe enhances the large SUV as a city-friendly, adventure-ready appeal with a class-leading, terrace-like living space made possible by its longer wheelbase and larger tailgate opening,” Hyundai said at the debut.

“The longer wheelbase also allows the new model to offer enhanced third-row seating.”

The new Santa Fe has a wheelbase of 2815mm, up 50mm on the current model. It is also 4830mm long (up 45mm); 35mm higher (at 1720mm without the roof rack); and is the same width at 1900mm.

Inside, the luggage capacity is 725 litres with the three seat rows in place, which is up an impressive 91 litres on the current model. With the two rear rows folded flat (and they do go completely flat), the capacity is 1275 litres, up 145 litres.

As shown at the launch, the SUV can come with useful convenience features such as a UV-C Sterilization Tray and dual wireless charging system for smartphones, and a panoramic curved display, which encompasses the 12.3-inch digital cluster and infotainment system, enhances driver visibility and creates a sense of luxury.

It has fully-foldable second-and third-row seats to create a terrace-like space at the rear with the wider tailgate open, enabling users to enjoy the outdoors and to have easier loading and unloading.

Eco-friendly materials are used throughout the interior for soft surfaces, such as the headliner, BCF car mats and seat backs and coverings, such as the crash pad, door trim and seats.

The leatherette seats are made of materials that minimise human health hazards and are certified as Class 1 in Europe -safe for infants up to three-years old.

The use of eco-friendly materials extends to the exterior as well. The glossy black paint applied to the exterior trim uses recycled carbon materials. Among the exterior colours, the Ecotronic Gray for North American markets uses a natural bamboo charcoal coating method.

The second-row legroom’s length has increased by 35mm to 1075mm (petrol models) while the hybrid’s second-row legroom’s length has increased by 20mm to 1055mm. The third-row legroom’s length has increased by 15mm to 761mm.

Hyundai claims the best-in-class third-row headroom as well. The third-row headroom’s height has increased by 69mm to 958mm. The third-row seating height has increased by 30mm to 282mm. The third-row seating reclines 10 degrees, an increase over the previous generation.

It has a first-row ‘Relaxation Seat’ with leg rest to allow occupants to relax in a comfortable position that helps simulate a weightless experience.

These occupants also have access to a 6.6-inch full-touch climate control display to make heating and cooling adjustments more intuitive.

In the six-seat variant, the second-row power-reclining independent seats with armrests provide convenient operation for rear passengers. The second-row power fold-and-dive seats also add a cushion-angle adjustment to create a relaxation mode as the world’s first.

The new SUV can also feature the world’s first ‘Bilateral Multi-Console’ storage space that can be opened by both front and rear passengers.

Among its other convenience features is its high-speed, dual wireless charging system for smartphones. A C-type USB terminal (max. 27W) is also included. 

In addition, a first-of-its-kind, UV-C Sterilization Tray is applied to the top of the SANTA FE’s passenger glove compartment, providing easy sterilisation of frequently used items, such as cell phones, wallets, etc.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates always maintain vehicle systems with the latest software by wirelessly updating key controllers in the vehicle without requiring a Hyundai service centre visit.

Another first-in-class feature is the Digital Key 2 for vehicle access/startup and remote control via the customers’ smartphone, using Near-field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-wideband (UWB) protocols.

Safety kit includes a radar-based Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) to help remind the driver about rear occupants as a safety precaution after the ignition is turned off.

It has a host of proactive driver assistance and safety features including ‘Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist 2’ which can provide a warning and emergency braking if the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down or if a forward collision risk is detected.

‘Lane Following Assist 2’ employs a windshield-mounted camera to help recognise vehicle drifting and helps provide slight steering inputs to return the vehicle back to the centre of its lane.

Navigation-based ‘Smart Cruise Control 2’ helps maintain a safe speed while taking curves on the main section of a motorway and ‘Highway Driving Assist 2’ helps maintain a set speed and distance from the vehicle ahead. It also assists with lane changes while driving on the main section of a motorway and helps centre the vehicle in the lane while driving.

Other driver assistance and safety features are Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Rear View Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Front/Rear Parking Distance Warning, Surround View Monitor, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and Safe Exit Assist.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia is yet to provide details of the equipment levels, pricing and drivetrain specifications. In Korea and North America it gets two powertrain options of a turbo-petrol 2.5-litre rated at 207kW/422Nm (mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic) and a turbo-petrol hybrid 1.6-litre engine  (with a six-speed torque converter automatic) with 132kW/265Nm.

In Europe, there is also a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) mated to a six-speed torque converter automatic and with an output rating of 118kW/265Nm.

* Only Cars will update information on this model when it is made available.

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Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.