Don’t expect any subtle design changes for the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe if these renderings, released ahead of its full reveal in February, are anything to go by.
The 2018 Santa Fe embraces the Korean carmaker’s latest SUV design language as first revealed on the smaller Hyundai Kona, including a separate headlight system featuring narrow daytime running lights sitting above and main headlights embedded in recesses either side of a bold cascading grille.
As revealed in a dimly-lit teaser image released last week, the profile view suggests the new fourth-generation Santa Fe will align with the Tucson, with a shallower-angled rear window and gently curved bonnet, while the asymmetric shape of the wheel arches and side windows are a virtual carbon copy.
A scattering of initial details accompanied that single profile view, including confirmation that the Santa Fe will be equipped with a full complement of safety and driver assistance kit, but the full story will have to wait until its next month’s unveiling, and the big SUV’s public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
Notable additions to the latest version’s Smart Sense technology include a new rear seat occupant alert, which warns the driver if a person is left in the second row when leaving the car. The system is intended to reduce the risk of accidentally leaving children in the back seat particularly in hot weather.
If movement is detected in the rear seats after locking, the vehicle will sound the horn, flash the light and send a message to a connected smartphone – an industry first, says the South Korean manufacturer.
Also on the safety equipment list is rear-cross traffic alert which is now supplemented by automatic braking. If the driver ignores warnings of approaching vehicles when reversing, the new Santa Fe will apply the brakes to help mitigate the chance of a collision.
Its proportions appear to show a longer wheelbase, which will again allow a third row of seating but the more elegant rearward roofline is likely to limit headroom.
The current generation of Hyundai’s first and largest SUV continues to attract a reasonable amount of attention despite being on sale for six years, with 7974 sold in 2017.
It ranks seventh in the large SUV under $70,000 segment and is usurped in sales by its Tucson smaller sibling, but the new-generation will likely provide sales a significant boost when it arrives later this year, though the yet-to-be-announced pricing will be critical.
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe will be revealed in February before its first public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.