Despite the fact that all attentions are on the upcoming dedicated electric SUVs such as the EV9 and the SEVEN, Santa Fe is still coming back! And it will definitely grab some attention even though it will be an ICE model.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s
Santa Fe SUV is one of the longest-living Hyundai models and has been a perennial sales leader for the Korean company. However, the popular family SUV has been struggling a bit of late due to the questionable facelift. The onslaught of new competition has led to a question of whether or not there will even be another generation of Santa Fe, as the Hyundai Motor Group as a whole is preparing to go full electric within a decade.
However, just discovered is a brand-new internal combustion engine SUV that’s reported to be the next Santa Fe, which appears to be a breath of fresh air and a departure from the usual electric varieties that are receiving all the spotlights recently. And our initial impression is that the next Santa Fe could be yet another game changer, from a prolific Korean automaker that seems like it can do no wrong these days.
In this issue, we will find out how Hyundai will attempt to turn things around for its prized family SUV nameplate and place it on the top of the sales chart.
due to the supply chain issue brought on by the pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is hampering the development and production of the pure electric models, combined with the surge of demand for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, it appears that ICE models such as Santa Fe and Sonata are getting a second lease on life.
As we eagerly wait for the arrival of the electric phenom from Korea, namely the Kia EV9 and the production version of the Hyundai SEVEN concept, we often forget about the vehicles that have taken once lowly Korean automaker to the position that they rightly now claim, as one of the most innovative and progressive companies in the world, ranking 4th in sales globally to prove that the Hyundai Motor Group has truly come a long way from the days of Ponies and Excels. And one of the vehicles that were responsible for changing the public perception of the company as a builder of cheap econobox with no desirable attributes was Hyundai Santa Fe.
In its 4th iteration, the Korean brand’s bread and butter product and the first SUV for the US market also came a long way. Bigger, plushier, and more powerful than one could have ever imagined when compared to the earlier models, Santa Fe is now one of the best-selling family SUVs in the market, competing squarely with the likes of Honda Passport and Toyota 4Runner, selling over 1.7-million units in the process since its introduction in the US.
However, Santa Fe has been losing its steam of late, due to its questionable redesign and strong competition, especially from the sibling Kia Sorento, which is now bigger with a 7-passenger capacity and aesthetically more pleasing styling. Sorento has always played second fiddle to Santa Fe, but in Korea, the table has turned as Kia’s interpretation of what a family SUV should be, outsold the original Santa Fe by nearly 3 folds to this year to date.
For this reason, along with other poorly performing models such as the Sonata family sedan, Santa Fe has often been mentioned as a possible candidate to be axed after the current generation, especially with the advent of the electric car era with the impending arrival of an outstanding EV model such as the SEVEN concept that has garnered much praise from all over the globe.
ICE models like Sonata have also been rumored to be on the chopping block due to poor sales due to a questionable facelift. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s)
However, due to the supply chain issue brought on by the pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is hampering the development and production of the pure electric models, combined with the surge of demand for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, it appears that ICE models such as Santa Fe and Sonata are getting a second lease on life. We also have exciting news on the future of Sonata for the future episode so please stay tuned.
As for the all-new fifth-generation Santa Fe, Hyundai’s strategy for digging it out of the hole seems to be giving it a complete transformation without maintaining any part of the previous model’s design or heritage.
The 5th-generation Santa Fe appears to be similar to the EV9 electric SUV with the Land Rover Defender mixed in for a good measure. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s)
According to the spy photos, the all-new Santa Fe appears to be a completely different car altogether, with its bold and angular new body that’s actually more reminiscent of Kia’s upcoming EV9 electric SUV, a complete departure from the sleek and urban look that the Santa Fe franchise has maintained for over 20 years since its inception. In fact, the all-new Santa Fe appears to be an SUV designed for the off-road that’s ready to tackle any kind of terrain, rather than being the comfortable family hauler that it’s been known for until now. The rugged look is known to be inspired by Hyundai’s first-ever SUV, known as Galloper in the domestic Korean market, which is essentially a Hyundai-built version of Mitsubishi Pajero or Montero as it was known in the US.
Due to Galloper’s legendary reputation as a tough body-on-frame offroader, it was expected to be the next in line to be designated as the Hyundai heritage model, to be reinterpreted as a modern vehicle, as was the case with Pony, the first-ever indigenous car of Korea, and Grandeur, the first-ever indigenous luxury car of Korea. However, unlike the first two heritage models that are just concept cars at this moment, it appears that Galloper is bypassing the heritage concept stage and is going straight into production, after its absence in the market since 2004, but under a completely different nameplate, strangely.
The design of the all-new Santa Fe is reported to be derived from the Galloper, Hyundai-built Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero from the 80s. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s)
The latest predictive rendering based on the spy photos by New York Mammoth suggests a tough-looking SUV indeed, which takes after the original Galloper with similar body proportions and boxy details throughout, combined with the unmistakable rear quarter windows treatment from the original truck, but actually screams Land Rover Defender, interestingly.
Not unlike the reborn Defender, the new interpretation of Galloper now sits on the unibody frame, which is based on Hyundai’s latest 3rd generation platform that’s underpinning the Sorento. However, don’t think for a minute that the new Santa Fe will be anything like Kia’s midsize 7-seater. The biggest surprise is probably not the design but the growth in size. The wheelbase of the new Santa Fe is reported to be 150 mm or nearly 6 inches longer than the current model at 2,765 mm. At 2,915 mm or 114.7 inches, the new Santa Fe will be just as big as the current Palisade, the largest SUV in Hyundai’s lineup currently.
The size of the 5th-generation Santa Fe is expected to be as big as the current Palisade. Rendering by Damian Oh (For More Info: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s)
And just like the Palisade, the newest Santa Fe will be a much more luxuriously appointed car than the outgoing model. Featuring rich leather, brushed aluminum, Bose audio, and a large interior with seating of up to 8, which could even pose challenges to the likes of the Land Rover Defender 110 that’s similar in size. The growth in size may not be as surprising as the growth in its stature however, if you consider that the latest Tucson, in particular in long-wheelbase format, has grown to the size of the Santa Fe, which forces it to move up a class to where Palisade is right now. So, what will happen with the Palisade, you may ask? It’s likely that we would see the making of a GMC Yukon or Chevy Tahoe rival, not in the distant future.
So with the increase in size, you would naturally be inclined to think that there would be a significant increase in power and performance attributes. Unfortunately, however, it’s likely that the powerplant options would not change drastically.
This is mainly due to the fact that Hyundai has stopped the development of internal combustion engines as of the end of last year. This is similar to the situation involving the all-new Kia Niro. Although the second generation Niro features all-new sexier sheet metal and a bigger body aided by a new platform, the internals is largely unchanged with only some refinements to offer better fuel efficiency and EV range.
Therefore, the fifth generation Santa Fe is expected to utilize the refined version of the previous generation powerplant, which also powers the current Kia Sorento. This includes 2.5-liter turbo or 3.5-liter normally aspirated gasoline engines, paired with 8-speed DCT or automatic transmission to produce between 270 to 280 hp. The super-efficient hybrid and plug-in options that range from 230 to 260 hp with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with a 6-speed automatic would likely be carried over as well without much change.
The interior of the new Santa Fe is bigger and much more opulent than the current model. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s) Spy photo by PpungtaegiTV (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD2teKavny2eQG0v9jCoVBw)
However, unlike the current model, the all-new model is also expected to feature an all-electric drivetrain, which would be a derivative of the system found in the electrified GV70 electric SUV from Genesis that shares the same 3rd generation platform. In Genesis’s application, the power was rated at 430 hp mated to a 77.4 kWh battery, but for Santa Fe, the power is likely to be curtailed to around 320 hp featuring front and rear motors driving all 4 wheels.
As for the price, it will substantially be increased to the level of the current Palisade, which sits at the starting price of high $30,000, from the current mid $30,000. The expected launch date of the bargain Land Rover is late 2023 and be released globally in 2024.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/R-M7famxI6s