Hyundai’s third-generation Santa Fe, which premiered in New York last week, is set to make its market debut sometime in mid-year. The SUV arrives in two wheelbase variant forms, a standard five-seater model as well as a long wheelbase version, which will appear in early 2013. The latter will offer seating for up to seven over three rows, but will only be available in left-hand drive format.
The exterior for both versions features elements of what the company calls the ‘Storm Edge’ design concept, which supposedly captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm. You’ll be seeing more of this urban-style design cues on future Hyundai models.
As for numbers, the new Santa Fe rides on a 2,700 mm wheelbase, and measures in at 4,690 mm long, 1,680 mm tall and 1,880 mm wide – a lowered height and extended overhang gives the new offering a sportier look. Meanwhile, the LWB has a longer wheelbase of 2,800 mm, with increased overall length of 4,905 mm, and adds 10 mm and 5 mm to height and width over the SWB.
As well as its wider appearance, the new SUV delivers more spacious cabin room compared to the outgoing model. Front- and second-row legroom have been increased, by 38 mm and 45 mm respectively, while luggage space in the trunk has been increased by 37 mm in depth over the existing Santa Fe, yielding a class-best luggage capacity of 534 litres with the front five seats upright.
For the US market, two petrol engines will be available, a 2.4 litre Theta GDI normally-aspirated four-pot as well as a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged Theta mill. In terms of output, the 2.4 offers 190 hp and 245 Nm, while the 2.0 turbo unit delivers 264 hp and 365 Nm.
In Europe, the Santa Fe will also be available with Hyundai’s Euro 6-compliant 2.2 litre ‘R’ diesel engine featuring a variable geometry turbo (VGT). The all-aluminium engine generates 197 hp and 431 Nm of torque, whilst achieving CO2 emissions of just 145 g/km. There’s also a 148 hp 2.0 litre R diesel variant, though European buyers won’t get the petrol turbo option.
Transmission choices are a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic, which have been tuned to suit the power delivery of the engine line-up.
As part of Hyundai’s efforts to present a unified brand image, Hyundai has adopted a new global naming strategy of one consistent name for one model worldwide, so the SUV is set to be known as Santa Fe in all markets. However, according to local markets’ preferences, the sub-name may be differentiated – the Santa Fe will be called the Santa Fe Sport in the US.