The Hyundai Santa Fe is arguably the automaker’s best-selling SUV globally, so it’s big news when our spy photographers managed to catch a facelifted unit undergoing tests just two years after the fourth-generation TM model debuted.

Apparently, the D-segment SUV will get a considerable exterior makeover, but more importantly Hyundai will introduce hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of it, too. According to the spy photographers, this particular prototype is of the hybrid, with the assumption being based off the wheel size and design.

On the design side of things, it’s said that the headlights will get a new T-shaped LED daytime running light design on each side, as well as a new Cascading Grille, front and rear bumpers, as well as new tail lights.

Currently, the Santa Fe is available with a total of six engines, starting with the entry-level 2.4 litre four-cylinder Theta II MPI engine (available in tunes of 170 hp and 185 hp), 2.0 litre T-GDI engine, 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre turbodiesel mills, as well as the top 3.5 litre V6 Lambda engine. Depending on the engine, the car can be had with either a six-speed manual, six-speed auto, or eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Whether or not the existing powertrains will continue to be offered remains to be seen. It’ll also be interesting to see how Hyundai plans to position the hybrid offerings.

Elsewhere, expect the cabin to get the same three-tiered dashboard design, but updated with the latest infotainment display and new trim materials. Interior space is one of the Santa Fe’s strong suits – Hyundai claims the lengthier wheelbase provides best-in-class legroom for the second row and improved headroom for the third row, but hybrid variants will likely lose out on third row seating (like the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid) to accommodate the battery pack.


GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium