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Hyundai unveils 2020 Santa Fe for international markets, on new hybrid-ready platform

Team OD  | Updated: June 03, 2020, 02:36 PM IST

Considering the current-gen Santa Fe was introduced internationally only in 2018, the news of the updated car (and teaser images) had lead one to believe that it is a mere mid-cycle facelift. Now, it's been revealed that the new Santa Fe (still in its fourth-gen) also rides on a tweaked platform, which is said to also be able to accommodate a hybrid powertrain, though no specific details have been revealed on that front.

What is evident is that Hyundai's cascading grille has given way for a wider grille, that extends across the width of the car, and is flanked by the redesigned headlights. Grille options and black/painted body cladding are dependant on variant, with higher variants looking more polished overall.

Similar to the pre-facelift car, two-tier lighting is in place, while the facelift brings with it an aggressive design for the LED DRLs that continue from the eyebrow elements into the headlamp cluster. The net effect is remarkably similar to Volvo's Thor's Hammer light signature, just laid out vertically here.

In profile, the biggest change comes from the option of 20-inch wheels, while the tail lamps also get redesigned LED elements, with a light bar connecting the two. The rear bumper, reflector and skid plate has been tweaked for a cleaner design that emphasises the width of the Santa Fe, with the option of a visible exhaust exit seemingly depending on variant too. Hyundai's new chief designer SssangYup Lee claims they were going for a more premium and modern overall design, and that certainly seems to have been achieved.

It's a similar theme inside the cabin, with a more streamlined design to the centre console. Headlining it is a new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment, which unfortunately loses out on the rotary controls, while the driver's display is a new 12.3-inch full-digital display. A new panel sits below the AC vents, with all controls grouped here, including the new shift-by-wire system for the transmission. With buttons in place of a gear shift stick, the central console certainly looks like it belongs on a vehicle several classes above, with Hyundai also promising soft-touch materials around the cabin. New for the updated Santa Fe is the addition of a drive mode selector allows the driver to set Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive system to suit conditions like sand, snow, mud apart from offering drive modes like eco, sport, comfort and smart. The new Santa Fe is expected to go on sale internationally by the end of the year.

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