Engineers from Hyundai have been spotted testing the next generation of the Santa Fe mid-size SUV.
The prototype is for the redesigned version of the larger three-row model, though it’s a safe bet Hyundai is also at work on a redesigned version of the two-row Santa Fe Sport.
The design appears to be evolutionary although there are some subtle differences. For example, the side mirrors are now positioned on the doors instead of at the base of the A-pillars.
It also appears that the headlights are adopting a split design where the daytime running lights sit at the top near the leading edge of the hood and the main projectors form a vertical stack below.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
The grille, meanwhile, adopts the new pattern of Hyundai’s Cascading grille design debuting on the 2018 Elantra GT.
It’s too early to talk powertrains but expect the Santa Fe to continue with a naturally-aspirated V-6 while the Santa Fe Sport should continue with inline-4 options. Front-wheel drive should continue to be standard on both, with all-wheel drive remaining as an option.
Popular rivals for the Santa Fe include the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorrento and Toyota Highlander. The new one will also have to face stiff competition from the Volkswagen Atlas and Subaru’s upcoming Tribeca successor.
Look for a debut in 2018, meaning we should see the vehicle arrive as a 2019 model.