top of page

Hyundai is preparing to launch a redesigned Santa Fe for the 2024 model year, with a reveal likely around the corner later this year. In recent months, camouflaged prototypes have been snapped showing a significant departure in design from the existing model, with a boxy shape remisicent of the Land Rover Defender. These big changes are a result of a completely new approach that designers took when sketching out the new Santa Fe, as Hyundai's Global Head of Design SangYup Lee told Motortrend.


Lee says the Santa Fe's new cabin was designed from the rear forward, as opposed to beginning with the dashboard. In other words, Hyundai literally put cargo space first. "People buy SUVs because of the cargo space at the back," says Lee. "We started the Santa Fe from the side view, with a boxy profile and the widest tailgate." The Santa Fe's boxy new shape not only helps increase cargo space, but it also creates "a more rugged character" for the midsize SUV. He went on to explain that because most designers start with the front passenger area and move backward from there, the cargo area is somewhat ignored.



The current Santa Fe, which will soon be replaced with a boxy new generation.

But that's not to say Hyundai phoned it in with rest of the Santa Fe. The redesigned SUV follows the brand's recent trend in placing four dots on the steering wheel as opposed to the stylized 'H' logo, and they stand for the letter 'H' in Morse code. Lee told Motortrend that all new Hyundai models from now on will adopt the new steering wheel design.


The Santa Fe also gets the gearshift moved onto the steering wheel column, just like what Hyundai has done for the latest Kona and Sonata. While that may come as a learning curve for some, Lee says it frees up additional space on the center console, and its placement near the steering wheel will help drivers stay focused on the road. The redesigned SUV will also follow the new Kona and Sonata in adding what Hyundai calls a "seamless horizon lamp," which is a long daytime running light that stretches horizontally across the vehicle's front fascia. Lee adds that it will resemble more of an H-like shape compared to other Hyundai models with the new design feature.


In terms of powertrains, the next Santa Fe's platform will support them all. That means the SUV will still offer gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions, just like outgoing version. The platform also allows for a fully electric powertrain, though that's reserved for the brand's Ioniq lineup.


The next Santa Fe wasn't the only thing Motortrend discussed with Lee. The Ioniq 7 electric three-row is currently undergoing testing, though a reveal won't happen until next year. And unfortunately, Hyundai has given up on making a mid-engined sports car, so we won't be seeing a production version of the N Vision 74 anytime soon. The closest we will get to a sports car from Hyundai will be the N variants of the all-electric Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 5 N shouldn't be too far away from a reveal, though Lee didn't mention a specific timeframe.


Are you looking forward to the next Santa Fe?

Image Credits: Hyundai
Future Cars
Jun 14, 2023
 •

The Next-Generation Hyundai Santa Fe's Design Focuses On Cargo Space

The brand's designers started with the cargo area and moved forward from there.

Hyundai is preparing to launch a redesigned Santa Fe for the 2024 model year, with a reveal likely around the corner later this year. In recent months, camouflaged prototypes have been snapped showing a significant departure in design from the existing model, with a boxy shape remisicent of the Land Rover Defender. These big changes are a result of a completely new approach that designers took when sketching out the new Santa Fe, as Hyundai's Global Head of Design SangYup Lee told Motortrend.


Lee says the Santa Fe's new cabin was designed from the rear forward, as opposed to beginning with the dashboard. In other words, Hyundai literally put cargo space first. "People buy SUVs because of the cargo space at the back," says Lee. "We started the Santa Fe from the side view, with a boxy profile and the widest tailgate." The Santa Fe's boxy new shape not only helps increase cargo space, but it also creates "a more rugged character" for the midsize SUV. He went on to explain that because most designers start with the front passenger area and move backward from there, the cargo area is somewhat ignored.



The current Santa Fe, which will soon be replaced with a boxy new generation.

But that's not to say Hyundai phoned it in with rest of the Santa Fe. The redesigned SUV follows the brand's recent trend in placing four dots on the steering wheel as opposed to the stylized 'H' logo, and they stand for the letter 'H' in Morse code. Lee told Motortrend that all new Hyundai models from now on will adopt the new steering wheel design.


The Santa Fe also gets the gearshift moved onto the steering wheel column, just like what Hyundai has done for the latest Kona and Sonata. While that may come as a learning curve for some, Lee says it frees up additional space on the center console, and its placement near the steering wheel will help drivers stay focused on the road. The redesigned SUV will also follow the new Kona and Sonata in adding what Hyundai calls a "seamless horizon lamp," which is a long daytime running light that stretches horizontally across the vehicle's front fascia. Lee adds that it will resemble more of an H-like shape compared to other Hyundai models with the new design feature.


In terms of powertrains, the next Santa Fe's platform will support them all. That means the SUV will still offer gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions, just like outgoing version. The platform also allows for a fully electric powertrain, though that's reserved for the brand's Ioniq lineup.


The next Santa Fe wasn't the only thing Motortrend discussed with Lee. The Ioniq 7 electric three-row is currently undergoing testing, though a reveal won't happen until next year. And unfortunately, Hyundai has given up on making a mid-engined sports car, so we won't be seeing a production version of the N Vision 74 anytime soon. The closest we will get to a sports car from Hyundai will be the N variants of the all-electric Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 5 N shouldn't be too far away from a reveal, though Lee didn't mention a specific timeframe.


Are you looking forward to the next Santa Fe?

Image Credits: Hyundai

More From 

Future Cars

BMW Is Bringing The M5 Touring To The U.S., Now Let's Prove We Deserve It

BMW Is Bringing The M5 Touring To The U.S., Now Let's Prove We Deserve It

Next Alfa Romeo Giulia To Offer A Choice Of ICE Or EV, Use Dodge Underpinnings

Next Alfa Romeo Giulia To Offer A Choice Of ICE Or EV, Use Dodge Underpinnings

Mitsubishi Will Reveal North American Product Roadmap This Spring

Mitsubishi Will Reveal North American Product Roadmap This Spring

The Next-Generation Hyundai Santa Fe's Design Focuses On Cargo Space

Sign up for our newsletter.

Get industry updates sent straight to you, designed to offer a simple glance at the motoring world.

bottom of page