Styled to resemble the Kona and featuring Hyundai's new cascading grille and two-piece headlight and daytime running LED layout seemingly also derived from the Nexo concept shown in Detroit last month, the rear is more of an evolution with new LED taillights and an overall look claimed to be "athletic" and "bold".
As with the previous model, the new Santa Fe will be offered in two bodystyles, although the seven-seat version will now be called Santa Fe XL whereas the five-seater drops the Sport suffix completely. In terms of dimensions, the Santa Fe measures 4 770 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2 765 mm, height of 1 680 mm and width of 1 890 mm.
Being both longer and wider than the model its replaces, the Santa Fe's interior takes after that of the i30 with a choice of either a seven or eight-inch touchscreen display incorporating satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and MirrorLink, wireless smartphone charging pad, a 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system on top spec models, a digital instrument cluster and a 8.5-inch Heads-Up Display.
Depending on the model selected, the Santa Fe now comes equipped with Hyundai's SmartSense range of driver assistance systems, made up of Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Frontal Collision Avoidance Assist.
Segment firsts meanwhile includes Rear Seat Occupant Alerts that monitors rear passenger movement, Safe Exist Assist system that keeps the doors locked momentarily when objects are detected, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance Assist that applies the brakes automatically when danger during reversing is detected.
In total, the Santa Fe will come powered by a choice of two petrol engines and two turbodiesels, all linked to a brand-new eight-speed automatic gearbox with Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive system available on some models.
On the petrol front, the normally aspirated 2.4-litre GDI develops 136 kW and 241 Nm and the 2.0-litre turbo makes 172 kW and 353 Nm. Diesel-wise, the 2.2-litre mill, coming in 2019, will produce 147 kW and 442 Nm, while some markets will also get a smaller 2.0-litre oil burner making 136 kW and 402 Nm.
In South Korea, where both diesels and the 2.0-litre turbo are offered, pricing starts at 28.1-million won (R302 794) for the 2.0T Premium and ends at 36.8-million (R396 541) won for the 2.2 CRDI Exclusive, with South Africa spec and availability still to be confirmed.