Even BMW’s revival of the vertical kidney grille didn’t generate much controversy upon its debut compared to the boldly styled 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe. We are not talking about a single design element, but about the whole car. If we were to highlight one part of the SUV, it would have to be the rear with the giant tailgate and unusually low-mounted taillights. The Defender’s 130-esque profile and H-themed lights are just as eye-catching.
Following its online premiere earlier this week, the fifth-generation Santa Fe has been spotted by Instagrammers shorts_car in the underground parking lot. One can assume we are dealing with a lesser version of the boxy SUV judging by the modest exhaust tips whereas the two models shown in the official gallery have fancier exhausts. The two-tone wheels are also different, while the giant “Santa Fe” lettering is missing from the back. It’s a prototype after all.
Maybe because of its upright style, but this new generation looks much bigger. Hyundai hasn’t released any specifications yet, although the wheelbase is now longer. Its silhouette gives the impression of being roughly the size of a Defender 130. There appears to be plenty of room for third-row passengers judging by the quarter size of the large windows. We didn’t see the rear wiper but perhaps it’s hiding under the roof spoiler, or it just doesn’t have it as was the case with the Ioniq 5. The latter will get it soon, however, with the N version taking the lead.
Judging by what people are saying online about the new Santa Fe, the “problem” is how Hyundai designed the rear as other SUVs have generally received positive feedback. This isn’t the company’s first design to spark controversy lately as the Staria minivan was also polarized when it debuted a few years ago. Next year, another wild model will see the light of production day when the Seven Concept will transform into a full-size road-going electric SUV.
As for this new Santa Fe, full disclosure is programmed for August.