The 2021MY Hyundai Santa Fe follows a revamped design philosophy and is based on an all-new platform
South Korean automaker Hyundai introduced the Santa Fe nameplate back in 2000. The mid-size SUV is currently in its fourth generation (2018MY – present) and comes in a range of petrol and diesel motors in international markets. Depending on the market, it is available in either 5-seater or 7-seater format. The latter LWB version is also referred to as the Santa Fe XL in certain regions.
The outgoing Hyundai Santa Fe model is not available in India. Hyundai Motor India had sold two Santa Fe generations (in 7-seater formats) previously, before discontinuing the product in 2017 due to poor sales. In fact, the company has never witnessed much success with its flagship SUVs on the Indian market as the competition offered by the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour has always remained strong.
On the other hand, Hyundai has a strong presence in the compact crossover and subcompact crossover segments thanks to the Creta and Venue. Latest reports state that Hyundai Motor India is planning to bring the top-of-the-line Palisade premium SUV. It shares its platform with the Kia Telluride, winner of the prestigious World Car Of The Year (WCOTY) 2020 award.
Now, the company has officially teased the upcoming Santa Fe model (fifth generation) ahead of its global debut in the coming months for the 2021 model year. It will arrive in two variants: Standard and Luxury. Being an early and first-time teaser, minimal details are available at the moment. Still, one can observe some key design elements on its front fascia.
Hyundai’s signature cascading grille has flattened and become hexagonal but the main highlight is the new LED DRL layout. At least in the teaser, this arrangement gives the SUV a rather demonic appearance with all the artificial shadow and contrast situation. Observe closely and it seems the DRL design was ‘inspired’ by Volvo’s Thor-hammer lighting profile, turned inwards 90 degrees. Zoom in and a glimpse of the main headlamp units will be visible at the base of either DRL.
Aside from a few spy shots, other views of the 2021MY Hyundai Santa Fe have not seen light. Hyundai claims its interiors carry significant improvements that provide “premium amenities and comfort”. The SUV is apparently based on an “all-new third-generation vehicle platform” or simply, Hyundai Group’s revised N3 modular architecture that supports hybrid powertrains (regular and plug-in). Only the diesel variant would come in an AWD avatar (front-wheel-biased).