- The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe was first revealed last month, but now we have more details about the mid-size SUV.
- The new Santa Fe’s wild design transformation accompanies larger overall dimensions and a longer wheelbase.
- Its stretched proportions help increase interior space, and U.S. models see the return of a three-row configuration.
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe’s shocking makeover was revealed to the world last month. While that spoils some of the surprise, Hyundai has now revealed more specific details about the new wildly styled mid-size SUV. Not only is the fifth-generation Santa Fe bigger than its predecessor in almost every way, but it introduces fresh features, including U.S. models regaining a third row of seats.
Bigger and Bolder Than Before
If it wasn’t still called the Santa Fe, no one would know the Minecraft-looking ute seen in these photos has any relation to the outgoing generation, which debuted for the 2019 model year and received a facelift for 2021. To better ensure that onlookers will recognize the new Santa Fe is, in fact, a Hyundai, the company incorporates H-shaped front and rear lighting elements that complete the in-your-face design.
Compared with the previous Santa Fe, the 2024 version grows front to back, up and down, and between its axles. It now measures 190.2 inches long, which is 1.8 inches more than before. That’s still about a half-foot shorter than the three-row Hyundai Palisade, but the distance between the Santa Fe’s axles has been extended by 1.9 inches. Its 110.8-inch wheelbase now provides more passenger space, specifically for the third row. Previously, the outgoing generation that was sold in other markets offered the extra row, but those sold on our shores were only offered with two rows.
While the new Santa Fe is just as wide as before, it’s now between about an inch or two taller (not counting the prominent roof rails that are available). Unlike before, it’s now available with giant 21-inch wheels—previously 20s were the largest set. Hyundai also says there’s more room for hauling people’s stuff, with cargo space behind the far-back row growing by a few cubes to 26 cubic feet. A larger liftgate aperture is supposed to make moving things in and out easier.
A More Open Concept Inside
When people climb into the redesigned Santa Fe, it’s possible they’ll confuse it for a Land Rover. That might not make Land Rover owners happy, but it’ll likely appeal to everyone else. We think the new dashboard design, with its upright layout and subtle H-shaped elements, looks handsome. We also appreciate the new column-mounted shifter and the inclusion of physical knobs for the audio system as well as some HVAC controls, which sandwich a 6.6-inch touch panel.
The dash’s centerpiece is the single curved panel that houses dual 12.3-inch screens, one for the gauge cluster and the other for the infotainment system. The steering wheel looks upscale too—and it could’ve easily been pulled directly from a Defender. The center console is touted as being accessible for those in the front seats and the second row, and it features a pair of wireless charging pads above a hollowed-out section. Other unique features include a tray on top of the glovebox that sanitizes small items using ultraviolet light.
Front-seat passengers looking to kick their feet up can deploy footrests, although it’s unclear if they’re standard or optional. The second-row captain’s chairs are available with power adjustments, and the third row can be reclined up to 10 degrees. Hyundai says second- and third-row passengers have more space to stretch out, with legroom measuring up to 42.3 and 30 inches, respectively. Compared with outgoing three-row models, that’s an increase of 2.7 inches in the far-back seats.
The 2024 Santa Fe has a host of driver-assistance technology that ranges from automated emergency braking, automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist to semi-autonomous drive modes. Along with safety features that lock the doors so people don’t accidentally step into traffic, there’s a new driver-attention monitor and a radar-based reminder to check the rear seats.
Powertrains and Pricing
The Santa Fe’s powertrain options aren’t as radically different as its appearance. In fact, they’re essentially unchanged. While the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder will no longer be offered in North America, the 2.5-liter turbo four carries on with 277 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. It again pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive.
The plug-in-hybrid powertrain also loses its U.S. citizenship, but the hybrid variant—a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-pot paired with an electric motor—carries on. The setup includes a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive and is expected to make the same 226 horsepower combined. We’ll have to wait to find out fuel-economy estimates, though, as those figures have yet to be certified by the EPA.
Hyundai says the 2024 Santa Fe will reach U.S. dealerships sometime in the first half of next year. While the company hasn’t yet released pricing, we expect the entry-level model will start just under $40K now that the hybrid powertrain appears to be the standard setup. The mightier 2.5-liter turbo four paired with the top-spec Calligraphy model will likely put the Santa Fe’s price tag in the neighborhood of $50,000.
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Eric Stafford’s automobile addiction began before he could walk, and it has fueled his passion to write news, reviews, and more for Car and Driver since 2016. His aspiration growing up was to become a millionaire with a Jay Leno–like car collection. Apparently, getting rich is harder than social-media influencers make it seem, so he avoided financial success entirely to become an automotive journalist and drive new cars for a living. After earning a journalism degree at Central Michigan University and working at a daily newspaper, the years of basically burning money on failed project cars and lemon-flavored jalopies finally paid off when Car and Driver hired him. His garage currently includes a 2010 Acura RDX, a manual ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.