We’ve seen a major shift in styling across the Hyundai brand these past few years, and that will get even more dramatic in its next crossover generation. We already have the funky-looking Venue and Kona as well as the range-topping Palisade. While we’re still waiting on the new Tucson to emerge, though, Hyundai did officially tease the new Santa Fe Tuesday.
Right away, the most dramatic change from this current generation are the T-shaped daytime running lights. Light the current Santa Fe, you have slim units positioned above the grille, but now the running lights actually run through the upper end of the front fascia — in a way looking like Volvo’s “Thor’s Hammer” daytime running lights. Another key difference here is it looks like there are two headlight projector units split by the DRLs, and the two are more closely placed. The front lights in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe look more closely integrated into the overall design, rather than two separate units that may look a bit odd when taken in together.
A new hybrid model is coming – at least for Europe
In their European release, Hyundai also alluded to what will power the next Santa Fe. No surprises here, but the next model will have an electrified powertrain in Europe, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, most likely similar to what we’ll see in the updated Kia Sorento. If Hyundai and Kia’s midsize crossovers do wind up sharing powertrains, that would mean the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe would have either a turbocharged gas engine option as well as a 1.6-liter engine assisted by an electric motor. However, the two brands have diverted to some extent on philosophies in recent years, so we may see different engines used here.
For its part, Hyundai did not specifically mention powertrains in their U.S. release. Instead, their release simply refers to the styling changes, and says nothing of engine options. On that basis, we could see the Santa Fe continue on with its current 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbo options here, or we could see electrified powertrains down the road.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates, and watch our latest review of the current Santa Fe below: