First look at 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

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Hyundai’s new third-gen Santa Fe seven-seat large SUV due in Singapore in third quarter

Seoul, South Korea –
Hyundai has unveiled two images of its forthcoming, fourth-generation Santa Fe sport utility vehicle (SUV).

The 2018 model (2019MY)  seven-seat large SUV is due for launch in Singapore in the third quarter of this year.

This new model looks very different from before, and should help Hyundai shed its previous design approach of  ‘almost invisibly normal’. The Santa Fe borrows much from its new smaller brother, the Kona small crossover.

Already launched here in Singapore at the Motorshow in January, the Santa Fe has similar narrow headlights, a fluted diamond shaped grille (what Hyundai calls the ‘Cascading Grille’, and large air intake flanked by five-sided foglight surrounds.

New is the matte chrome strip that runs the width of the front end, as is the hexagonal motif for the grille.

Hyundai says the Santa Fe is now 4,770mm long and 1,890mm wide, compared to 4,690mm and 1,880mm previously. The wheelbase is longer as well, which spells for even more room inside, though Hyundai does not detail how much exactly.

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Also shown is a shot of the cabin. Most different from before is the active display instrument system, which is square and appears similar to that on the Hyundai Ioniq.

There also appears to be a larger, high-mount infotainment screen and much more leather upholstery, plus technical trim panels on the doors.

Two new safety systems will make their debut on the car as well: Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance not only detects traffic behind you when reversing out, but also brakes the vehicle automatically. Safety Exit Assist also locks the doors when it detects vehicles approaching from behind, to prevent disembarkation accidents.

The seven-seat SUV market is, like every other SUV/crossover segment, heating up: The new Kia Sorento packs massive bang for your buck, likewise Nissan’s refreshed X-Trail, while Mitsubishi’s Outlander offers the least expensive choice for the segment. Toyota’s tough Fortuner has returned, and Mazda’s king-sized CX-9 delivers near-luxury performance for a non-luxury price.

2018 it seems will be another year of big progress for the Korean carmaker, it having already joined the EV market with the Ioniq Electric, compact crossover segment with the Kona, and strengthened its offering in the small hatchback sector with the new i30.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.