Hyundai’s popular Santa Fe crossover
is getting to be as stale as a day-old bagel, and its current lines haven’t been graced by the company’s “fluidic sculpture” styling. It’s still a valid choice in a five-passenger crossover, but it’s somewhat overdue for a refresh.
That changes in the coming months, as Hyundai will introduce two new Santa Fe models
. First up is the Santa Fe Sport, which will feature the same five-passenger, two-row capacity as the current model. That’s followed by the new Santa Fe, which grows to three rows of seating in order to accommodate seven passengers.
Outside, both wear a new evolution of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture styling that the company calls “Storm Edge,” as it’s meant to resemble the way weather patterns form in nature. All we know is that the new Santa Fe models wear their revised sheet metal well, from the hexagonal grille to the deep character lines in the doors.
The Santa Fe Sport will give buyers the choice of a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder gasoline direct engine, good for 190 horsepower, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four good for 264 horsepower. Both deliver impressive fuel economy, with the 2.4-liter estimated at 33 mpg highway and the 2.0-liter turbo estimated at 31 mpg highway.
The Santa Fe borrows the 3.3-liter V-6 found in the Azera sedan
, which is rated at 290 horsepower and still delivers an estimated 26 mpg on the highway. All Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models share a Hyundai-developed six-speed automatic transmission that also boasts Shiftronic manual control.
Front-wheel-drive is standard, but all-wheel-drive is available across the model range. Opt for AWD, and you also get Hyundai’s Torque-Vectoring Corner Control, which distributes power and braking to individual wheels for optimum traction across all conditions. The Santa Fe is the first non-luxury SUV to benefit from intelligent torque vectoring.
Inside, amenities include cloth or leather seating; heated rear seats; Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics and available options like third-generation navigation, a panoramic sunroof and a heated steering wheel.
For more details on the latest crossovers from Hyundai, see our full review of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe