The new model features radical new styling and while offered in two body sizes in the US, Australia will miss out on the bigger seven seater. The styling continues Hyundai's edgy design sculpture and the car features a bold hexagonal front grille and sleek wrap around headlights.
Compared to the current model the Santa Fe is bigger, riding on a 2700mm wheelbase, and sits lower for a sportier look. The cabin is larger and contains more features for driver and passengers.
While bigger in body, the Santa Fe will feature more powerful and fuel efficient petrol engines, along with claims of weight reductions up to 136kg.
Locally, Santa Fe will continue to be offered in a choice of 2WD or AWD with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The old 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine is replaced with a new turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder. Power is 197kW, while torque rises 30 percent to an impressive 365Nm.
A less powerful 2.4-litre petrol engine is also offered in the US and may be offered here on the entry-level Santa Fe. It produces 142kW/245Nm with a combined fuel consumption of 9.1-litres 100kms.
The current model's 2.2-litre diesel engine will be carried over in the new range. It was only introduced last November and produces a handy 147kW and 431Nm of torque whilst achieving CO2 emissions of just 145 g/km.
Adding to its safety credentials the new Santa Fe will also be available with torque vectoring corner control and driver selectable steering mode.
While an exact Australian launch date is yet to be announced, Hyundai say it will be before the end of the year, with pricing and full local specifications yet to be announced. While a slight price rise is likely, expect Hyundai to maintain its sub-$50,000 pricing line, with entry-level models below $40,000.