The camouflage largely conceals the model's new styling. It can't hide that the Santa Fe appears to be even bigger in the back.
The global auto market continues to be crazy about crossovers, and Hyundai is working on an overhaul of its range so that the company can better compete in the segment. A new batch of spy photos shows what we believe is the next-generation Santa Fe.
The extra cladding that hides the back of this test mule makes us think this is Hyundai’s larger crossover. According to a recent report, the company plans to expand the interior of the next model to haul eight people, versus seven passengers in the current one. The bigger rump on this model appears to have enough room inside for fitting two benches of seats.
Hyundai’s camouflage can’t hide the Santa Fe’s ample size, but the concealment does a fantastic job of obscuring the CUV’s styling. A mesh grille and large headlights are evident up front, but the rest of the design cues can’t be seen.
According to Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowksi, the names of the current five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and seven-passenger Santa Fe (XL in Canada) are too confusing for buyers. The company reportedly plans to give the next iteration of the larger model a whole new name to resolve the market uncertainty. So the vehicle we see here probably replaces the Santa Fe but might have a completely different moniker when it comes to market in 2020 or sooner.
Meanwhile, the next generation of the existing Santa Fe Sport would allegedly feature more rugged styling in an effort to take on competitors from Jeep.
Further down the lineup, Hyundai reportedly intends to make the next Tucson a little larger so that there’s room for a pair of crossovers underneath it. One of the new models would compete against compact models like the Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V, and spy photos already show the vehicle under development. There would also be an even smaller CUV slotting below this vehicle.