Boxier 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Capitalizes on Outdoor Lifestyle

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

Hyundai has never been a brand afraid to dramatically restyle vehicles, so the grand departure in exterior aesthetics for the 2024 Santa Fe shouldn’t surprising. What is surprising is the direction the manufacturer went in. Swoopy and/or angular profiles have been the norm in recent years, yet the Santa Fe is bursting on the scene featuring a very boxy shape.

Outdoor Lifestyle Trend

boxier 2024 hyundai santa fe capitalizes on outdoor lifestyle

Hyundai claims the vehicle’s shape reflects that of a growing outdoor lifestyle trend. We’re not entirely sure what that means, but the more function over form Santa Fe looks like it’s ready to go on a camping trip.

Up front Hyundai hopes to give the SUV more presence with an elevated, level hood line. Below it are H-shaped headlights with a double mesh-like grille in between. The fenders on the side are flared and the long wheelbase plus square shape make the Santa Fe look bigger than it is. Optional will be 21-inch wheels.

Out back, there’s a wider lift gate opening for better access to the cargo area. There’re more H-shaped lights, positioned low on the rear fascia. The tall cargo door and hidden tailpipes conjure up a certain British luxury SUV manufacturer.

Interior Just as Radically New

boxier 2024 hyundai santa fe capitalizes on outdoor lifestyle

Inside the boxy design carries on, with more H-shaped highlights. The steering wheel has a retro feel to it with Hyundai’s large two-screens-in-one information center placed behind it. Some cool tech highlights inside include a dual wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a UV-C sterilization compartment, and a Bose 12-speaker sound system.

Hyundai states the headliner, seat backs, and various covering materials, feature eco-friendly materials. Owners should be able to better enjoy these surfaces as the Santa Fe is designed to fully fold the second and third row of seats flat, for activities like in-car camping. The brand also claims the cargo capacity is impressive, but we do not yet have official figures.

boxier 2024 hyundai santa fe capitalizes on outdoor lifestyle

Legroom in the new Santa Fe has increased for second-row passengers by 1.4-inches (36 mm) for a total of 42.3-inches (1,075 mm). Second row riders in the hybrid model make do with a bit less legroom thanks to the battery placement, at a total of 41.5-inches (1,055 mm). Regardless of model, third row passengers get 30.0-inches of legroom (761 mm).

Sticking with passenger comfort, in the six-passenger Santa Fe configuration, the second-row seats have power-reclining captain’s chairs. Hyundai also claims the Santa Fe has the world’s first bilateral, multi-console storage space that can be opened by either front or rear passengers.

Choice of Power and Safety

boxier 2024 hyundai santa fe capitalizes on outdoor lifestyle

In Canada, standard for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid. It makes 232 horsepower and 271 pound feet of torque. Unlike a lot of hybrids, the Santa Fe still uses a traditional transmission, featuring six forward gears in this case.

For American buyers, the standard engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that should make 277 hp and 311 lb.-ft. of torque. The larger engine utilizes an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Of course, this engine is optional in Canada and the smaller hybrid is optional for American consumers.

The Santa Fe can be had with a host of safety features such as forward collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist, driver attention warning, highway driving assist, intelligent speed limit assist, rear view monitor, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, front and rear parking assist, a surround view monitor, and more. There’s also an available digital rear-view mirror to help see out of the back of the SUV, even when the interior is stuffed full of people and gear.

Santa Fe XRT

To further up the Santa Fe’s outdoor lifestyle theme, there is the new XRT model. It adds dark chrome, black trim bits, and black cladding to the exterior of the vehicle. There are also black roof rails with cross bars. To help traverse tougher terrains, the XRT features 30-inch 245/60R18 all-terrain tires. It also includes an additional 1.4 inches (36 mm) of ground clearance. For those that would rather sleep in a small travel trailer instead of the Santa Fe itself, the XRT can tow upwards of 4,500 pounds when properly equipped.

The 2024 Santa Fe 2.5T model goes on sale in March 2024, with the Hybrid model on sale in spring.

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 1 comment
  • Ninja250 Ninja250 on Nov 16, 2023

    Sorry, not interested with the U.S. spec powertrain. Might consider normally aspirated V6 hybrid with a normal 6 or 8 speed automatic. Forget the turbo and DCT, this is an expensive repair looking to happen.