How the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Benefits from the Ioniq EV Family

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe has a boxier shape overall. The front, sides, and rear all appear to have relatively flat surfaces. But the looks are deceiving. The new Santa Fe is quite slippery in the wind.

All-new for the 2024 model year, the Santa Fe ditches the current model’s swoops, and curves for a more upright, angled shape. Larger than the vehicle it replaces, the new SUV also has a larger footprint.

Born Slippy

During an episode of The AutoGuide Show brought to you by eBay Motors, we got to sit down and talk to Mike Evanoff, Product Planning, Hyundai Motor North America. While discussing the design and shape of the SUV, the conversation turned to that of efficiency and engineering. “You look at the profile and (the new Santa Fe) is a little more boxy,” Evanoff said, “but it’s actually very close in aerodynamic efficiency to our Ioniq 5, our electric vehicle, which is a 0.28.”

“Aerodynamics are really important on the vehicle.” He continued, “I think it’s fantastic, I mean they achieved a drag coefficient of 0.29 which is very aerodynamic”. For a bit of context as to how much of an achievement that is, Evanoff told us that in term of aerodynamic drag, the new Santa Fe “is actually about an 11% decrease from the prior generation.”

How'd They Do That?

Ok then, how did Hyundai do it? How did the brand take a seemingly brick-in-wind-like SUV and make it so sleek? Evanoff elaborated “(the engineers) put in a lot of time and effort. They’ve learned a lot working on the EVs, the Ioniq lineup, and that translates directly over into the gas models.”

So, even though the new Santa Fe isn’t directly related to the Ioniq family of electric vehicles, it appears the new three-row SUV has benefitted from the EV’s development. How this will relate to real world driving, fuel economy, and cabin noise, we’ll have to wait for a first drive to find out.

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Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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 1 comment
  • Tucson60 Tucson60 on Feb 01, 2024

    I love the exterior design of this New 2025 Santa Fe. It somewhat resembles the Land Rover Defender which isn’t a bad thing. Interior also looks great , so much so I can’t wait until it becomes available in the Spring of 2024. I would seriously consider trading in my 2019 Tucson for this New Santa Fe.