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Geneva show: Safer Hyundai Santa Fe to lob mid-year

Christmas time: Santa Fe fans might think it is still the holiday season as Hyundai has confirmed the fourth-generation model will be launched in Australia around mid-year.

Hyundai teases fourth-gen Santa Fe ahead of Geneva show debut, mid-year launch


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25 Jan 2018

HYUNDAI Motor revealed the first details on its fourth-generation Santa Fe this week, with the seven-seat large SUV set to feature more advanced driver-assist systems when it is launched in Australia about the middle of this year.

Scheduled for a world premiere in February ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show in early March, the Santa Fe will bolster its suite of Smart Sense technologies with at least two new additions.

Claimed by Hyundai to be an industry-first, Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) ''monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car''.

Essentially, this technology detects objects approaching the vehicle from behind, such as a cyclist, and warns occupants to not open their respective doors and exit. This function is squarely aimed at protecting children alighting from the back seats.

Meanwhile, the existing rear cross-traffic alert system has been enhanced with automated braking.

Specifically, ''to avoid the risk of collision when reversing out of narrow areas with limited visibility, (this) system warns the driver and applies the brakes automatically'', according to the South Korean car-maker.

The ins and outs of these two systems are yet to be detailed, but more information on them will be revealed in due course, along with any other new Smart Sense technologies.

A shadowy teaser image of the Santa Fe's side profile was released alongside the aforementioned details, hinting at a Kona-inspired exterior design.

The Kona’s split headlight set-up will be a prominent feature on its big brother's front end, with a strip of LED daytime running lights underscored on either side by main- and high-beam lights that present as overgrown foglights.

Sandwiched between the Santa Fe's front-end lighting structure will be the latest interpretation of Hyundai's cascading family grille, this time with a mesh insert – just like the Kona.

Additionally, its tail-lights flick around the corner, similar to the just-revealed Veloster sportscar, and are linked to the headlights by a heavily creased character line.

The Santa Fe's glasshouse has also been stretched beyond the C-pillars, while its side mirrors have repositioned from the A-pillars to the front doors.

Just like the current model, the new Santa Fe is expected to offer the choice of front- or all-wheel drive with four-cylinder and V6 engines. A plug-in hybrid is rumoured to join the range down the track.

Santa Fe sales improved steadily last year, with 7974 sold to the end of 2017, representing a 1.8 per cent increase over the 7834 registrations it achieved is 2016.

The Hyundai was seventh in the sub-$70,000 large-SUV segment last year, trailing the Toyota Prado (15,982 units), Toyota Kluger (12,509), Subaru Outback (11,340), Holden Captiva (9588), Mazda CX-9 (9012) and Isuzu MU-X (8087).

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