Car News:  2012 New York Auto Show

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Preview: New York Auto Show

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer March 2012
  • Crossover looks larger in new images
  • New design elements give the SUV a more distinctive look
  • Hyundai will announce further details at the New York Auto Show

Hyundai is poised to debut an all-new version of its midsize Santa Fe crossover at next month's New York International Auto Show.  The automaker recently released two computer-generated images of the upcoming 2013 Santa Fe on its Twitter page, previewing the SUV's lines ahead of its official unveiling.

While the computer-generated images provide little insight into the upcoming Santa Fe's dimensions, the crossover looks considerably larger than today's model, which is available with a tiny third-row seat designed for small passengers and children.  The increased size means the third-generation Santa Fe will likely take on midsize SUVs like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Ford Edge, leaving the smaller Hyundai Tucson to battle it out with compacts like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V.

Like most of Hyundai's newest models, the upcoming Santa Fe features crisp lines and a more heavily stylized appearance than its indistinct predecessor.  In addition to featuring the brand's now characteristic hexagonal grille, the SUV offers sharp creases down either side, a stylized kink behind its front window and a steeply raked windshield.  Other new details include LED fog lights in front and handsome five-spoke alloy wheels.

Although Hyundai hasn't announced many other details about the upcoming Santa Fe, we also expect significant revisions inside the crossover, where a unique interior with swooping lines is poised to replace today's functional yet monotonous cabin.  Under the hood, the SUV will likely retain its base-level 2.4-liter four-cylinder, though we think it'll swap out today's available 276-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 for a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder also used in the Sonata.

After its 2001 debut, the Santa Fe was redesigned for 2007 and has undergone only minor changes since.  While sales of today's Santa Fe were initially strong, the SUV has seen its popularity decline in recent years due to increased competition and an aging design.  Last year, Hyundai shifted just over 74,000 units of the Santa Fe - far behind competitors like the Honda Pilot, at 116,000 sales, and the Ford Edge, which recorded more than 121,000 sales throughout 2011.

If you're interested in more information about the 2013 Santa Fe, we'll be on-hand at the New York International Auto Show to cover the live unveiling of the crossover and many other new models.

What it means to you: If the new Santa Fe is anything like Hyundai's other models, it'll be a force to be reckoned with among midsize SUVs.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Preview: New York Auto Show - Autotrader