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The new Hyundai Santa Fe has been spotted for the first time during testing prior to its expected release in late 2012 or early 2013.

As the last model in the Hyundai lineup not to have had a major update since the company began its new design philosophy with the i30, the new Santa Fe is expected to do big things for the South Korean brand.

Sources have suggested the new SUV may even have a name change in line with the company’s naming convention for European markets. It’s likely that the next generation will be called Hyundai ix45.

The shape of the current model has been on sale in Australia since 2006, with a major mechanical and engine update taking place in late 2009.

From the photos we can speculate that the upcoming Hyundai SUV may get a great deal of design influences from the recently revealed Hyundai i40 Wagon. If that’s true, it will make the new iX45, or Santa Fe look much more dynamic.

We expect that Hyundai Australia will continue with an improvement on its current lineup of petrol and diesel engines for the new model.

Read: Hyundai Santa Fe Review.

  • Mr Gaspo

    I had a look at it’s relative, the Kia Sorento and good as the Sorento is.., at the high asking prices I expect soft touch interior plastics and solid sheet metal. I hope this one is better in this regard.

  • o

    By spy shots you mean hyundai emailed them to the press under a fake name =)

    • Nasal Explorer

      Oh dear . . . such a cynic!

  • Henry

    Interior Looks Nice :)

  • jo

    That’s great, but what we really want is a Korean 4×4 option like the old Terracan/Sorento. Live axle, low range and one of those beautiful 2 litre diesels.

    We need a cheap alternative to the Prado/Challenger/Pathfinder

    • BoatAnchor

      And a ute with an R series diesel

    • ozedude

      Amen to that!

  • FromtheRight

    The front looks like it’s dragging the ground and the skinny tires look like they would give a hard ride. Pass.

  • Old dog

    Im with Jo, bring back a proper 4b ala terracan for under 40k. Id buy one tomorrow. They have apparently started making the terracan in china again.

  • Sandy

    I know it’s just a coincidence, but I thought I was looking at the un-released CRV again with the three-bar grille.

  • JoKiDe

    How could you want a Terracan over a Prado/Challenger/Pathfinder.

    THe Koreans will never touch the Japanese when it comes to real 4WD’s.

    A great way to look at it is –

    what would you rather drive across Aus in, A Landcruiser or Patrol or Prado or Pathfinder OR would you seriously risk it in a Hyundai attempt at a 4WD

    • fredy

      Seems like you´ve never seen a terracan doing off road.

    • ozedude

      Haven’t you seen enough in the last couple of years to know the times are a changin’?

      I’m certain the Koreans can do an “as good” or better job than Japan.

  • Rick

    It’s funny how people think that jap cars are the answer I used to until I drove the new Hyundai my self and given that we were buying a kluger to start off with I would never buy a toyota over the hyundai if you forget about the badge you’ll realize that the Hyundai is a better car for a lot more realistic price and the Hyundai comes with a manual gearbox ( let’s hope that doesn’t change with the new one ,although I wish they would put it in the up spec models as well) and a diesel and as for going across the country in your new land cruiser make sure you carry lots of oil and a spare gearbox cause I can tell you from experience your Gunna need both

  • Goslow

    This actually looks ok. I was never a huge fan of Hyundai until recently. Their current batch of vehicles look fantastic. Plenty of kit and good looks for a more realistic price. Wife can’t wait for for i45 wagon and I was really hoping new Sante Fa would be out sooner. Don’t think I can wait till 2013. Pitty. New Terracan would be worth a look too. As for Toyota they have their place if you have the money. Buying a badge. Most are not even made in Japan any more.