The next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe has been spied going through its paces in southern Europe.

Compared to the last prototype, spotted in June, the latest car wears significantly less camouflage up front, where we can clearly see the company's now standard cascading grille.

The new Santa Fe will also feature a split headlight setup similar to the smaller Kona, with a prominent thin strip of LED driving lights underscored by a set of main- and high-beam lights disguised as oversized fog lamps.

The current-generation Santa Fe is offered in two sizes: the standard wheelbase five-seat version sold in Australia, and a long wheelbase variant with seating for up to seven people.

It's not known if the next-generation Santa Fe will again be offered in both short and long wheelbase formats. The prototype seen here looks large enough to fit three rows of seating.

Power for the new crossover is expected to come from four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines, with turbo-diesel four-cylinder motors available in some markets.

Again front-wheel drive will be standard issue, with all-wheel drive available. A plug-in hybrid variant is expected to join the range at a later date.

Sales of the new Santa Fe are expected to begin in 2018, although the car may be revealed later this year.