Goodbye 'cascading' grille: Hyundai will use its facelifted Santa Fe to roll out a new family face.
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UPDATE: The new-look 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has now been revealed. Details here.

A shadowy preview image for the updated 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has been handed down today, revealing a significant front-end makeover.

Key among the changes is a new-look Hyundai grille, marking the first big step away from the 'cascading' design that has evolved over the past decade – right through to the wide mouth of the new Sonata sedan, new i30 sedan (formerly Elantra) and the facelifted i30 hatch range.

In its new form, the Hyundai grille frame extends across the face of the new Santa Fe, tapering at each end to merge with the driving light housings.

Two versions of the grille's gloss black patterning are shown, one defined as a more premium or sporting design.

Also new is the 2021 Santa Fe's daytime running light (DRL) signature, described as a 'T' shape – but you would be forgiven for seeing Volvo's 'Thor's hammer' lights rotated 90 degrees.

The new lighting signature is described as reflecting "Hyundai's new integrated vehicle architecture", suggesting we should expect to see this look on future models and facelifts.

No other angles have been revealed at this time, although Hyundai says we can expect "interior design updates providing premium amenities and comfort".

Also unclear are details on the new-look Santa Fe's mechanical package, but we expect carry-over powertrains for the Australian market – despite an understanding (still to be announced) that this midlife makeover will be a facelift up top, while the Hyundai Group's new N3 modular architecture will sit underneath.

As with the new Sorento (and Hyundai's new Sonata), this will enable new hybrid and plug-in hybrid EV models to be offered, though an Australian launch for those models are not expected in this generation.

The Australian Santa Fe range expanded last year to include a front-wheel drive petrol 3.5-litre V6 powertrain, replacing the existing naturally-aspirated petrol four-pot.

A turbo-diesel option is also available with all-wheel drive.

When will the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe come to Australia?

The new-look Santa Fe will launch in Europe from September, suggesting we could see it unveiled anytime in the next few months.

Local launch timing for Hyundai's updated family SUV is still to be confirmed, but a late 2020 or very early 2021 Australian debut is likely.

When it arrives, the popular Santa Fe will have a new-generation Toyota Kluger to compete with – including a new hybrid model that will likely prove popular, if Toyota's newly expanded hybrid range is any indication.

UPDATE: The new-look 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has now been revealed. Details here.

Below: the current Santa Fe