Hyundai is known for its radical redesigns from one generation to the next and the new Santa Fe will follow suit by looking completely different than the current model. Although it is draped in bulky camouflage, it's easy to see the midsize SUV will opt for a refreshingly boxy shape that should make it roomier on the inside. The greenhouse looks generous, and we're getting the impression the fifth-gen model will be longer, wider, and taller.

Our spies got up close and personal with a prototype that wasn't shy to show off its unusual "H" daytime running lights doubling as turn signals. The Hyundai test vehicle must've been carrying the full production body since there are cutouts in the camo for the front parking sensors as well as the camera and radar mounted above and below the number plate, respectively.

Next-gen Hyundai Santa Fe spy photos

Giving the impression we're dealing with South Korea's Land Rover Defender 130, the new Santa Fe has wheels that frankly look too small for the vehicle's imposing size. That might be because of the all-black finish because those alloys are not exactly tiny, measuring a generous 20 inches and paired with Kumho 255/45 R20 tyres. Hyundai went the extra mile to conceal the design of the quarter glass by slapping on additional camo after the C-pillars, but even so, it seems to be larger than on the outgoing model.

Looking at the back of the prototype, we're reminded of how Hyundai and Kia typically mount the turn signals low on the bumper. That poses a problem when you're behind the vehicle since you can't see whether the driver intends to go left or right. The new Santa Fe has an unusually wide light bar for the turn signals mounted on the bumper. The orange light isn't incorporated in the main taillights, which are peeking through the mesh camo.

Much like at the front, there are holes in the camouflage to expose the parking sensors and the tailgate-mounted centre camera. The prototype has a generous ground clearance, with a lifted suspension allowing us to see the independent rear suspension. A cutout in the bumper shows the single exhaust tip, which presumably is reserved for a lesser version of the new Santa Fe. One would argue it would've been better to simply tuck it away underneath the bumper since this isn't a sporty version, but this is a minor detail. 

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior Spy Photo
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior Spy Photo

Since the prototype was caught on the move, our spies couldn't peek inside. However, a different test vehicle was spotted standing still back in March, revealing its screen-heavy dashboard. In typical Hyundai fashion, it still had conventional buttons for some of the functions, plus knobs to adjust the temperature. It appeared to have the gear selector repositioned on the steering wheel column to free up space on the center console. That Santa Fe also had paddle shifters behind its thick, two-tone steering wheel.

The world premiere is scheduled to take place later this year, per an announcement made by Hyundai in late January. It's too soon to say whether it'll be a 2024MY or a 2025MY in the United States as the Santa Fe might initially be launched in its domestic market before entering other regions.