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The new Hyundai Santa Fe teases a departure from its curvy predecessors

The Korean giant takes a dip into the boxy SUV trend

Welcome to the new boxy SUV era. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI

Since its inception in 2000, the Hyundai Santa Fe has stuck with the hunchback crossover design. However, the South Korean giant has decided to reinvent the nameplate, probably after seeing what Ford, Land Rover, and Toyota/Lexus have revealed in the past few years in reviving the boxy SUV styling.

The last Hyundai model with this motif was the Terracan. PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

Hyundai has not announced the complete powertrain offerings, but one of the teaser shots suggests a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive to be an option.

Instead, its squarish, off-roadish look was showcased, with squared-off fenders, a shorter front overhang, and 21-inch wheels to complete the recipe. The taillights are now a single-block rectangle style mounted closer to the rear bumper, a peculiar stylistic choice by SangYup Lee.

The mini table is a nice added touch. PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

With a new motif, the new Santa Fe will bring in the overlanding and luxury camping crowd. The extended tailgate offers ample room for cargo space and living quarters, and its roofline is ready to install a tent above. The Nappa leather seats, the wooden trim, and the split sunroof bring the terrace house’s feeling on the move.

Additional conveniences include the wide 12.3-inch seamless instrument cluster and infotainment display, multiple USB and wireless charging ports, and a mix of physical capacitive touch buttons.

Will this be South Korea's Defender killer? PHOTOS FROM HYUNDAI

We will have to wait until August for its worldwide launch and more information on powertrain options and price range. Until then, what do you think of the reimagined Santa Fe?

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.