The grille gets a three-dimensional “cascade” treatment. Along the side, a long character line runs from the headlights to the tail, giving the redesign a stronger shoulder than its predecessor.
The company did not disclose technical specifications for the vehicle, which is expected to get bigger. More details are expected ahead of its release in South Korea next month.
Hyundai, which saw its U.S. sales slump 13 percent last year in an overall market down 1.8 percent, is racing to beef up its light-truck offerings as customers go cold on cars.
Hyundai’s light-truck sales grew 12 percent in 2017, while its car sales tumbled 24 percent. But trucks accounted for just 37.3 percent of the brand’s U.S. volume. By contrast, 64.5 percent of total U.S. light-vehicle sales went to light trucks.
To rebalance its car-heavy lineup, Hyundai plans to introduce eight new or redesigned crossovers to the U.S. by 2020. Offerings will expand to include the Kona as well as crossovers running on new drivetrains, such as all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell variants.
Hyundai’s modest three-nameplate crossover lineup is made up of the Santa Fe, the shorter-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport and the Tucson. The competing Toyota brand, by contrast, offers seven crossover and SUV nameplates in the U.S., plus two pickups.
The U.S.-built Santa Fe, in two- and three-row versions, is Hyundai’s top-selling light truck. Its U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent to 133,171 last year. Sales of the imported compact Tucson rose 28 percent to 114,735 vehicles.
With the launch of the next-generation Santa Fe, some speculate Hyundai will split the long- and short-wheelbase variants into separate nameplates to better diversify the lineup.