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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe - click above for high-res image gallery

On the way into the office the morning, this blogger sat at a red light, only to notice a new Hyundai Santa Fe pulling up behind. A glance at the grille revealed that this was not the current model at dealerships, but rather the refreshed iteration that should be debuting in the not-too-distant future. Thankfully, a handy camera phone was on hand to snap the images in the gallery below.

As you can see from the photo above, Hyundai's middle crossover offering is getting a new grille in keeping with the one we recently saw on the upcoming new Sonata. The bumper area is also re-contoured into a more subtle version of what is scheduled for the new Tucson coming to the Los Angeles Auto Show. The headlight clusters retain the same shape, but internal detailing has been revised. At the back, new taillights and re-shaping of the bumper area is also visible. No word yet on mechanical changes, although a new direct-injected four-cylinder has been rumored.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Your all wrong. The tail lights look fantastic, lexus-like. The grill is fine. Its the ugly jelly bean shape that sucks! When is hyundai going to hire a real designer? And can you get a manual in one? If not, NO DEAL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        nope, they are definitely UGLY
        and definitely worse than last years model

        they look like what a 16yr old would put on his beat up Honda Civic
        • 5 Years Ago
        What about Joel Piaskowski, who got hired away by Mercedes-Benz?

        Oh, wait, he designed the Genesis coupe and messed that up w/ that awful grille.

        Actually, Thomas Bürkle, head of Hyundai's European design center does pretty good work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering less than 5% of cars sold in America are manual transmissions, I doubt this vehicle will have that option. It seems that only low-end cars (Kia Rio), high-performance cars (Chevy Corvette), and work trucks (Ford F-150) have that option anymore.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the new tailights design will ruin a perfectly advanced designed suv. Hyundai wanting to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition and give the santa a youthful sporty look just like its cousin the genesis coupe (who also have these kind of tailights) overdid this refresh design. (same goes for the sonata refreshed grill which had way too much metal)

      Also btw i hate the new square exhaust pipes and prefer the elegant oval round pipes
      • 5 Years Ago
      current santa fe style is good.
      but, i don't like hyundai's new front grill look.
      Hyundai must reconsider their front grill design.
      I think that front grill design made by Hyundai calif. design studio.

      Unlike Hyundai namyang, russelsheim design studio, only california design studio made ugly design. I think that is the ability of american designer. Hyundai consider withdraw their design facility from US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have to agree that the new grille stinks and that the designs coming from Hyundai's European design studio is much better than the stuff coming out of California.

        The old grille was a nice and clean design, even if a bit simplistic.

        Unfortunately, auto manufacturers these days want to distinguish their product w/ increasingly garish grille or headlamp/taillight designs/shapes.

        Case in point - anything made by Acura, Infiniti ruining the FX, Lexus making the currently pleasant looking LS fugly and cheap w/ the new grille, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Way to mess up an elegant (and different) design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The clear tail light fad can't die quickly enough.

      Bury it next to the front fender vent fad.

      Another design marred, like the Mazda 5, by this nonsense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i bet it must be the product planner who got these shots and "released" them. cuz i don't think anyone else on the road would have noticed the difference....
      • 5 Years Ago
      PS: Holy ugly taillights Batman.
        • 5 Years Ago
        they must have though the late 90's "Euro" taillights are back in stye

        that thing look hideous now, well it was only ok before

        is ugly a new trend in the auto industry?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually like the design other than that. The changes are nice subtle (I liked the previous look).
        • 5 Years Ago
        agreed. it probably makes it look even worse that the taillights are the only thing that stand out at all. what a boring design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yikes. What happened to the rear?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Car and Driver definitely posted pics of this during the Frankfurt Auto Show.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The front grille isn't too bad but I would have preferred that they kept the original and painted it to match the rest of the car. Those rear light are fugly and will no doubt hurt sales. Looking at them straight on they don't look as bad but from the angle that the picture was taken they look like riced out lights.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting. It has the grill from the Korean market but the roof rails appear to be the same as the 2009, and it doesn't look anywhere near as nice as the European model shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show: http://blog.caranddriver.com/freshened-hyundai-santa-fe-bows-in-frankfurt/
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