Here’s Why The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe’s Taillights Are So Low

With Hyundai’s complete redesign of its 2024 Santa Fe midsize crossover, the automaker went for a far more boxy, rugged, and downright old-school SUV look.

Overall it’s a really cohesive and fairly simple (three-box) design, but one thing has stuck out to a lot of folks, including me: the oddly low taillight placement.

Well, there’s apparently a very good reason for that choice.Santa Fe Designer, SangYup Lee, explaining why the Santa Fe’s taillights are so low.Santa Fe Designer, SangYup Lee, explaining why the Santa Fe’s taillights are so low.I spoke with the Santa Fe’s lead designer, SangYup Lee, and he explained that the taillights are positioned low down on the crossover in order to make the tailgate as wide as possible, and it’s definitely wide.

It almost looks like it covers the entire rear of the car.

In order to make the tailgate that wide, you need to make the struts holding up the tailgate as long and skinny as possible.

It’s all about making the “gray zone” – the area between the shut line and the sill of the Santa Fe’s trunk – as small as you can.Read moreThese Are Your Guilty Pleasure CarsThe 15 Most Successful Formula 1 Cars of All TimeThese Cars Should Never Have Been Killed OffIn fact, those struts are so long that they are actually mounted where taillights would usually be placed, according to Lee.

They’re situated in a much more upright way than struts on other tailgates.

That means the taillights gotta move, and lower down on the body is the answer Hyundai designers came up with.In terms of dimensions, the 2024 Santa Fe is 74.8 inches wide, and the tailgate opening is a very generous 5o.2 inches wide.

Hyundai tells me that is a 5.7 inch improvement over the outgoing Santa Fe.An orange 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe.You’ll also notice that these taillights are completely counted on the tailgate of the crossover, which means that when the tailgate is up, supplemental taillights illuminate on the rear bumper for regulatory and safety purposes.Lee added said that Hyundai isn’t the first company to put taillights so low down on the vehicle, bringing up the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon as an example.“I checked and the G Wagon has a low taillamp, but we are cheaper,” the designer said jokingly.More from JalopnikDon’t Expect Used Car Prices to Collapse Anytime SoonNYPD Arrests Cyclist For Uncovering Obscured License Plate, Lets Driver GoSign up for Jalopnik’s Newsletter.

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