Revisions to the interior are even more subtle and are limited to what Hyundai describes as "a new Supervision instrument gauge cluster", a built-in navigation system, an optional rear view camera and refreshed trim.
The most important upgrades are hidden under the bonnet as the 2010 model year benefits from the introduction of a new 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine, which produces an output of 197 horsepower and peak torque of 422Nm (311 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 2,500 rpm.
Matted to a six-speed manual transmission, the new 2.2 CRDi engine launches the Santa Fe from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 9.5 seconds, an improvement of 1.8 sec over the outgoing 155HP diesel model, and on to a top speed of 190 km/h (118mph) while returning 6.6 lt /100km (35.6 mpg US) in the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 174g/km.
The new entry-level petrol engine is Hyundai's 2.4-liter four-cylinder Theta-II unit that makes 174 horsepower. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h comes in 10.7 seconds while the Santa Fe 2.4 achieves a top speed of 190 km/h (118mph) with an average fuel consumption of 8.5 lt /100km (27.7 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 203g/km.
Both engines are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and optionally, with Hyundai's new six-speed automatic transmission.
Already introduced in South Korea, the refreshed 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe will make its European debut at next week's Frankfurt motorshow and go on sale in most markets towards the end of the year.