2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 03, 2020

Just two years after a complete redesign, changes to the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe improve the SUV’s appearance, quality, and technology. Expect modifications under the midsize 5-passenger crossover SUV’s hood, too, though official details for the U.S. market remain unknown.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe silver front view with new grille

Hyundai is calling the 2021 Santa Fe a redesign, but in reality it is a restyling of the existing vehicle. The new look is most evident in front, where T-shaped daytime running lights bisect a wide grille with integrated headlights. The look is more dramatic, and as seen on the top trim level, gives the Santa Fe a more upscale appearance.

Redesigned wheels sized up to 20 inches in diameter are available, and the 2021 Santa Fe’s gray bodyside cladding is painted body color with the highest trim level. Around back, the bumper juts out more, adding visual length to the SUV. Wide connected taillights, a broad reflector strip, and a reshaped skid plate motif help to emphasize the Santa Fe’s width.

Hyundai says the new Santa Fe has a more upscale interior with greater use of soft-touch materials and revised color and trim combinations. Additionally, the Santa Fe will offer an available 12.3-inch digital instrumentation cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system display.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard and light gray leather seats

Moving to a shift-by-wire transmission allows Hyundai to eliminate a traditional gear selector and replace it with buttons like those found in the larger Palisade. A new center console divides the front seats, offering more storage space and providing the real estate for the stereo, climate, and driving mode controls.

When optioned with all-wheel drive, the Santa Fe features new Terrain Mode technology, adding Sand, Snow, and Mud settings to the existing Eco, Sport, Comfort, and Smart driving modes.

Engine details for the U.S. market remain unknown, but in global markets the new Santa Fe will come in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle versions. 

Since the Santa Fe shares its underlying platform with the new 2020 Sonata, don’t be surprised if the SUV arrives with the same 191-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder as standard equipment and an optional hybrid powertrain with a similar combined horsepower rating. A performance-tuned N-Line variant might also be in the works.

Hyundai expects to finalize 2021 Santa Fe details in the coming weeks, and we will update this article at that time.

The information in this article is from Hyundai, with some speculation on the author’s part. It was accurate as of June 3, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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