2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Preview

Beverly Braga | Oct 12, 2020
  • New standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque
  • New optional 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder produces 277 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque
  • New available 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission
  • New Santa Fe Hybrid model
  • New top-of-the-line Calligraphy Edition trim
  • Segment-exclusive smartphone as Digital Key 
  • Segment-exclusive Remote Smart Parking Assist function
  • More advanced driver assistance technologies

Introduction - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Just two years after a complete redesign, changes to the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe improve the SUV’s appearance, quality, and technology. New powertrains debut, including a fuel-efficient hybrid, and an upscale Calligraphy trim level takes the Santa Fe to the next level.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe silver front view with new grille

Exterior Features - Find the best Hyundai deals!

For its 2021 refresh, the Santa Fe gets quite the wardrobe change, especially when viewed from the front.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Gray Rear View

Thanks to an updated grille that is edge-to-edge wider and more three-dimensional, the Santa Fe projects a brawnier stance. Newly-shaped signature LED headlights, daytime running lights featuring new satin-material surrounds, and a reworked front bumper and skid plate complete the changes to the Santa Fe’s face.

New aluminum wheel designs debut for 2021, including an intricate set of 20-inchers. Also, the roof rails are sleeker, and the power-folding outside mirrors now feature turn-signal indicator lights and puddle lamps. 

Around back, the modifications are less evident. But new taillights, a revised back bumper and skid plate, and even a refreshed muffler design further add to the Santa Fe’s stylish appeal.

Interior Features - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Interior changes are just as significant, with the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe featuring a new “floating” center console. The updated design is possible because Hyundai replaces the traditional shifter with a push button-style electronic gear selector to create a visual and literal increase in spaciousness and utility.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe dashboard and light gray leather seats

A new 10.25-inch touchscreen display is available with higher trim levels, as are premium accoutrements like Nappa leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and soft-touch materials within the door panels and headliner. Minimizing the hard plastics also makes for a quieter, more luxurious cabin experience. 

Hyundai executes a design tweak to the cargo area as well, and the 2021 Santa Fe’s rear luggage capacity increases by 0.5 cubic feet.

Optional Features - Find the best Hyundai deals!

All-new for 2021 is the Calligraphy trim, which builds on the Santa Fe Limited all-wheel-drive model. Equipped with a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Santa Fe Calligraphy is outfitted with exclusive features such as quilted Nappa leather, a full-color 8.5-inch head-up display, an eco-suede headliner, and a larger selection of ambient lighting options. Model-specific design cues include the front grille detailing, 20-inch alloy wheels, and interior door and seat accents.

Under the Hood - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has two new engines to replace the previous 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. And with the powertrain changes, the Santa Fe sees an increase in output and efficiency.

A new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is standard, producing 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic, fuel economy is a Hyundai-estimated 26 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive models. That represents a 4% improvement over the outgoing 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. The AWD model continues to get 24 mpg in combined driving.

The turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is rated at 277 hp and 311 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with a new-to-Santa Fe 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Compared to the previous turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, fuel economy should improve by about 9%, to 25 mpg and 24 mpg in combined driving for FWD and AWD models, respectively.

Also new to the 2021 Santa Fe family is a hybrid option. The AWD-only Santa Fe Hybrid features a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with a hybrid electric vehicle starter-generator and electric drive motor. Total power is estimated at 225 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The Santa Fe Hybrid is equipped with a specially-tuned 6-speed automatic transmission for optimized efficiency.

Safety - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The updated Santa Fe features a number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that rival luxury brands. For 2021, the Santa Fe adds cyclist detection, junction-turning detection, and parking collision avoidance assist to its SmartSense collection of ADAS. Hyundai’s Highway Drive Assist system is also available, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability in heavy traffic conditions, lane centering assistance, and Road Curve Control.

Technology - Find the best Hyundai deals!

On the technology front, the Santa Fe gets larger infotainment touchscreens. The standard display is now 8 inches in size (up from 7 inches) and an available 10.25-inch widescreen display replaces the previous 8-inch option. The Santa Fe also offers a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display.

Conveniences include new driver profile settings, wireless device charging, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, dynamic voice recognition, and segment-exclusive features like a smartphone Digital Key function and Remote Smart Parking Assist

Hyundai Digital Key allows owners to start and operate the vehicle without using a physical key. Instead, the owner’s smartphone serves as the key. Remote Smart Parking Assist enables drivers to place the Santa Fe into and retrieve it from tight spaces without being in the vehicle. Instead, the owner stands outside of the vehicle and remotely guides the SUV forward and back.

Hyundai is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of October 12, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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