In 2019, the Hyundai Santa Fe went through a significant overhaul that brought in a bold look, new powertrain options, advanced tech, and more. The 2021 Santa Fe will continue with the same basic design, but it’ll get a refresh that’ll include a new nose, all-new powertrain options, new tech, and a range-topping Calligraphy Edition model.
The most noticeable changes to the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will be upfront. Its nose will boast even thinner LED headlights, updated and higher fog lights, a bolder grille, and a massaged bumper. Around back, the 2021 Santa Fe will get revised taillight graphics and an updated bumper with a new insert and full-width reflector. Other new exterior bits will include power-folding mirrors with puddle lights, front and rear skid plates, and updated alloy wheel designs.
Inside, the 2021 Santa Fe will retain most of its design, but it’ll get a new center stack, a new console that angles upward, and a new lower instrument panel design. Other updates will include available quilted Nappa leather seating, premium door panel accents, an eco-suede headliner, updated ambient lighting settings, and an extra 0.5 cubic feet of cargo room.
On the tech side, the new Santa Fe will gain a standard 8-inch infotainment touchscreen in place of the current 7-inch screen. Optionally, buyers will be able to add a 10.25-inch touchscreen instead of today’s optional 8-inch screen today. Other technical updates will include an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a smartphone-based digital key, remote ignition with HVAC controls, an optional 12-speaker Harman-Kardon audio system, a wireless charging pad, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on SE, SEL, and SEL Convenience trims.
The 2021 Santa Fe will also gain a new Calligraphy Edition model based on the Limited trim. This near-luxury edition will include a more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, HTRAC® all-wheel drive with downhill brake control, exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, quilted Nappa leather upholstery, a full-color heads-up display, a premium-finish front grille, premium door, and seat accent trim, an eco-suede headliner, expanded ambient lighting themes, and auto up/down rear windows.
Powering the 2021 Santa Fe will be two all-new gasoline-only powertrain options, starting with the standard 2.5-liter Smartstream four-cylinder that’ll pump out 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 6-hp ad 4 lb-ft increase over the 2.4-liter it replaces. Buyers will also have the option of a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’ll deliver 277 hp ad 311 lb-ft of torque. That’ll be a 42 hp and 51 lb-ft increase over the 2.0-liter it’ll replace.
The base engine will continue to pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the turbocharged unit will gain a new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.
Hyundai also expects a 4% increase in fuel economy in the base powertrain with front-wheel drive. The turbocharged engine will have an estimated 8.7% increase over the 2.0-liter with front-wheel drive and 9.1% increase with all-wheel drive.
Another all-new powertrain option in the 2021 Satna Fe will be a hybrid setup that’ll pair a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to an electric motor for a combined 225 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This power will route through a six-speed automatic transmission and out to all four wheels.
Hyundai mentioned a plug-in hybrid, but it didn’t provide any details on it. We expect specs similar to the hybrid but with a short EV range.
The 2021 Santa Fe will include a long list of standard advanced safety gear, including automatic emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic monitoring with automated stopping, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitors, driver attention warning, and more. The current Santa Fe is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and we expect this to remain in the 2021 model.