2021 Hyundai Santa Fe gets a makeover, is a total stunner

With new, more aggressive looks and big changes in the tech department, the new Santa Fe gives us high hopes.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

The chonkier front end of the new 2021 Santa Fe is a welcome change.


is on a roll. We've been enamored with most of its recent releases and refreshes, and aside from the whole stinky Palisade thing, the company seems to be able to do no wrong. Case in point, the refreshed 2021 . This thing not only has unique styling that totally works for a midsize SUV, but it's got a handsome-as-hell interior too.

The new Santa Fe, which Hyundai debuted online on Monday, features several meaningful updates over the previous generation. One of the biggest changes is the switch to the new SmartStream turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, which will produce around 277 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 2021 Santa Fe will also be available as a hybrid, which we're into. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive will be optional.

Also on deck for the refresh is a bunch of new advanced driver assistance features, including a retooled adaptive cruise control system that uses the vehicle's GPS to make it more efficient. There are also new lane-follow assist and Highway Driving Assistant systems, plus upgraded forward collision avoidance tech that is now better able to see cyclists.


The interior looks very upscale, something we're seeing more and more often in Hyundais.


Inside, things are looking upscale. The top-tier Calligraphy trim gets high-end touches like quilted and perforated Nappa leather as well as a suede headliner. The infotainment receives a significant upgrade too. The standard audio screen was previously seven inches but has been bumped up to eight. The navigation screen used to be eight inches but is now a whopping 10.25 inches. The digital instrument cluster is 12.3 inches.

Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay get wireless functionality this time around on the SE, SEL and SEL Convenience trims, and there is a standard wireless charging pad for your devices. Hyundai is even getting into the voice-based digital assistant game with a new system that allows passengers to use voice commands to change things like the temperature, the radio station or even open the rear hatch.

Hyundai estimates that the internal-combustion versions of the new Santa Fe will hit dealers by the end of 2020, while the hybrid version is set to arrive sometime in Q1 of 2021. There is also a plug-in hybrid version planned, which will be built in Korea but won't show up until later in 2021.

We're still unsure of what Hyundai is planning on charging for the new Santa Fe but suspect that information will be made available closer to the vehicle's launch.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe offers stellar looks, handsome interior and killer tech

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