Hyundai Shows First Glimpse of 2021 Santa Fe SUV
Hyundai recently unveiled an early look at the all-new 2021 Santa Fe SUV. For those who’ve been closely following the lineup, it’s easy to see that the 2021 iteration has undergone significant design overhauls. The Santa Fe sports a significantly changed interior and exterior design giving the midsize SUV a more upscale appeal. The redesigns land somewhere between a cosmetic change and an all-new vehicle.
For example, the DRL is connected at the top of the grille to a seamless line that runs on either side of the vehicle and meeting up with the taillights. The vehicle’s front has a wider grille that covers the entire width, while LED Daytime Running Lights and integrated headlamps adorn its top.
Its lower air intake grille combined with the big grille creates a more defined ‘muscular’ structure. As if that’s not unorthodox enough, the new grille integrates separate LED daytime running lights (DRL) and the headlights, which form an odd-T-shaped look. This is likely to be a new light signature for Hyundai’s SUVs, just like the 2021 Hyundai Kona.
The width of the wheel arches has been increased, giving the Santa Fe a more intimidating appearance. This is made even more prominent by adding 20-inch wheels.
The 4th generation SUV follows the market’s trend of the taillights which connect the light bar, very much like the Audi A8, Aston Martin Vantage, and the Lexus UX. Hyundai makes a few improvements to the horizontal styling for the latest Santa Fe. The lower skid diffuser/plate design features a full-length reflector, a great move when seen from a safety perspective.
A Redefined and Plush Interior Experience
The 2021 Santa Fe incorporates an all-new cabin that’s more premium-looking and luxurious than previous models. The South Korean manufacturer says that the car’s surface covers are made of soft-touch materials to achieve unparalleled levels of comfort.
For the first time ever in the Santa Fe range, the center console features a Terrain Mode dial that adjusts tuning for the AWD system in select models. It seems that the New Santa Fe took design cues from the Hyundai Palisade.
Its gear lever replaced with a shift-by-wire system that allows designers to remove the conventional shift knob with buttons, redefining the center console.
The Terrain Mode selector switches between different drive modes by varying the HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) depending on the driving situation. The new rotary knob allows drivers to choose from various drive settings for snow, mud, eco, sand, comfort, and sport. There’s also a smart mode that automatically adjusts the drive settings based on the driver’s style.
By activating Smart mode, the system automatically recognizes the driving style to change to the appropriate driving mode.
The center console also doubles as an armchair rest for the passengers in the front. It includes more storage space below and houses a large infotainment touchscreen measuring 10.3 inches (an upgrade from the 8.0-inch unit).
Hyundai’s New Car Comes with a Hybrid Option
For the first time in the Santa Fe lineup, the SUVs come with the option of a Hybrid and a full plug-in hybrid option. The new SUV is based on a new third-generation platform that Hyundai says will significantly improve things like safety, comfort, and performance. The 2021 Santa Fe also happens to be Hyundai’s first-ever hybrid offering in European markets.
Hyundai’s new car will continue to offer a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine capable of 185 horsepower. There is an optional 2.0-liter turbo in higher trims, with the capacity for hitting well over 230+ horsepower. The powertrain has a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a 44.2 kW electric motor. It’s not clear if the US markets will receive this mill.
The SUV is expected to go for sale in Europe from September 2020 onwards. Other markets will have the Hyundai Santa Fe for sale by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
How Much Will the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Cost?
If you choose the basic standard trim, without all the bells and whistles, you’re looking to spend about $26,000. If you’re not entirely sold out on the idea of spending this much for the Santa Fe, we think you should consider the whole package: this is a great state-of-the-art upgrade worth every penny.
Not only is the SUV family-oriented but it has that chic rugged that is currently in vogue. Considering all the extras, we think most drivers will appreciate Hyundai’s new iteration.
If you max out everything that SUV has to offer, you’re looking to spend at least $38,000 for the 2.0T Limited trim. The all-Wheel-Drive mode is an additional $1700 option and delivery will add another $1,100 or so.
The Hyundai Santa Fe was in 4th place last year in the category of sales. It was outsold only by the Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, and Subaru Outback. It’s unclear if the new changes will give it an edge over the stiff competition.
When it finally rolls out, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will be competing in a tough market with newly introduced midsize 2-row SUVs like the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Honda Passport, Chevrolet Blazer, and of course, the Ford Edge.
Wrapping It All Up – Is The New Facelift Worth it?
The 2021 Santa Fe features significant overhauls, which for the most part, are a dramatic improvement over their last-gen predecessors. The exterior looks crisp and more modern than current-gen models, especially when you look at the rear. The interior feels and looks comfortable. The gear selector buttons are a refreshing new change from the traditional gear lever – but it could be a deal-breaker for some drivers.
The key points to keep in mind are the cluster of new features, improvements, as well as the facelift, which makes this vehicle a must-have for SUV aficionados. It’s definitely a great vehicle to consider, but make sure you evaluate all its pros and cons.
Expect to hear more details when the markets feature the Hyundai Santa Fe for sale in the next few months, as we expect Hyundai’s offering to go on sale by the end of this year.
Brett Bentley Maxey is an Executive Manager for the Bentley Automotive Group. She is currently managing Bentley Hyundai new car and old car dealer. She is the 5th generation of Bentley’s to manage the Auto Group and leads the company’s marketing and sales initiatives. When Brett’s not at work, she’s spending time with her husband, Nate, and 4 kids.a