Barely a week after teasing a facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe for 2021, the Korean automaker officially revealed the vehicle today.
Remember, the current generation was introduced just two years ago as a 2019 model. Now, it gets a major update that includes an all-new platform improving performance, efficiency and safety, Hyundai claims.
Let’s start with the exterior, though, because that’s the thing that first catches the attention. Once again, the grille and headlights have been completely redesigned. The former is more imposing and features a more pronounced, tridimensional mesh design, while the latter are a bit reminiscent of Volvo’s with their T-shaped LED daytime running lights. Is it really an improvement? We’ll let you be the judge.
The lower front bumper has been revised, as well, especially in the corners (where designers incorporated small vertical inlets that improve air flow) and the skid plate area.
Wider wheel arch claddings, stretched taillights connected by a new light strip, a cleaner-looking rear bumper and new alloy wheel designs (up to 20 inches in size) round out the cosmetic changes. Overall, Hyundai’s goal was to make the 2021 Santa Fe look more premium and distinguished.
Inspired by the larger Palisade, the interior has received plenty of love, too. There are soft-touch materials throughout, a bit more room for passengers along with more sophisticated features and amenities. The redesigned centre console is taller for more ergonomic use of the buttons, including the ones that now replace the shifter. A new Terrain Mode control knob makes it possible to conveniently switch between different drive modes.
The dashboard features a new lower design, while an available new 10.25-inch touchscreen sits at the top. Customers will also have the option to add a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster similar to the ones in many luxury vehicles.
Without getting into the technical details, you should know that the aforementioned new platform reduces weight and lowers the centre of gravity, which should result in better handling. Efforts were made to minimize noise, harshness and vibration (NVH) levels while enabling the Santa Fe to better absorb the impact in the event of a collision.
The current engine lineup will likely carry over including the naturally aspirated 2.4-litre four-cylinder rated at 185 horsepower and the turbocharged 2.0-litre unit producing 235 horsepower. In Europe, new hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains have already been confirmed and chances are we’ll get the former in Canada, as is the case with the 2021 Kia Sorento.
More information about the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will be revealed in the coming months. Look for it to arrive at dealerships this fall.