Crossover & Midsize

2021 Hyundai Santa Isn’t Much of an Upgrade

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a hot new look, but that’s about it. When you compare the Hyundai Santa Fe to previous models, it didn’t receive much more power, and the plug-in hybrid model isn’t out yet. 

What’s new for the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe? 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a new base engine, a 2.5-liter inline-four option with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This adds a whole 6 hp and increases the lb-ft of torque by 3. This isn’t a significant amount of power for a faster or sportier ride. 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is the brand's newest SUV.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

However, the new optional turbo engine is a pretty impressive upgrade. The new 2.5-liter turbo engine provides 277 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This is an increase of 42 hp and 51 lb-ft of torque over the old 2.0-liter turbo engine. 

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe in the road with trees
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

The engine options are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and come standard with front-wheel drive. You can pay to upgrade to all-wheel drive. The estimated mpg is now 26, which is 1 mpg more than the 2020 model. 

About the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid 

According to CarandDriver, in the new 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, you’ll find a 178-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine with a 59-hp electric motor. It provides a combined 225 hp, and Hyundai hasn’t revealed how efficient it is. It will need to get about 35 mpg to compete against rivals. 

RELATED: The Hyundai Santa Fe Outranks the Palisade and Kia Telluride

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe can tow up to 3,500 lb, the same amount as the 2020 model. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, but the 2021 model hasn’t been tested. We hope that it’s a little faster because 8.9 seconds is pretty sluggish. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe features 

The big whoop for the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is the new Calligraphy trim level. It’sIt’s the new luxury trim with tons of bells and whistles, only the pricing hasn’t been released yet.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is the brand's newest SUV.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

So, will it have a high luxury price tag of $40,000 or more? The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe starts around $26,275, so the new 2021 base model could see a slight price increase. 

One cool, helpful feature is trailer sway control. It comes standard. When the system senses your trailer swaying, it will reduce the throttle and stabilize the brakes for more confident towing and enhanced control. 

There are also a few new optional tech features that may only be available on higher trim levels. The Hyundai digital key allows you to use your smartphone as your key to unlock the doors. It can be used to start the engine too. But with a Jeep, you can tell your smart speaker to start your vehicle and upload navigation that way. 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is the brand's newest SUV.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

The same 8-inch touchscreen comes standard, but you can upgrade to the 10.25-inch screen. It can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But the more significant upgrade is with the optional 12.3-inch digital cluster display for providing crucial driver information. 

Unless you go for the hybrid or Calligraphy trim, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe pretty much just has a brand new look and updated interior. It seems like it will probably be more expensive with pricey optional features to tack on if you want.