New engine options and tech features, refreshed aesthetics, and a new top-trim make the 2021 Santa Fe a sweet package overall

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The current-gen Santa Fe is just a couple of years old, but Hyundai has made significant changes to the 2021 model. It comes with a bold new design on the outside including new wheel designs, refreshed interior with a bigger touchscreen system on the inside, and three new engine options, including a hybrid powertrain that replace the set of four-pot mills from the 2020 model. A suite of driver-assistance features is now offered as standard. To top it all off, the 2021 Santa Fe comes with a new top-trim, too. Did the Santa Fe become the forerunner for the top spot in the mid-size SUV category?

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior

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The 2021 Santa Fe will be offered in three different trims – SE, SEL, Limited – and a new range-topping trim called Calligraphy. It comes with a whole lot of changes on the outside. The 2021 Santa Fe features a new bumper and grille up front. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard across the range. Hyundai offers the new Santa Fe with four different wheel sizes and five different designs ranging from 17- to 20-inches. The SUV comes with a new rear bumper, too. LED taillights are offered as standard only on the top two trims. The rear skid plate and the exhaust pipe design are also refreshed.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior
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The 2021 Santa Fe measures 188.4 inches in length, 74.8 inches in width, and 66.3 inches in height. The wheelbase is rated at 108.9 inches and the SUV sits 8.2 inches off the ground. With the 17-inch wheels in place, the Santa Fe’s front track is 65 inches wide and the rear track is 65.4 inches wide. As for its aerodynamic rating, the Santa Fe has a drag coefficient of 0.34.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 108.9
Overall length 188.4
Overall width 74.8
Overall height (with roof side rails) 66.3 (67.3)
Tread width-17”/18”/19”/20” (front) 65.0/64.8/64.8/64.5
Tread width-17”/18”/19”/20” (rear) 65.4/65.2/65.2/64.8

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

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On the inside, the 2021 Santa Fe comes with fabric seats in the SE and SEL trims, leather upholstery on the Limited, and Nappa Leather on the Calligraphy. Behind the chunky four-spoke steering wheel is a 12.3-inch LCD screen that gives out all the drive-related information. The SE and SEL trims feature analog gauges with a 4.2-inch screen between them.

The base trims come with an eight-inch touchscreen system, whereas the top trims feature a 10.25-inch touchscreen system on the center console.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior
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Interestingly, the trims with the smaller screen support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the models with the 10.25-inch support only wired. A 12-speaker audio system is in place for the audiophiles. Some other standard and optional features include:

  • Ventilated front seats
  • Head-up Display
  • Wireless charger
  • Dual-zone climate control
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior
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In the models without the sunroof, the Santa Fe offers headroom of 41.2 inches, legroom of 44.1 inches, shoulder room of 59.1 inches, and hip room of 57.5 inches at the front. At the back, you 39 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom, 58.3 inches of shoulder room, and 56.3 inches of hip room. With all the seats in place, the Santa Fe comes with a cargo space of 36.4 cubic feet. Fold down the rear seats and you have 72.1 cubic feet of space available at your disposal.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe interior dimensions
Head room (front / 2ndrow (w/sunroof)) 41.2 (39.5) / 39.0 (37.8)
Leg room (front / 2ndrow) 44.1 / 41.7 (HEV 40.8)
Shoulder room (front / 2ndrow) 59.1 / 58.3
Hip room (front / 2ndrow) 57.5 / 56.3

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Drivetrain

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Drivetrain
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The 2021 Santa Fe is offered with three new engine options that replace the 2.4-liter and the 2.0-liter engines from the previous model. These are a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged hybrid engine, and a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine offered in two states – one in the naturally-aspirated form and one with a turbocharger.

The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine will be offered in the base SE and SEL trims as standard. It makes 191 horses at 6,100 rpm and 182 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. You can choose to have it either in the front-wheel-drive or an all-wheel-drive configuration.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Drivetrain
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The same engine with the turbocharger dishes out 277 ponies at 6,000 rpm and 311 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. This, too, is offered in a front-wheel-drive layout as standard, whereas the all-wheel-drive layout is optional. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with a wet clutch, unlike the non-turbo’s dry-clutch.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe engine lineup
Engine Features 2.5L 1.6T HEV 2.5T
Horsepower (HP) 191 @ 6100 rpm 178 @ 6000 rpm 277 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 182 @ 4000 195 @ 4000 311 @ 3500
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Drivetrain
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Finally, there’s the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 178 horses and 195 pound-feet of torque. It features an electric motor that generates 59 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Combined, the mill churns out 225 ponies and 195 pound-feet of twist. This engine comes in an all-wheel-drive avatar only and is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It comes with a small 1.49-kWh battery pack to power the motor.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid specifications
Electric Motor / Battery Hybrid
Permanent magnet synchronous motor S
Power Output 44.2 kW (est. 59 HP) @ 1,600–2,000 rpm
Torque 195 lb.-ft. @ 0-1,600 rpm
Combined output 225 HP
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Polymer
Voltage 270V (max)
Battery System Capacity 1.49 kWh
Battery Power Output 64 kW

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior
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Here’s how Hyundai has priced the 2021 Santa Fe:

  • SE – $26,850
  • SEL – $28,650
  • Limited – $38,600
  • Calligraphy – $42,100

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

2021 Chevrolet Blazer

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Exterior
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The Blazer is an interesting package with some hits and misses. It looks smart on the outside, especially in the red RS trim, and a handsome cabin with all the creature comforts one can ask for. Despite widespread trim levels, Chevy hasn’t gone berserk in the top trim. For instance, it features an eight-inch touchscreen system, which is as big as the one on the base Santa Fe.

The Blazer is offered with three different engine options – a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that dishes out 193 horses and 188 pound-feet of torque, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged mill that makes 227 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 308 ponies and 270 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission in all cases. The 2021 Chevy Blazer starts at $29,995.

Read our full review on the 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport Exterior
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The Honda Passport isn’t as stylish as its rivals here. However, it is a complete package, especially in the top trim. The Passport is spacious and comes with stuff like heated seats, tri-zone climate control, push-button start, etc. as standard. It comes with an eight-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as the only option on all four trims. It features the same powerplant across the range – a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that generates 280 horses and 262 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The 2021 Honda Passport starts at $32,790.

Read our full review on the Honda Passport

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Driver Assistance System and Warranty

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior
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  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian, Cyclist and Junction-Turning Detection
  • Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Safe Exit Assist and Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Parking Distance Warning
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist

Hyundai offers a 10-year/100,000-mile limited warranty on the powertrain, and a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty. Apart from this, the 2021 Santa Fe also comes with a 7-year anti-perforation warranty and a complimentary maintenance of 3 years/36,000 miles that include normal oil changes and tire rotations.

  • Leave it
    • Still no V-6 engine on offer
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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