2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

#13
in Suvs
2021 MODEL
$26,125 - $36,425
  1. Home
  2. hyundai
  3. Santa Fe

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

INDIGO

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 21, 2020
John Bedrow's image

John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

Being the brand's most popular SUV, Santa Fe has a lot to live up to. Introduced in 2000 for the 2021 model year, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a Sport Utility Vehicle that falls under the mid-size crossover SUV segment. The SUV is currently in its fourth generation of production introduced for the 2019 model year, of which the current 2020 model is also a part of. The 2021 model is also expected to be based on the same generation as well. Currently, the Santa Fe sits between the compact Hyundai Tucson and its bigger brother, the Hyundai Palisade.

See detailed review »

Pros

Updated Exterior Styling

Updated interior

All-new Platform

10.25-inch infotainment system

Push Button gear selector

Cons

Upscale interior material quality, especially compared to its competitors

Good list of standard features, especially for the price tag

Lots of standard and optional safety features to be equipped with

Attractive warranty coverage

What's New?

Push-button style gear selector

Outdated GDi engine in the base variant

AWD, not a standard fitment


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Review video
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior video
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior video

Styles

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in Lava Orange color 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in Machine Gray color 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in Quartz White color
Lava Orange

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SE

SE

power
185 hp
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$26,125 - $27,825


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $26,125 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,825 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
SE w/SULEV 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) Starting at $26,125 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-Speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SEL

SEL

power
235 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$27,875 - $36,425


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $27,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $29,575 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $34,725 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $36,425 MSRP (22/25/29) 235 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
SEL w/SULEV 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) Starting at $27,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-Speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Limited

power
185 hp
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$35,875


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $35,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Limited w/SULEV 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) Starting at $35,875 MSRP (22/25/29) 185 hp, 2.4 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-Speed automated manual front wheel drive 5

Expert Review


The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is getting a refresh, both inside and out, and looks quite a bit different from its current avatar. The cascading grille upfront has gotten bigger and wider and overall more aggressive than the current model. Since not much of the details about the car are given out by the company yet, we’ll be looking at the specs and features on the 2020 model, which is expected to be more or less the same for the 2021 model as well, apart from the expected new hybrid powertrains. So, ranging in at around $26,275 to $37,875, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is available in three trim levels viz. SE, SEL, and Limited. With up to 29 mpg on the highway, up to 235 HP, and an optional all-wheel-drive system, the Santa Fe is an excellent choice in the sea of mid-size crossover SUVs.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Front View
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Rear View

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

Since there isn’t much information about the 2021 Santa Fe, the car not being officially launched by the company yet, we’ll be looking at the trims and features of the 2020 Santa Fe instead. As mentioned earlier, there are three main trims for the 2020 Santa Fe which include the likes of SE, SEL, and Limited. The SEL and Limited can also be had with the 2.0L turbocharged engine and are sold as separate variants called SEL 2.0T and Limited 2.0T making a total of five available trims.

Trim

SE

SEL

SEL 2.0T

Limited

Limited 2.0T

MSRP

$26,275*

$28,025*

$34,875*

$36,025*

$37,875*

Key Features

7” color touchscreen infotainment display

In addition to or replaces base SE trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL 2.0T trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Limited trim features with:

 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration

Proximity Key with push-button start

A more powerful 235 HP 2.0L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine

Reverts back to the default 185 HP 2.4L GDI 4-cylinder engine

A more powerful 235 HP 2.0L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine

    Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped)

8-way power driver seat

 

Bigger 10.25” color touchscreen infotainment display

    Lane Keep Assist (LKA)

Heated front seats

 

Blind View Monitor (BVM)

    185 HP 2.4L GDI 4-cylinder engine

Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)

 

Heads-up Display (HUD)

    Hillstart Assist Control (HAC)

Immobilizer

 

Integrated Memory System (IMS)

*2020 Figures used for reference

The Hyundai Santa Fe faces stiff competition from other similar crossover SUVs in the market, especially the reliable Japanese ones like the Nissan Rogue, Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and other similar SUVs. Getting an overall safety rating of 5 stars from NHTSA, the Santa Fe is pretty safe which is equipped with a long list of advanced safety features like Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), etc.

Expected Price and Release Date of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

With mostly visual changes, both interior and exterior without many other changes along with an architecture upgrade, the price range of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is not expected to change that much from the current model and could be expected to be around $28,000 to $39,000 along with an expected release of somewhere around Q4 2020.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine and Performance

There aren’t any words about the engine for the 2021 Santa Fe from the company yet, but the 2021 model is expected to carry forward the same powertrain powering the 2020 model. The current model has two engine options; one is the base 2.4L 4-cylinder engine producing 185 HP @ 6000 rpm and 178 lb-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine Bay

The other one is a more powerful 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 235 HP @ 6000 rpm and 260 lb-ft. of torque @ 1450 rpm. That being said, the 2021 Santa Fe is speculated to hybrid powertrains as well. The hybrid powertrain likely to be received by the 2021 Santa Fe is the 1.6L T-GDi powertrain from the Kia Sorento that is paired with a 1.49-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a 44.2-kW electric motor producing 227 HP and 258 lb-ft. of torque.

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

MSRP

$26,275 - $37,875

$25,300 - $33,040

$25,190 - $37,155

$25,050 - $34,750

Engine

2.0-Liter Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

2.5L Turbocharged Inline -4

1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

Front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive

Transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

CVT automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

CVT automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

235 @ 6000

170 @ 6000

227 @ 5000

190 @ 5600

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

260 @ 1450

175 @ 4400

310 @ 2000

179 @ 2000

Comparing the most powerful engines on all the SUVs it is clear that the Hyundai and the Mazda are in the same ballpark when it comes to engine output with Nissan falling behind with its non-Turbocharged engine.

How quick is the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Being a mid-size crossover SUV, performance is not one of the priorities for its target customers. Nonetheless, the 2020 Santa Fe comes with two engine options depending on your requirement; one is the base 2.4L Inline-4 good for 185 HP and 178 lb-ft. of torque, and the other is a more powerful 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 producing 235 HP and 260 lb-ft. of torque.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 0-60 MPH in Just 9.1 sec

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

0-60 MPH

9.1

9.4

6.6

7.5

Quarter mile

NA

NA

NA

NA

Top Speed

NA

NA

NA

NA

Engine

2.0-Liter Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

2.5L Turbocharged Inline -4

1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4

The Hyundai is a bit slow when it comes to 0-60 times, but not the worst. The CX-5 shatters the competition with its 0-60 time of around 6.6 seconds from its turbocharged engine. The CR-V is yet another surprise that manages the 0 to 60 dash in just 7.5 seconds in spite of having the smallest engine of the lot.

How well does the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe brake?

The brakes are often a neglected component of a car. But it is just as important as the acceleration and performance of the car as it helps the most in handling and in averting untoward incidents.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Wheel

As mentioned earlier, it is a mid-size crossover SUV, performance is not one of the priorities for its target customers. Nevertheless, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is equipped with ventilated discs at the front and solid pair of discs at the back. Moreover, ABS on all four wheels are standard on all the trims.

Model

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

Brake Front (in)

NA

NA

11.9

11.1

Brake Rear (in)

NA

NA

11.7

10.2

Curb Weight (lbs)

4063

3670

3825

3576

60-0 MPH (ft.)

122

NA

NA

128 

The Hyundai is the heaviest of the bunch, but its excellent brakes do help the car stop from 60-0 at the respectable length of 122 ft which is certainly better than the CR-V’s 128 ft in spite of the Honda’s considerably low curb weight.

How well does the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe handle?

Being a crossover SUV, the Hyundai Santa Fe feels more at home on the tarmac than off-road. Its suspension is on the firmer side and along with excellent brakes, the car feels and handles more like a sedan than an SUV. The car is on the heavier side though with a curb weight of 4063 lbs., due to which a little bit of body roll could be expected around the corners, but is more or less managed by the firm yet comfortable suspension. The brakes are also smooth and confidence-inspiring capable of stopping the car from 60-0 mph in 122 feet during an emergency.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Side View

The car is also quite capable off-road and with features and technologies like Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), and terrain modes selectors like Sand, Snow, and Mud, it makes off-roading a bit easier.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Economy

The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is capable of delivering a maximum combined mileage of 25 mpg for the base 2.4L Inline-4 engine with front-wheel drive drivetrain, and the same could also be expected for the 2021 Santa Fe as well. 

Comparing the most fuel-efficient variant of all the cars:

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

MPG (City)

22

26

25

28

MPG (Highway)

29

33

31

34

MPG (Combined)

25

29

29

30

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.8

14.5

14.8

14.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

413.6 / 545.2 / NA

377.0 / 478.5 / NA

370.0 / 458.5 / NA

392.0 / 476.0 / NA

The Santa Fe falls behind its competition when it comes to fuel economy, where its Japanese rivals actually perform far better in this regard. This is mostly down to the old 2.4 GDi engine, which is probably the oldest engine in this lot. The CR-V in typical Honda fashion has earned the top honors in the fuel efficiency department thanks to its compact and frugal 1.5L turbocharged engine.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

Hyundai cars generally do a great job when it comes to the interior of the car, and the Santa Fe is no exception. With premium upscale materials all around and a decently built and well laid-out interior, the inside of Hyundai cars is generally a nice place to be in. As mentioned earlier, the 2021 model is getting a refreshed interior with new looks and layout. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Front Seats

The 8.0” infotainment display is replaced for a bigger 10.25” display with a more minimal look without all the buttons surrounding it. The whole center console is being overhauled for the 2021 model which houses all the HVAC controls along with a few new controls as well. Nonetheless, the most significant difference is the replacement of traditional gear levers in favor of a push-button gear selector.

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.5 / 59.1 / 44.1

41.6 / 56.6 / 43.0

39.3 / 57.1 / 41.0

38.0 / 57.9 / 41.3

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.9 / 58.3 / 40.9

38.5 / 55.9 / 37.9

39.0 / 54.8 / 39.6

39.1 / 55.6 / 40.4

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

35.9

39.3

30.9

37.6

The Sante Fe and its competitors are more or less in the same ballpark when it comes to interior dimensions, but the Hyundai does fall a bit behind when it comes to the boot space, but still not the worst. That being said, the interior dimensions in the 2021 model can change quite a bit due to the refreshed interior.

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2021 Santa Fe replaces the 8” touchscreen display for a bigger 10.25” display with a more minimal look by getting rid of all the knobs and buttons surrounding it. The rest is expected to remain the same with a premium Infinity Audio system with 12-speakers.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Infotainment Screen

Some of the highlight features of the infotainment system include:

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio, cruise, and Bluetooth controls
  • Blue Link Connected Car Service
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone system
  • 12-speaker Infinity Audio System
  • Satellite Radio

How much cargo can the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe carry?

Since there are no details about the dimensions of the 2021 Santa Fe from the company yet, we’ll be looking at the cargo space in the 2020 model which at 36 cubic feet, makes the Santa Fe accommodating in terms of the boot space and fairly practical.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Cargo Area

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

Standard Cargo Capacity (ft³)

35.9

39.3

30.9

37.6

Maximum Cargo Capacity (ft³)

71.3

70.0

59.6

75.8

Even though the cars are more or less in the same ballpark when it comes to cargo space, the Mazdahttps://www.thecarhp.com/mazda does fall a bit behind its competitors. The cargo space in the 2021 Santa Fe is expected to change a little with the refreshed interior.

What are the other storage spaces inside?

The 2021 Santa Fe is getting some additional storage spaces inside, but nothing fancy with your regular array of cup holders, cubby holes, and other random storage spaces. The glove box itself is deep and the central armrest has provision to store reasonably sized knick-knacks and has USB ports to charge phones and connect devices to the vehicle’s infotainment.

Some of the standout interior features include:

  • Leather seating
  • Power adjustable front seats
  • Leg cushion extension for driver seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-Zone Climate Control
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Steering
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Infotainment
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Front Seat
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Rear Seat

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior

Hyundai has been consistent with good looking cars for years now, and the Santa Fe is no exception. The 2021 model is getting a visual overhaul where the cascading grille at the front has gotten bigger, wider, and more aggressive overall with the styling. The headlight is now integrated with the grill itself, unlike the previous model, where it was in its separate housing. The DRL design is also changed where it starts at a separate top section and continues down to the headlight itself forming a sort of “T” shape.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Side View

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Honda CR-V

Curb Weight (lbs)

4063

3670

3825

3576

Length (inches)

187.8

184.5

179.1

182.1

Width (inches)

74.4

72.4

72.5

73.0

Height (inches)

66.1

68.5

66.2

66.5

Ground Clearance (inches)

NA

8.4

7.5

8.2

Wheelbase (inches)

108.9

106.5

106.2

104.7

The wheel arches are widened a bit without much change to the side profile. There are some prominent changes towards the back with slightly tweaked tail lamps and a slim LED bar connecting the two taillights that replaces the chrome strip in the current model. The Hyundai has a longer wheelbase than its competitors which should translate to superior cabin space.

Some of the highlight exterior features are:

  • LED headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Cascading Front Grille
  • Hands-free smart liftgate with auto open and adjustable height setting
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Front
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Rear
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Side View
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Side View
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Wheel

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Safety

Except for the 2020 Nissan Rogue which got 4 stars in NHTSA overall safety rating, all the other cars viz. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2020 Mazda CX-5 and the 2020 Honda CR-V got 5 stars. The same is the story with the IIHS safety rating where the 2020 Nissan Rogue performed the worst and the Mazda getting selected as the 2020 Top Safety Pick +. The 2020 Santa Fe is also selected as the 2020 Top Safety Pick.

Some of the highlight safety features of the 2020 Santa Fe include:

  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped)
  • Front crumple zone

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

The compact crossover SUV segment is a comparatively competitive segment. It caters to a demographic that needs a big car with spacious interiors and large cargo space and decent offroading capability and also being tame on-road.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 Nissan Rogue

Apart from the underpowered engine and the below-average performance, the Nissan Rogue is a viable alternative to the Santa Fe, but the Hyundai does have a nicer interior.

2020 Nissan Rogue

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is definitely the sportiest of the bunch and also gives a tough competition to the Hyundai in terms of looks as well. The Hyundai is a bit spacious on the inside though.

2020 Mazda CX-5

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 Honda CR-V

Even though the Honda CR-V is a really good alternative to the Hyundai with its comfortable ride, fuel-efficient engine, and affordability, the Santa Fe also gives a tough competition with its premium interior and spaciousness.

2020 Honda CR-V

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Final Verdict

With a premium and spacious interior, good looking exterior, attractive list of standard safety features, host of standard and optional safety features, the Santa Fe ticks all the checkboxes and is tough to ignore in a sea of mid-size crossover SUVs out there in the market. Even though the Santa Fe has its own value proposition, there are other viable alternatives out there in the market each of them with their own unique characteristics and value proposition, that are definitely worth checking out.

×
Refresh