Hyundai introduced the current-generation Santa Fe in February 2018 and it’s already giving it a thorough update. It’s actually more than just your typical mid-cycle refresh as the midsize SUV is switching to a new platform. We’re being promised the modified underpinnings will pay dividends in terms of performance, handling and safety while unlocking the possibility of adding electrified powertrains.
The first changes you’ll notice are going to be on the outside where the 2021 Santa Fe has received a wider and bolder front grille with different patterns depending on the trim level. The split headlights have a new look and incorporate redesigned LED daytime running lights in the shape of a “T.” At the sides, you’ll notice the fresh 20-inch alloy wheels.
The SUV’s derrière has also been revised as it now has modified taillight graphics and a new light bar extending over the entire width of the tailgate. To further emphasize the vehicle’s width, Hyundai has installed a new reflector that goes from one corner of the bumper to the other. A reworked skid plate rounds off the changes at the back.
While the SUV's technical specifications remain shrouded in mystery for the time being, we do know the 2021 Santa Fe is roomier than before and boasts a revised center console with more storage in the lower section. The don’t-call-it-a-facelift adds a Terrain Mode selector in the center console, allowing the driver to pick from sand, snow and mud, eco, comfort, sport, and smart modes. When activated, the latter can automatically recognize the driving style and will choose the optimal driving mode on its own.
Gallery: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
The adoption of a shift-by-wire system has allowed Hyundai to integrate gear shift buttons in the floating center console to eliminate the clunky shift knob and thus free up space. The 2021 Santa Fe now boasts a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment complemented by a fully digital 12.3-inch driver’s display as part of a technological update. Interestingly, the cabin has been revamped up to the point everything inside is covered in soft-touch materials.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will go on sale in Europe this September, with details regarding the engines to be disclosed closer to its market launch. Information about the U.S. model is not available at this point, but the North American version shouldn’t be far behind.
See the Hyundai Santa Fe and all of the other upcoming new cars in our list of future cars for 2021 and beyond.
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Hyundai Motor Unveils Design of New Santa Fe SUV, the Ultimate Family Adventure Vehicle
Redesigned SUV emphasizes bold and majestic styling, family-focused features and a classy new interior
• Makes a unique statement in the SUV segment, combining a rugged stance with distinctive wide grille and integrated T-shaped DRLs. New interior
provides a premium experience with more space, comfort and convenience features
• New paint colors and an array of interior color combinations offer customers plenty of choices
SEOUL, June 3, 2020 – Hyundai Motor Company today unveiled the design of its upcoming New Santa Fe, showcasing charismatic styling and value-added features that make the SUV the ultimate family adventure vehicle.
Developed to offer a premium experience while meeting the complete needs of an entire family, the redesigned fourth-generation Santa Fe goes beyond a mere facelift. A fresh look and feel along with new features can be seen from all sides of the car as well as the interior.
“We modernized the New Santa Fe with premium features and appealing aesthetics that are sure to add value,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and head of Global Design Center. “The bold lines that extend from one side to the other and from front to back give Santa Fe a rugged yet refined look that SUV customers want. Besides, we’ve added numerous features and functions to create a truly family-focused SUV that is a pleasure to drive.”
The New Santa Fe’s front section is defined by the wide grille that extends across the entire width of the vehicle. The clamped shape of the lower air intake harmoniously extends the horizontal line to accentuate the vehicle’s wide and well-balanced stance.
The grille, with its signature geometric patterned inlay, also integrates the headlamps, a signature style found on many Hyundai cars. The eye-catching LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) start at the top of the grille and cut through it to create unique T-shapes at each corner when lit.
Each side section of the New Santa Fe is characterized by a seamless line that connects the DRL to the taillights, giving the car a sensuously sporty look. The increased width on wheel arches accentuate the SUV’s rugged and powerful character, which is also emphasized by 20-inch wheels.
The New Santa Fe’s redesigned taillights are connected across the rear hatch by a slim illuminated bar that complements the horizontal design theme on the front and sides of the vehicle. The theme is once again expressed by the wide rear reflector and skid plate, creating a unique three-layer look.
The New Santa Fe’s redesigned interior now provides more space, comfort, and convenience compared to the previous model. It takes the car to a new level of luxury with every component finished in premium soft-touch materials. The center console sits high, giving the driver and front passenger the feeling of sitting in an armchair.
The buttons are all centered for intuitive and ergonomic use. In the middle of the redesigned center console sits gear shift buttons along with other functions that are used often. The shift-by-wire system allowed the designers to put buttons instead of the conventional shift knob.
For the first time, the new Santa Fe comes with a Terrain Mode selector: a control knob located in the center console to conveniently switch between different drive modes, optimising performance and HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) settings for a variety of driving situations. This feature includes unique modes for sand, snow and mud, as well as eco, sport, comfort and smart modes, the last of which automatically recognises the driving style and selects a mode so the driver does not have to.
The new center console’s layout freed up space for more storage in the redesigned lower dashboard. The console also accommodates a new 10.25-inch AVN(audio, video, navigation) touchscreen display with pre-loaded maps, satellite-based voice guided navigation, rear camera display, and complete in-car entertainment and connectivity features.