The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has been launched in Australia not long after its larger Palisade sibling. Initially revealed earlier in 2020, the updated Santa Fe ushers in a new look, a new interior and a lot of new available technology as well. While the petrol V6 and four-cylinder turbo-diesel powertrains are carried over, they feature tweaks to enhance their efficiency. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is due in local Hyundai showrooms soon.

“Santa Fe has become a favourite for adventurous Australian families over the four-generations since its debut in 2000,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, Jun Heo said.

“Now, with the arrival of the upgraded and enhanced 2021 Santa Fe, families are treated to an evolution of our long-running seven-seater which sets a new standard for styling, space, comfort, luxury and technology,” he said.

Stylistically, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has changed a lot with a new front, a massaged rear and a new range of alloy wheels up to 20-inches in size. The new grille is the most eye-catching feature with a new cascade design to fit in with the new Tucson and facelifted Kona SUVs, while the new headlights featuring a T-shaped daytime running light pattern that doubles as the front indicator in the top-spec Highlander. All models finally have LED headlights as well.

Despite not being an all-new model, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has actually grown in size – 15mm has been added to its length, while 10mm and 5mm have been added to its width and height respectively. This benefits most with interior space, according to Hyundai – an extra 39mm of middle row legroom has been added.

The design of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe’s interior has become even more premium. A new centre console features on Active models and above, with the bridge-type console both adding to practicality and adding ease-of-use for the driver. New shift-by-wire (aka an electronic shift controller) tech frees up space in the centre console, while the climate control and multimedia buttons have been redesigned for a more upmarket look. Hyundai’s new 10.25-inch touchscreen also features on the Elite and Highlander, while a Highlander also adds a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe uses the same 3.5-litre petrol V6 and 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel powertrains as the previous model, though they have been massaged for greater efficiency. While the V6’s outputs have dropped slightly to 200kW/332Nm, its efficiency has improved to 10.5L/100km on a combined cycle – the 148kW/440Nm 2.2-litre diesel has improved its efficiency by a big 19 per cent to 6.1L/100km combined thanks to a new eight-speed dual-clutch auto that’s also used in the Kia Sorento. 

Braked towing capacity has increased to 2,500kg (up by 500kg) and the tow-ball down weight is now 200kg (it was 100kg). 

As before, there are four variants of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe range – the entry-level model is called just ‘Santa Fe’, while the Active, Elite and top-spec Highlander sit above it. Pricing kicks off from $44,700 (+$710 on the 2020 model), though standard equipment has significantly improved, especially on the base model – LED headlights are now standard across the range, as is the full suite of active safety kit including auto emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear auto braking, lane keep assist with follow assist, auto high beam and adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality. 

Standard kit on the entry-level Santa Fe also includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, wireless phone charging, auto headlights, auto up-down windows, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring and a leather steering wheel.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Active adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery on the seats and the dashboard, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, auto-folding mirrors, puddle lamps, front parking sensors, auto wipers, rear privacy glass and safe exit assist. 

The Elite further adds 20-inch wheels, a dark chrome grille finish, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with inbuilt nav and digital radio, a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and an electric tailgate. 

The top-spec 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander further adds Nappa leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, a heads-up display, memory functionality for the driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second row seating, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic glass roof, projector LED headlights and tailights, a 360-degree parking camera and 64-colour interior ambient lighting.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe pricing (plus on-road costs): 

Santa Fe 3.5L V6: $44,700

Santa Fe 2.2L diesel AWD: $48,200

Active 3.5L V6: $48,300

Active 2.2L diesel AWD: $51,800

Elite 3.5L V6: $54,300

Elite 2.2L diesel AWD: $57,800

Highlander 3.5L V6: $61,700

Highlander 2.2L diesel AWD: $65,200

Metallic paint: $695

Brown upholstery on Elite and Highlander: $295

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