Hyundai calls changes to its 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe a refresh, but there is so much more to it than that. The 2-row, 5-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe comes loaded with features, adds a new gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain option, and is backed by a terrific 5-year/100,000-kilometre warranty. While it’s easy to tell the difference between the 2021 and the 2020 models by looking at the new front grille, Hyundai has also redesigned the interior with more premium amenities and introduces a new topline Ultimate Calligraphy trim level.
The 2021 Santa Fe does ride on a new platform. Also, there are two new gasoline engines. First up is a base, 2.5-litre 4-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The Ultimate Calligraphy trim gets a high-output turbocharged version of the same engine that generates 277 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are hooked up to an 8-speed automatic transmission, with the turbo-4 getting a dual-clutch version. The new-for-2021 Santa Fe Hybrid trim uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine plus an electric motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower is rated at 226with 258 pound-feet of torque.
Somewhat larger than a compact SUV, the updated 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has become even more competitive with vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) for the 2021 Hyundai SUV start at $31,399 (all prices in Canadian dollars) for the base, front-wheel-drive (FWD) Essential trim. Traction at all four wheels is an extra $2,000. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is standard on the remaining Santa Fe trims, starting with the $36,399 Preferred, followed by the $43,799 AWD Luxury Hybrid and the $47,499 Ultimate Calligraphy trim.
To help you decide which 2021 Hyundai Santa is right for you, here's a breakdown of the popular SUV's trim levels:
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Essential FWD - Starting MSRP $31,399
The base model of the Santa Fe, the Essential, comes well equipped. Powered by the 2.5-litre engine, FWD is standard while AWD is a $2,000 option. The interior has YES Essentials stain-resistant cloth seats, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, and power windows and rear hatch. The infotainment system is based around an 8-inch screen and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Key Essential features include:
- 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- 8-inch touch-screen display
- Hyundai SmartSense safety suite
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Preferred AWD- Starting MSRP $36,399
The Preferred trim comes standard with AWD and the base 2.5 gas engine. The Hybrid powertrain is a $2,900 option.
Includes Essential AWD features plus:
- Dual-zone automatic temperature control with auto-defogger
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Assist
- Proximity key entry with push button start
- Trend package ($2,100)
- Panoramic sunroof
- Leather seating surfaces
- LED taillights
- 8-way power front passenger’s seat (including power height adjustment)
- Remote-folding second-row seats
- LED map and personal lights
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Luxury Hybrid AWD- Starting MSRP $43,799
The Santa Fe Luxury Hybrid trim includes all the equipment from the Preferred AWD with the Trend Package plus:
- Hybrid engine with 6-speed automatic transmission
- 12.3-inch full digital display instrument cluster
- Proximity-activated smart lift gate
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate Calligraphy AWD- Starting MSRP $47,499
The topline Santa Fe trim is exclusively powered by the turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine and includes features from the Preferred AWD with Trend Package plus:
- 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- Surround View Monitor and Blind View Monitor
- Premium Nappa leather seats