Hyundai Santa Fe [US] Introducing (2021)

2021 Hyundai SantaFe launched in the US market with many interior upgrades. The Korean automaker has officially launched the 2021 SantaFe for the US market with four engines, including a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Hyundai SantaFe launched in the US market has a similar appearance to the version for the European market. The 2021 Hyundai SantaFe in the US market has a similar appearance to the European version, with a larger grille and redesigned headlights.

Bigger changes are concentrated in the cabin compartment. A new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, while a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster appears behind the steering wheel. The layout of the center console is also vastly different from before.

The 2021 SantaFe gear lever has been replaced with buttons. An operating mode dial appears next to the range of sand, snow and mud, economical, sporty, comfortable and intelligent.

In addition, the car is also equipped with a new Harman-Kardon premium audio system that provides a more immersive and enjoyable audio experience.

The cockpit on the Calligraphy version has Nappa leather seats, suede headrests, expanded interior luminance system. For customers who want a more luxurious cockpit can choose a new Calligraphy version with Nappa leather seats, suede headrests, expanded interior lighting system … This top variant is also equipped with a colorful HUD display, a unique grille and exclusive 20-inch wheels.

Under the hood is Smartstream 2.5L, standard 4-cylinder engine that replaces the previous 2.4L engine. This engine is combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission with a capacity of about 191 horsepower and maximum torque of 247 Nm. The engine comes standard with the start / stop system, which is about 8% more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

Customers who want a more powerful SUV can choose from a new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces a maximum output of about 277 hp and maximum torque of 422 Nm, accompanied by a box. The dual-clutch number promises improved gear shifting smoother, while improving fuel economy by 4-5%.

Customers can also opt for a new hybrid variant with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This version comes standard with AWD and is expected to have a total output of about 225 hp and maximum torque of 264 Nm.

Santa Fe internal combustion models will be produced at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and will arrive at dealerships by the end of the year, while the Santa Fe Hybrid model will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will arrive in the first quarter 2021. In addition, a Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid model will arrive later in 2021.

Bold New Look

The bold new face of the Santa Fe is enhanced with a wider, three-dimensional grille and a striking T-shaped LED illumination signature, including daytime running lights. The new silhouette sports a horizontal cabin profile, scalloped lower door panels and a long, highly-defined hood, with character lines extending from front to rear. Sharp shoulder crease lines connect front and rear LED lights, while rear reflector accents visually link the LED rear taillights.

The profile of the Santa Fe features a large daylight opening (DLO) with a satin surround that provides a sleek appearance with excellent visibility. The alloy wheels receive all new designs and add a new 20-inch alloy wheel. The roof side rails have a fresh design, and power-folding side mirrors with turn-signal indicators and puddle lamps are now available.

Interior Design

The Santa Fe interior now features a high-position console design indicative of a premium SUV interior. A new floating center console design adds a more spacious feel throughout the cabin. Available premium materials, including soft Nappa leather, soft-touch padding, new ambient lighting and a new 10.25-inch touchscreen display further enhance the luxurious character of the interior. A multi-layered, three-dimensional instrument panel and contrasting seat stitching convey premium touches throughout the cabin. Santa Fe’s large DLO enhances the feeling of openness for occupants with generous amounts of natural light. In addition, rear cargo area volume has increased by one-half cubic foot through optimization of the interior packaging.

Santa Fe Calligraphy Trim

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe adds a new premium Calligraphy trim for buyers seeking the ultimate in styling differentiation, premium materials, exclusive features and advanced technologies. Calligraphy builds upon the Santa Fe Limited model with the more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, adding HTRAC® AWD with downhill brake control, exclusive-design 20-inch alloy wheels, quilted Nappa leather, full-color heads-up display, premium-finish front grille, premium door and seat accent trim, eco-suede headliner, expanded ambient lighting themes and auto up/down rear windows.


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe now offers three new and improved powertrain options. The standard powertrain is a Smartstream 2.5-liter direct-injected (DI) and multi-point injected (MPI) four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the former 2.4-liter engine. This standard four-cylinder engine produces an estimated 191 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and an estimated 182 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm for effortless driving in a wide variety of conditions. The powertrain also features Idle, Stop and Go (ISG) capability to maximize efficiency in various heavy traffic conditions. The new 2.5-liter engine fuel economy is targeted to increase approximately eight percent over the 2020 powertrain from these improvements.

Santa Fe also offers a high-output Smartstream 2.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder turbocharged engine coupled with an all-new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (DCT), replacing the former 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and improving peak horsepower by 18 percent. This all-new powerplant produces an estimated 277 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and an estimated 311 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm for brisk acceleration and effortless highway cruising. The wet dual-clutch transmission offers numerous benefits when mated to the turbocharged engine, including high-precision shift response, greater efficiency through reduced parasitic losses and increased torque capacity via the enhanced lubrication of the oil-based wet clutch design. The new 2.5-liter turbo engine fuel economy is targeted to increase approximately four to five percent over the 2020 powertrain from these improvements.

Combined Engine Injection Systems

These all-new engines utilize both direct-injection and multi-point injection technology to leverage the wider range of benefits from each injection technology. Direct injection benefits from greater oxygen density in the combustion chamber combined with increased atomization of the intake charge for maximum power and efficiency, especially at mid- to high engine speeds. Conversely, multi-point injection helps to reduce emissions at lower rpm and lower engine torque loads. Together, these two injection systems are synchronized to yield ideal power, efficiency and low emissions throughout the full range of engine speeds and operating conditions.

Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission

The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. The automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.

All-New Hybrid Propulsion System with HTRAC® All-Wheel Drive

In the first-ever application for the Hyundai SUV family, 2021 Santa Fe now offers a hybrid propulsion system for eco-focused buyers. SUV buyers expect all-weather capability and the Santa Fe Hybrid includes standard HTRAC® all-wheel drive. The hybrid powertrain features a Smartstream 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder engine coupled with a new HEV-tuned six-speed automatic transmission. This new six-speed transmission is specially tuned for optimal efficiency, economy and driving performance in a turbocharged HEV application. The turbo engine yields an estimated output of 178 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, with an estimated 225 horsepower from the combined engine and motor system, and peak torque estimated at 195 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm.

The HEV starter-generator and the electric drive motor are both permanent-magnet type systems, with the hybrid starter-generator rated at 13kW and the electric drive motor rated at 44kW (59 horsepower). The system utilizes a lithium-ion polymer battery rated at 1.5 kWh and 270V/5.5 Ah, with a maximum battery output of 64kW, efficiently storing the hybrid’s electric energy efficiently in a compact and lightweight package.

HTRAC® Advanced AWD System

Santa Fe offers Hyundai’s HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal, Sport and Smart modes help provide confident control in all weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty dynamic feel when desired. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. The new Santa Fe Hybrid model includes HTRAC all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

Ride Comfort and Driving Confidence

Ride comfort, handling and driving confidence are enhanced through key developments in the body structure, braking system and rigidity of the 2021 Santa Fe. The braking system was significantly enhanced with a high-capacity booster, increased rotor size and refinements to the ABS/ESC system for smooth and confident function in a wider variety of adverse driving conditions.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe body structure includes increased high-tensile steel for greater body rigidity, improving ride and handling while reducing weight. Noise from acceleration is reduced from a redesigned isolation pad in the instrument panel structure. In addition, the aerodynamic coefficient of drag (Cd) for Santa Fe has improved from 0.34 to 0.33 Cd through redesigned undercovers for the subframe, engine compartment, and center/rear floor areas.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Santa Fe features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems often restricted to luxury SUVs combines to potentially warn the driver and help take action in the event of a potential collision. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the SUV’s multiple radar sensors, ultrasonic sensors and cameras.

Hyundai Santa Fe is very popular with families with children for good reason – its Hyundai Smart Sense safety feature suite is extensive, including the following impressive list:

  • 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 (Forward and Reverse)
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (Reverse)

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian, Cyclist and Junction-Turning Detection

The 2021 Santa Fe is fitted with standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian, cyclist and junction-turning detection, an advanced active safety feature that is activated when a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist is sensed in front of the car with potential for a collision.

Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist

Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist help detect vehicles approaching from behind and help to avoid potential collisions. This system now includes parallel parking situations as part of its assistance.

Lane Following Assist

Lane Following Assist (LFA) may automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel and can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and city streets.

Highway Driving Assist

Highway Driving Assist (HDA) is a driving convenience system that assists drivers in maintaining the center of the lane, while keeping a safe distance to the car in front and can help maintain vehicle speeds according to posted speed limits on federal interstate highways.

Blind-Spot View Monitor

The Blind-Spot View Monitor with the Santa Fe’s outside mirror-mounted cameras offers the driver an enhanced field of vision, scanning for vehicles entering the driver’s blind spot. When a turn signal is activated, an image of the view from the corresponding wing mirror is displayed in the 12.3-inch cluster display.

Surround-View Monitor

The new Santa Fe uses cameras to provide the driver with an enhanced, bird’s-eye view of the car’s exterior, giving the driver confidence when manoeuvring into or out of spaces.

Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert

Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert monitors the rear seats to detect the movements of children and pets, reminding drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle; if the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle, it will sound the horn and send an alert to the driver’s smartphone via Blue Link.

Safe Exit Assist

Santa Fe also features Hyundai’s standard Safe Exit Assist system that uses radar to help detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers seeking to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster may alert the driver and the door may be locked.

Advanced Technologies, Connectivity and Convenience

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe also receives a new 10.25-inch widescreen full-touch navigation system for easy viewing and an available, segment-leading 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument gauge cluster. Wireless device charging makes it easier than ever to keep devices fully-charged on the go. Even more, Dynamic Voice Recognition is an advanced voice recognition system that utilizes simple voice commands to conveniently perform specific controls for the cabin such as: temperature adjustment, radio, hatch opening/closing, heated steering wheel, heated/cooled seats, and others. The system can also assist with various points of interest (POI), weather status and stock market data.

Digital Key

Santa Fe’s Digital Key is a segment-exclusive feature that is now supported via a dedicated smartphone app. The Hyundai Digital Key app also allows smartphones to control selected vehicle systems remotely. Users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the panic alert and start the engine.

Digital Key allows owners to leave traditional keys at home and allows secure sharing of keys with family and friends. The level of access to different vehicle functions can be tailored to each shared key user for a defined period. For additional convenience in cases such as using a valet service, Digital Key can also work via a Near Field Communication (NFC) card. Digital Key is currently compatible only with phones using the Android operating system.

Remote Smart Park Assist

Remote Smart Park Assist, a segment-exclusive vehicle technology, allows owners to park and retrieve their Santa Fe from the tightest of parking spaces from outside the vehicle, a very convenient feature. Before a driver attempts to load passengers or luggage, the remote parking function can prove particularly useful, bringing the vehicle out of a tight space. The driver simply uses the smart key to drive the SUV forward or backward, into or out of a parking space, garage or any tight parking situation.

Remote Start with Heated and Ventilated Seats

Remote Start uses a cellular data connection via the Blue Link app that allows an owner to warm up or cool down a Santa Fe remotely, including its heated or ventilated seats, a segment-exclusive feature. Santa Fe added Remote Start to the 2021 Santa Fe’s key fob for models with Push Button Start.

Premium Infotainment and Sound Systems

Santa Fe offers a premium sound system that is perfectly tuned to the acoustic qualities of its upscale interior. A 630-watt, 12-speaker, Harman-Kardon premium audio system with an 11-channel amplifier features Clari-Fi™ music restoration technology and Quantum Logic™ Surround Sound technology. Clari-Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally compressed music, while Quantum Logic™ extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail. The result is a more robust and enjoyable on-road listening experience.

Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® are now available on Santa Fe models not equipped with navigation, while standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions remain standard on navigation-equipped models. For passengers, dual front and rear USB outlets are available (one for power/data and three for power). Even more, Santa Fe offers a rear seat quiet mode which allows the driver and passenger to enjoy their own music or media while reducing disturbance to the rear passengers.

Heads-Up Display (HUD)+

The available Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects an 8.5-inch virtual color image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. Key driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, safety features, speed limit, and audio system data is projected at a perceived virtual distance approximately seven feet ahead of the driver for maximum legibility.

Blue Link® Connected Car System

The 2021 Santa Fe receives many Blue Link® Connected Car System enhancements. As with most Hyundai models, Blue Link is complimentary on the 2021 Santa Fe for three years and includes Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Destination Search by Voice. Blue Link features can be accessed via interior controls or through the web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps.

2021 Santa Fe improvements include:

  • Remote profile management-stores select vehicle settings to the Blue Link cloud, with the ability to remotely update them and push them back to the vehicle so it is personalized to driver preferences
  • Remote start enhancements:
    • Remote seat heating and ventilation (on/off/level for each individual heated/cooled seat)
    • Profile selection (preloads individual driver settings for seating position/side mirrors)
  • Vehicle Status Notifications-if the vehicle is left with doors unlocked or windows open, customers will receive a notification
  • POI Send to Car now with Waypoints (ability to add up to three way points, to be delivered to the vehicle together and automatically set order of destinations)
  • Maintenance Alert Enhancement-maintenance interval tracking is now visible in the multimedia system, with ability to reset

More facts

SantaFe 2021 has an upgraded chassis platform that uses more high-strength steel for better rigidity as well as improved vehicle handling and handling characteristics. Hyundai engineers also developed an advanced brake system with improvements to the ABS / ESC system… for the new SantaFe.

In terms of safety, the 2021 Hyundai SantaFe in the US is equipped with an upgraded Forward Collision Assist System, Reverse Parking Assist, Highway Driving Assistant, Lane Assist and System Navigation-based smart cruise control. In addition, the car is also equipped with a smart parking assistance system remotely.

The standard versions of the 2021 SantaFe for the US market will be made in Alabama and will be available in US dealers by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the hybrid version will be imported from South Korea and will arrive in the US market in early 2021 and finally the plug-in hybrid version will be available for sale later next year.

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