2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

MSRP $26,125

Ranked #1 in Compact Suv

8.0

Overall Rating

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 2, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is an upscale choice for buyers looking for a 5-seater SUV because of its great practicality, easy-to-drive nature, and sensible pricing. A very stylish exterior meets a well-appointed interior, full of technology and classic Hyundai artisanship, especially in the high-end Calligraphy trim.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Latest Updates

  • Jul' 1, 2021 : 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV Preview : Expected Release Dates, Prices, MPG, Performance and Rivals Read More »
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Pros

Fuel efficient hybrid engine

A roomy cabin and great cargo room due to the absence of a third seating row

Satiable pricing irrespective of your budget

Cons

Driving thrills are minimal

Naturally, an aspirated engine should be more economical for the power on offer 

Some might find the vehicle too laid-back 

What's New?

The Hyundai Santa Fe has undergone a mid-life facelift for the model year 2021

The midsize SUV features revised exteriors, and a bunch of upgrades to the interior, both standard and optional

Interior feature additions include a redesigned gear selector, upgraded infotainment displays, and a digital instrument cluster

The powertrain receives a complete overhaul, and a hybrid variant is also added to the mix


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$26125

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

127 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

191 hp @ 6100 rpm

torque

181 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.6/12 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

108.9 in.

length

188.4 in.

width

74.8 in.

height

66.3 in.

ground clearance

8.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

113 cu ft.

cargo volume

71.3 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

1138 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

175 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

1 yr./ 10000 mi.

corrosion warranty

7 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SE$26,125 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in Adrenaline Red color
Adrenaline Red

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

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

7.5

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.8

Safety

9.4

Competition

7.0

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.0

Overall Rating


The refinement in the overall package offered in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe makes for a very alleviating yet pleasurable driving experience, while its pliant ride quality makes it comfortable for the rest of the family as well. The 2021 Santa Fe isn’t segment-best by a country mile, and competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Jeep Compass, and Toyota RAV4 have their advantages too. The Santa Fe also lacks depth in performance; but a sporty character is not missed in the SUV due to its cool, collected nature. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV front angle view
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV rear angle view

7.5/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.8/10
Exterior

9.4/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Features

The accessible pricing of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe makes for a value-minded purchase in any of its trims. To maintain this value, Hyundai has loaded the Santa Fe with features right from the lowest SE trim to the fairly luxurious Calligraphy trim. While the features in the lower trims aren’t worthy of any excess attention, the Santa Fe is well-equipped, to say the least.

Trim

SE

SEL

Limited

Calligraphy

MSRP (FWD)

$27,000

$28,800 

$38,750

$40,750 

MSRP (AWD)

$27,700

$29,500

$40,450

$42,450

Key Features

LED headlights with LED Accents and DRLs

In addition to or replaces SE trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Limited trim features with:

 

High Beam Assist

Chrome accent front grille

Puddle lamps

Eco-suede microfiber headliner

 

Rear spoiler

Roof rails

Projector-type LED headlights

Dual automatic temperature control with CleanAir Ionizer with Predictive Logic

 

Stain-resistant cloth seats

8-way power driver seat

Leather-appointed seating surfaces

Perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

8-inch color touchscreen audio

Heated front seats

Driver seat 4-way power lumbar

Expanded interior accent lighting

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

Power windows with passenger auto-down/up

8-way power passenger seat

10.25-inch touchscreen navigation

 

Rear Seat Quiet Mode

Proximity Key entry with push-button start

Melange headliner

Ventilated front seats

Which trim should you buy?

The Calligraphy trim looks like an interesting proposition for the plethora of features it offers. From heated and ventilated seats to Nappa leather seats and upholstery, it has a very premium vibe to it that borders on luxury. Nevertheless, it is the flashiest of the trims and not the most accessibly priced either. The SEL trim is a bargain for what it offers inside a very solid car, but the Calligraphy trim is the only one to get larger alloys when the HTRAC AWD and turbocharged engine are selected.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine and Performance

7.5/10

Hyundai decided to swap out the previously offered 2.4-liter engine of the Santa Fe for a newer 2.5L unit that gets forced induction for those looking for more power, and it is rated at 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. There is also a 1.6L hybrid on offer, one that carries ample power but wows with its fuel economy. We are still most interested in the base 2.5L inline-4 in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe as it will most likely be the most popular engine choice for the trail-friendly SUV.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV driving view

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Toyota RAV4 

MSRP

$23,700

$25,550

$26,600

$26,450

Engine

2.5L NA inline four-cylinder

1.5L turbocharged inline four-cylinder

2.4L regular Unleaded I-4

2.5L NA inline four-cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

4WD

FWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

CVT

9-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

8-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ RPM

191 hp @ 6100 rpm

190 hp @ 5600 rpm

180 hp @ 6400 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ RPM)

181 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

179 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

175 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm

184 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

8.9 

9.3 

10

9.1

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16.7

16

17

16.6

Top-Speed (MPH)

127

127

130

130 

The new base engine of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe puts out 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of twisting force, which helps it reach 60 mph from a standstill in 8.9 seconds, two-tenths of a second quicker than the second fastest and more powerful 2021 Toyota RAV4. It does lose out to the competition over the course of a quarter mile due to its sedate power delivery. The Toyota and Jeep have the highest top speeds at 130 miles per hour. Surprisingly enough, the RAV4 has the best engine output figures in the segment.

How does the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe handle?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is accustomed to light trails and can do things that most SUVs can do. While it’s no Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler when it comes to off-roading, it is a family-friendly SUV that can take everyone along for an adventure down forest roads in reasonable comfort due to its pliant suspension setup. The FWD variant is predictable enough with regards to handling, but the HTRAC AWD system gives you both better traction and a better feeling of it.

Despite the predictable handling of the 2021 Santa Fe, it is no corner carver. The AWD clearly prioritizes keeping a grip on all four wheels rather than maximizing it, and you will feel that as you understeer through a fast corner. Driving thrills are minimal, especially with the naturally aspirated engine, while the turbocharged one makes for good straight-line acceleration but not much more in the handling department.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Braking Performance

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has disc brakes on all four wheels, measuring 12.8” in diameter on the front wheels, and 12” on the rear wheels. The brakes are typically Hyundai, with less feedback but promising bite. Under hard braking conditions, the Hyundai Santa Fe feels reassuring, especially with its automatic emergency braking system.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV brake rotor

The brakes help the Hyundai SUV decelerate from 60 mph to 0 over a distance of 130 feet.

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Toyota RAV4 

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.8

11.1

12

12

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12

10.2

11

11.1

Curb Weight (lbs)

3907

3398

3327

3655

60-0 (feet)

130

128

140

131 

The braking distance figure of the Santa Fe is commendable, but not the best in its segment. The engineers at Honda know their brakes very well, managing to bring the CR-V to a halt over a distance of 128 feet with much smaller brakes, although the CR-V is five hundred pounds lighter than the Hyundai SUV. Anyone who has driven a Honda can attest to how reassuring their brakes feel, despite using smaller brakes.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Economy

6.5/10

The naturally aspirated 2.5L engine in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is disappointing overall, due to the lack of power and intensity in power delivery. Combined with lackluster fuel economy, it forces some questions asked of Hyundai and their exact focus with the engine. Despite the refinement of the powertrain, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe achieves mpg figures no better than the 2021 Jeep Compass.

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Toyota RAV4 

MPG (City)

25

27

23

26

MPG (Highway)

28

33

29

35

MPG (Combined)

26

30

26

30

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.8

14.0

13.5

14.5

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

414/545/413

392/476/406

311/400/351

377/508/406

*Figures taken from 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe 

The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have the most fuel-efficient engines. The Honda CR-V is better in city limits due to its turbocharging and low displacement, while the naturally aspirated engine in the Toyota allows for 35 miles per gallon out on the highways. Both have combined mpg figures of 30. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe boasts the longest range on a full fuel tank due to its 18.8-gallon tank.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

8.0/10

Hyundai offers upmarket interiors in the Santa Fe, much like all of their recently updated or released vehicles. They have always been known for their smart use of technology, as well as well finished upholstery. Combining those with a lack of cheap materials around the cabin makes for a wonderful experience at the costs at which the 2021 Santa Fe is offered. The lower trims offer an agreeable, easy to live with experience, while the Calligraphy trim ventures into luxury car territory with its leather seating and upholstery.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV cockpit area

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Toyota RAV4 

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

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

41.2/59.1/44.1

40.1/57.9/41.3

39.2/56.7/41.8

39.5/57.8/41.0

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

39.2/58.3/40.9

39.2/55.6/40.4

38.5/55.1/38.3

39.5/56.4/37.8

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

35.9

39.2

27.2

37.6

The 2021 Santa Fe also has a roomy cabin, offering best-in-class legroom and headroom in the front seats, as well as class-leading legroom for the rear seat. The headroom feels limited in the Hyundai SUV, although not to an experience deterring extent. Most of the space in the Santa Fe is designated towards passenger accommodation, but it still has a very spacious trunk, offering 35.9 cubic feet of storage space. It does fall short of the CR-V and RAV4, although it beets the 27.2 cubic feet of storage in the Jeep. Standout interior features of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe include:

  • Optional Nappa leather seats 
  • Heated and Ventilated front seats
  • Perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Artificial suede headliner
  • Heated rear seats

How intuitive is the infotainment in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Coming into 2021, Hyundai decided to update their lineup with a new set of infotainment screens and a new 12.3” digital driver’s display. The same infotainment options are available in the 2021 Santa Fe, with an option between an 8” touchscreen and a more advanced 10.25” touchscreen with navigation capabilities and HD radio. The infotainment unit supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Highlights of the infotainment include:

  • 10.25” infotainment screen 
  • Apple CarPlay 
  • Android Auto
  • 12-Speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system
  • Bluelink Connected Car Service

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Exterior

7.8/10

The revised exterior styling of the Santa Fe is contemporary, with differently shaped headlights and a larger grille. The design is definitely worthy of a few heads turning and serves as a taste of the quality available on offer inside the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. Unlike most new cars getting funky upgrades to their front and rear fascia, the 2021 Santa Fe doesn’t warrant too many complaints with its current exterior styling. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV 

Models

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Toyota RAV4 

Curb Weight (lb)

3591

3455

3633

3370

Length (inches)

188.4

180.6

173.14

180.9

Width (inches)

74.4

73.0

73.8

73.0

Height (inches)

67.4

66.5

64.8

67.0

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.3

8.2

8.5

8.4

Wheelbase (inches)

108.9

104.7

103.8

105.9

For the model year 2021, the Hyundai Santa Fe increases in both length and height, while the wheelbase remains the same. This has led to a slight increase in the cargo area. The relatively low ground clearance of the 2021 Santa Fe draws skepticism towards its off-roading abilities, but it seems more than enough for a light trail, but the Jeep Compass is by far the best off-roader in the segment, as highlighted in its 8.5” ground clearance. Standout exterior features of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe include:

  • Roof rails
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Projector type LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Heated outer rearview mirrors

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Safety

9.4/10

Hyundai is a very reliable manufacturer, and that reliability is not just limited to the longevity of their vehicles. Their vehicles have always had a strong focus on safety, and their more recent offerings are some of the safest vehicles in their segments, just like the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. It receives a 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, and the only non-5-star rating is the 4 stars it receives for the rollover risk rating. The IIHS named the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe as their Top Safety Pick for the model year. Notable safety features include:

  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
  • Parking Distance Warning – Reverse
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
  • Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

7.0/10

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs 2021 Honda CR-V

The Hyundai Santa Fe offers a more rugged package compared to the CR-V, although it isn’t very tough in and of itself. The CR-V is a well-mannered crossover both on and off the roads, although the Santa Fe demonstrates more composure when venturing off the road. As for comfort, the Honda CR-V has the upper edge but not by much at all.

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs 2021 Jeep Compass 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe can be described as a more road-friendly version of the Jeep Compass, but it offers much larger dimensions both interior and exterior. The only valid comparisons between the Jeep compact SUV and the Santa Fe are warranted due to the pricing. The Jeep Compass is a lot better than the Santa Fe when it comes to conquering uneven terrain. 

2021 Jeep Compass 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs 2021 Toyota RAV4

Both these vehicles are the pinnacle of practicality. They offer as much interior room as they can, along with plenty of refinement and ease of use to make things fuss-free. Toyota and Hyundai also offer comprehensive warranty packages and maintenance schedules to ensure the longevity of their vehicles.

2021 Toyota RAV4

 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Final Verdict

While the Hyundai Santa Fe shows off its true colors in its more expensive trims, the Korean manufacturer uses all its experience as a top carmaker to offer an equally valuable proposition in the cheaper variants. These variants offer bargain pricing for the features they provide, as well as allowing for a fuss-free ownership experience. 

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