2021 Hyundai Santa Fe arrives with updated styling and better refinement

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is not an all-new model, but it sure looks like it. Hyundai's redesigned midsize SUV is now brandishing a new fascia, an updated interior, and improved off-road capabilities with its first-ever Terrain Mode selector.

"We modernized the new Sante Fe with premium features and appealing aesthetics that are sure to add value," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and head of Hyundai's Global Design Center. The biggest and most noticeable change is the new fascia with a wider grille and repositioned headlights. The new grille is big enough to span the entire face of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the longer and wider lower air intake is designed to further emphasize its width.

Hyundai is offering two grille designs for the updated Santa Fe. Lower trim models receive a mesh-type grille design while upper trims have a shield-like figure with inverse triangle plates. The headlights are now integrated on the sides of the grille and are equipped with unique T-shaped LED daytime running lights.

Modern Hyundai vehicles like the new Sonata are known for having bold and snazzy lighting elements, and the 2021 Santa Fe is no exemption. The T-shape DRLs start from the top position markers and intersects downwards towards the headlights. Nice.

The horizontal theme continues in the back with a set of updated taillights, which are now connected by a slim light bar that spans the rear hatch. Also present are wider reflectors and a more prominent skid plate.

Equipped with new 20-inch wheels and wider wheel arches, the new Santa Fe has a more aggressive and butch presence. "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," added Lee.

For the 2021 model year, Hyundai also updated the Santa Fe's interior. According to Hyundai, the cabin is now festooned with more soft-touch materials and a higher-mounted center console, all of which are meant to solidify the sensation of comfort and luxury.

And for the first time, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is equipped with a Terrain Mode selector. Using a control knob in the redesigned center console, the driver can switch between driving modes for better on and off-road capabilities. The system has a Smart mode feature that automatically selects the best driving mode for any given scenario.

Also present in the center console is a new 10.25-inch touchscreen display with satellite-based voice navigation, preloaded maps, and a rear camera display. Engine choices are expected to remain the same, but we're pining for a more powerful version of the base 2.4-liter motor and a retuned 2.0-liter turbocharged mill. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is slated to arrive in Europe by September 2020 with North American deliveries expected to commence later in the year.