Mid-cycle refreshes are a big deal at Hyundai, and this just-unveiled 2021 Santa Fe is one fine example of the same. The new Santa Fe facelift has a fully revamped front end, an updated interior and a new platform.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe features an entirely new front end. The Composite Light design is still there but in a new look. The upper lights are even sharper, while the lower lights, unlike in the old model, have a horizontal orientation. A DRL of the upper and lower lights together form a T-shaped structure. The radiator grille and lower lights have gotten a bizarre new look.
While the new radiator grille’s geometric patterned inlay lends a more sophisticated styling, its shape isn’t the most appealing element at the front. The lower air intake has a clamped shape that extends the horizontal line to underline the width of the SUV. On the sides, there are bigger, 20-inch wheels to further amplify the powerful character of the mid-sizer. The new highlights of the rear end are the redesigned tail lights and a slim illuminated bar on the tailgate connecting them.
Inside, new in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe features is a bridge-type high console that gives the feeling of a luxurious vehicle, a 12.3-inch customisable fully-digital instrument cluster, a bigger, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a button-type shift-by-wire transmission.
Hyundai has revealed that the new Santa Fe sits on the Mk8 Hyundai Sonata's platform now, which has led to an increased length. The new platform allows significant improvements in performance, handling, fuel efficiency and safety. For the first time in a Santa Fe, there's a Terrain Mode selector now. It allows the driver to switch between different drive modes, for sand, snow and mud surfaces, as well as, eco, sport, comfort and smart driving styles. NVH levels have been improved through reinforced sound-absorbing systems in vibration-sensitive components. Unlike the old model, the new model will be available with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The Hyundai Santa Fe didn’t sell well in India and that’s why it has been absent from showrooms from a long time now. The previous generation model was sold here, but only until the stocks of the pre-facelift version were depleted. The current generation model was introduced internationally in February 2018 and never made it our shores. We doubt even in the facelifted form it stands any chance of being launched.
Hyundai is more likely to launch the Palisade instead of the Santa Fe in India. Instead of competing in an overcrowded segment for a fraction of a small pie, it may find an even more niche segment a safer play and of more strategic importance with respect to brand value.