23 February 2021

Hyundai Santa Fe 2021 Car Review

Going beyond just a minor facelift, the fourth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe model has instead been subjected to a radical redesign, making the popular SUV an even more attractive option for those in the market for a seven seater.

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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021
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Hyundai Santa Fe 2021

Perfect for the ultimate family adventure, the new Santa Fe now cuts a bold and rugged design, complete with a distinctive wide grille and integrated T-shaped daytime running lights.

The classy new interior provides a premium experience with more space, comfort and convenience features for the enjoyment of all occupants. With this in mind, the new Hyundai Santa Fe is priced accordingly from $89,990 (+ORC).

New looks

The aggressive new lines are especially noticeable in the front and rear lights. Hyundai may have taken cues from a European designer as they seem a bit Peugeot/Volvo-like in the new Santa Fe, but they do look fantastic. The aforementioned front grille opens out into the headlights creating a very wide looking stance.

Each side section of the new Santa Fe is characterised by a seamless line that connects from the daytime running lights all the way to the taillights, giving the car a sensuously sporty look. The increased width on wheel arches accentuate the SUV’s rugged and powerful character, which is also emphasised by large 20-inch wheels.

The new Santa Fe’s redesigned taillights are connected across the rear hatch by a slim illuminated bar (which is becoming a common fixture on modern cars) that complements the horizontal design theme on both the front and sides of the vehicle. The theme is once again expressed by the wide rear reflector and skid plate, creating a unique three-layered look.

Classy new interior

The interior takes the car to a new level of luxury for a car at this price point, with every component finished in premium soft-touch materials. The centre console sits high, giving the driver and front passenger the feeling of sitting in an armchair.

The buttons are all centred for intuitive and ergonomic use. In the middle of the redesigned centre console sits gear shift buttons, along with other functions that are often used. The shift-by-wire system allowed the designers to put buttons instead of the conventional shift knob.

For the first time, the new Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a Terrain Mode selector; a control knob located in the centre console to conveniently switch between different drive modes, optimising performance and HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) settings for a variety of different driving situations. This feature includes unique modes for sand, snow and mud, as well as eco, sport, comfort and smart modes (the latter automatically recognises the driving style and selects a mode so the driver doesn’t have to).

The new centre console’s layout freed up space for more storage in the redesigned lower dashboard. The console also accommodates a new 10.25-inch AVN (audio, video, navigation) touchscreen display with pre-loaded maps, satellite-based voice guided navigation, rear camera display, and complete in-car entertainment (with ambient sounds) and connectivity features.

For added convenience, the Elite and Limited models feature a power driver seat, which includes lumbar support (10-way on Elite, 14-way on Limited) so that the driver can enjoy superior comfort. Front passengers are also looked after thanks to an eight-way adjustable power seat, which includes height adjustment.

Remote Smart Park Assist (RSPA) is also available on the 2.2-litre Diesel AWD and 3.5-litre MPI V6 Petrol 2WD Limited variants, which enables you to start the vehicle and move the vehicle forwards or backwards remotely from outside the vehicle with just the key fob.

Our test car was the diesel Limited, which received extras like panoramic sunroof, smart power tailgate and LED low beam headlights. With safety feature additions such as Reversing Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot monitoring, and Surround View Monitor. 


If comparing with the new Kia Sorento we reviewed late 2020, the Santa Fe has dropped most of the interior controls down onto the large central console, and has a more simplified and luxurious interior space feeling. The drive and handling of the vehicle remain the same excellent quality.

At a glance


Hyundai Santa Fe Limited


2.2-litre CRDi


From $89,990 

ANCAP safety rating

5 star


148kW, 440Nm


Eight speed DCT

Fuel economy/CO2

6.1L/100km, 199g/km

Towing capacity

2,500kg (Braked), 750kg (Unbraked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

571 litres

Safety systems

  • Surround View Monitor (SVM)
  • Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision - Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance with Junction Assist (FCA-JX)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Six airbags
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)
  • Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)

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