2021 Hyundai Santa Fe review: Trickle-down theory

Smile for the digital camera!

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Proponents of trickle-down economics argue that slicing taxes for the wealthy or big organizations added benefits all people because their extra income can be invested to make additional employment or shell out bigger wages. Of system, it can be dubious whether or not this essentially makes any economic sense, but this sort of a major-down method does perform in other fields, like the automotive business. Case in issue: the Hyundai Palisade. With oodles of refinement and an upscale interior, it can be one particular of our preferred a few-row SUVs. Now, the Palisade’s all-around excellence trickles down to the more compact Santa Fe, which has been noticeably up to date for 2021.

Table of Contents


  • Powerful and refined engine
  • Comfy trip
  • Upscale interior

Will not Like

  • Low-pace transmission functionality
  • Lack of normal driver aids

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe attributes mildly reworked exterior styling with a broader looking entrance end, contemporary wheel layouts and a couple of more compact tweaks. New powertrains are presented, far too, such as a 2.5-liter foundation engine as properly as strong 2.5-liter turbo I4. A hybrid model is also readily available, plus there are additional basic safety and ease attributes. Ultimately, just like its large brother, the Santa Fe is now readily available in swanky Calligraphy trim. Inside of and out, the motor vehicle feels expressive devoid of being garish, a feat that’s tough to reach.

Dressed in sultry Calypso Pink paint, this major-of-the-line product does a convincing impression of a luxury motor vehicle. Its seats are trimmed with supple Nappa leather and the headliner and roof pillars are swaddled in a suede-like content. The Calligraphy also comes with a full-coloration head-up screen, premium trim and specific up and down rear windows, to name a couple of of its myriad enhancements. Certain, there are some really hard plastics in this article and there, but the dashboard is largely delicate and there are miles of distinction-coloration stitching.

This adventurously created interior is also extremely purposeful. The actual physical weather controls and other secondary switches for items like the audio method are tremendous straightforward to see and arrive at, mounted on the Santa Fe’s upward-sloping centre console. This is also exactly where the push-button shifter life, which is instantly intuitive. A skosh additional storage space up major concerning the entrance seats would be good, but there is an open up bin beneath all all those switches and knobs, the fantastic location to stash a purse or little have-out purchase.

Just like the Palisade, ease and comfort is one particular of the Santa Fe’s strong suits. The Calligraphy model’s entrance bucket chairs, with their extendable decreased cushions, are prolonged-haul cushy, and so is the backseat. Travellers that don’t get to trip shotgun are however coddled by outstanding accommodations, as the rear bench’s bottom cushion is a great height over the flooring and there’s plenty of headroom and legroom to go around. The Santa Fe’s cargo ability clocks in at 36.four cubic toes powering the rear backrests. Fold them down and you get seventy two.one cubes of junk-hauling space. That’s additional area in each individual situation than you get in a Chevy Blazer or Nissan Murano, nevertheless the Ford Edge and Honda Passport are slightly additional capacious.

Is this a luxury-car or truck interior? Nope, it can be just a Hyundai. 

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As with passenger ease and comfort and significant-top quality trimmings, there’s no scarcity of readily available tech in this motor vehicle. Lessen-end types now gain an eight-inch infotainment monitor (one inch larger than just before), but fancier variants appear with a ten.three-incher that also attributes embedded navigation. Constrained and Calligraphy trims are graced with a 12.three-inch digital instrument cluster, nevertheless this is optional on the midrange SEL trim. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are normal throughout the vary, nevertheless counterintuitively, they only join wirelessly on the Santa Fe’s additional standard grades. The up-amount infotainment method is simply one particular of the better choices readily available these days, being each straightforward on the eyes and fast. The user interface is also extremely intuitive and the method immediately responds to inputs, almost hardly ever stuttering or lagging. Really, there’s very little to gripe about in this article, nevertheless the exact are unable to be mentioned about the drivetrain.

The Santa Fe’s new 2.5-liter turbo-4 is a genuine honey, tremendous easy and suspiciously silent. It cranks out 277 horsepower and 311 pound-toes of torque, considerably additional of each individual than both the foundation engine or the hybrid. This prodigious output offers the motor vehicle enough acceleration, severe scoot whether or not you’re taking off from a mild or zinging down the freeway. Inspite of this strong functionality, the Santa Fe is also pretty cost-effective. With readily available all-wheel drive, this example is estimated to return 21 mpg metropolis, 28 mpg freeway and 24 mpg combined, nevertheless in mixed, genuine-entire world driving I am acquiring around 24.5 miles out of each individual gallon of gasoline, better than the advertised median.

This frugal demonstrating is aided by an 8-pace twin-clutch automatic transmission. It shifts swiftly and easily after the motor vehicle is shifting, but it can be not all roses. Sadly, when beginning off, the gearbox feels pretty unnatural as it connects the engine to the rest of the driveline. Insignificant judders are detectable and there are small surges and sags, like it would not reply linearly to throttle inputs. Can we just have the 8-pace torque-converter automatic that comes with the by natural means aspirated 2.5-liter engine? Make sure you and thank you.

The Santa Fe’s 2.5-liter turbo-4 is as strong as it is refined. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Santa Fe’s transmission may possibly be its major dynamic weakness, but the rest of this vehicle’s driving encounter is pleasurable. The interior is incredibly quiet and the trip buttery-easy. Certain, crisper steering would be good, as this SUV is anything but sporty, and the brake pedal is on the touchy aspect, nevertheless these are small problems.

The Santa Fe delivers plenty of highly developed driver aids, nevertheless many of the most appealing kinds are not normal. The foundation SE product attributes automatic unexpected emergency braking, lane-trying to keep support and a driver attention check, nevertheless you have to step up to the SEL trim to get blind-location monitoring and rear cross-traffic warn. By natural means, highfalutin Constrained and Calligraphy types appear with rather a great deal every thing, added goodies like Remote Parking Assist, lane centering and adaptive cruise manage. Hyundai’s implementation of all those past two things is amid the best in the company. When engaged, the Santa Fe tracks like a monorail, hardly ever sawing at the steering wheel or shedding track of exactly where it is. The adaptive cruise manage is equally easy and self-assurance inspiring, whether or not you’re in prevent-and-go traffic or bombing down the interstate.

The redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe is an outstanding all-around utility motor vehicle. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Thanks to its upscale interior, above-the-road refinement and avant-garde styling, the new Santa Fe is a screaming offer and an outstanding midsize SUV, an additional home operate for Hyundai.

Just like the a few-row Palisade, the up to date Santa Fe is an outstanding all-around SUV, one particular that delivers plenty of attributes and a near-luxury cabin in Calligraphy trim. You could be expecting this motor vehicle to price a young fortune, but this is definitely not the circumstance. A foundation SE product, sans any extras, checks out for around $28,185 such as spot service fees, which are $one,185. But even the major-shelf example proven in this article is however an outstanding worth. As it sits, my tester stickers for $forty three,440 with just one particular possibility padding the bottom line, a $one hundred fifty five upcharge for carpeted flooring mats.

Maria J. Danford

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