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Hyundai Shows Its Tweaked 2021 Santa Fe

Hyundai shows its reworked 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Generally it takes three or four years for a manufacturer to propose big changes to a model once a generation is out there. Today, Hyundai is breaking with tradition by showing us its Santa Fe 2021, which benefits from major cosmetic changes, even though the current generation is fairly recent to the market.

Another twist in this story is that, just days ago, reports were indicating that the changes would be made to the model elsewhere in the world and that they would likely only make it to the North American model in 2022. Not so. The 2021 Santa Fe and its revised fascia and interior changes, will be with us before the end of this year.

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, profile
Photo: Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, profile

Not a new generation
To be clear, this won’t be a new generation of the Santa Fe, despite what some are reporting. The confusion is understandable, given that the model is now built on a new platform. The manufacturer's documents still refer to the 2021 as part of the model’s fourth generation, despite the announced changes and the new architecture.

Those changes are particularly visible outside and in front, and Hyundai has shown some daring. That translates into, some will like it, some won’t. But the objective was clearly to make people react here. Hard not to like that kind of approach.

Otherwise, the proportions are the same and the general look is not too much of a break with the current model that was introduced nearly two years ago.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, interior
Photo: Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, interior

On board, the focus was mainly on enhancing the quality of the presentation and, above all, the materials used. The biggest visible change has to do with the centre console, completely new for 2021. How new? Even the traditional gear selector is gone, making way for a button system similar to what you’ll find in Honda and Acura products. The multimedia system screen has also a revised design in style, and even though it's still floating, it's less cluttered.

As for the powertrain, we shouldn't expect any changes for the North American market, at least in terms of the engine choices (the current offers includes 2.4L 4-cylinder and 2.0L turbocharged units) are concerned. Fingers are firmly crossed that the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models promised for Europe make it across the pond sooner rather than later.

We'll have more information to deliver in the coming weeks as the model's launch date approaches.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, three-quarters rear
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, three-quarters rear
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, rear
Photo: Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, rear
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, side view
Photo: Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, side view