First look: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai’s Santa Fe gets a daring new facelift to help compete in a crowded SUV market.

In what’s been a week of radical front-end redesigns (see the BMW 4 Series Coupe), the Santa Fe has undergone a significant facelift ahead of its Australian launch in the second half of 2020.

Saying goodbye to the current gens cascading grille design, Hyundai has opted for a wide grille that extends across the entire width of the vehicle.

Not just for aesthetic purposes, the grille also integrates the headlights and separate LED daytime runnings lights (DRL), which form a unique T-shape when lit. 

An updated lower bumper and air dam complete the stylistic changes upfront.

Hyundai Santa Fe

At the rear, the Santa Fe’s taillights have also received some cosmetic upgrades. While the same shape has been retained from the previous generation, the chrome band connecting the two has been replaced with a slimline LED band. 

The long and sleek design is continued below to the wide rear reflector and skid plate to create what Hyundai dubs a “unique three-layer look.”

Along the side, a seamless line now connects the DRL to the taillights, and an increased width on the wheel arches, coupled with 20-inch wheels accentuate the SUV’s “rugged and powerful character”.


Inside, the Santa Fe has a new centre console setup that replaces the gear selector with a shift-by-wire setup. The infotainment system has also been increased from an 8.0-inch unit to a 10.25-inch touchscreen display.

The display comes with pre-loaded maps, satellite-based voice-guided navigation, rear camera display, and complete in-car entertainment and connectivity features.

For the first time, the Santa Fe also comes a with a terrain mode selector, allowing for a variety of driving options – including sand, snow, mud, eco, sport, comfort and smart. The modes can be selected via a rotary dial in the centre console. 

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Senior Vice-President and head of Global Design Centre SangYup Lee said the redesign was more than a facelift.

“We modernised the new Santa Fe with premium features and appealing aesthetics that are sure to add value,” Mr Lee said. 

“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.

“Besides, we’ve added numerous features and functions to create a truly family-focused SUV that is a pleasure to drive.”

Hyundai has yet to announce details and specifications on the engine line-up or pricing. But as an early indication the current Santa Fe starts $43,990 for the base-model Active 2WD V6 auto and the flagship Highlander AWD diesel auto comes in at $61,660 

The new Santa Fe will arrive locally in the second half of 2020.

Hyundai Santa Fe