2021 Hyundai Santa Fe: Refresh Time Already

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2021 hyundai santa fe refresh time already

Hyundai apparently feels that boasting the freshest faces in the industry will help it woo the American buying public. With a full stable of crossovers now realized, it’s not a terrible strategy.

Just two model years after its debut, the midsize Santa Fe crossover (which replaced the Santa Fe Sport and necessitated a name change for the existing, larger Santa Fe to Santa Fe XL before that model’s metamorphosis into the less confusingly named Palisade) stands to gain a fairly radical new front end design.

Teased in a head-on photo by the manufacturer, the 2021 Santa Fe — which was no slouch in the looks department, in this writer’s opinion — gains T-shaped daytime running lights, plus a reshaped grille and front fascia. The current model is shown below for comparison.

It’s not an inconsequential refresh. The Santa Fe’s new face, which likely previews the visage of the upcoming 2021 Tucson to some degree, takes the CUV in a styling direction well removed from the brand’s safe-but-bland strategy of the mid-2010s. It’s aggressive, it’s sporty, and yet it remains affixed to a midsize family hauler.

Hyundai prefers to call the new look “rugged yet refined,” which is its prerogative. Were it not for the generously sized lower air openings, one could be fooled into thinking this face came with a sport coupe body in tow. Far from it. Still, the ’21 Santa Fe maintains the over/under headlight arrangement seen elsewhere in the brand’s crossover stable. A rear view was not provided (and would surely be less interesting had one been available).

The Santa Fe proved a hit when it landed for the 2019 model year, with sales rising markedly, despite the removal of the Santa Fe XL mid-year.

Clearly, Hyundai was counting on a June Detroit Auto Show at which to reveal the made-over midsizer. The coronavirus kiboshed those plans, leaving the automaker no choice but to debut its latest product online. More details, and presumably a full reveal, will occur over the coming weeks, Hyundai says.

The automaker didn’t offer up any details regarding powertrain changes for ’21; the model’s two four-cylinder engines are expected to carry over, though Hyundai did speak of “technological enhancements” inbound for the coming model year.

[Images: Hyundai]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on May 26, 2020

    It looks like nobody is interested in Santa Fe, so I found it beneficial to add this comment to support TTAC.

  • Spookiness Spookiness on May 27, 2020

    I just occurred to me yesterday that I can't recall having yet seen a 2020 Escape. Lots of older ones around still, and I've seen a few Ecosports, but no Escapes. Is it that bad?

    • Here4aSammich Here4aSammich on May 27, 2020

      I can tell you that they've hit the rental fleets. I tried one about a month ago. SEL with the 1.5l 3 yl. You haven't missed anything. The interior looked and felt cheap, right down the the fuel economy gauge cluster from the previous gen Focus/Escape. It wasn't slow, but I can tell you that it certainly wasn't fast. When you look at the pricing Ford slapped on it, you'll understand why you haven't seen many of them.

  • Kcflyer The solution is harsh punishment, long prison terms, for car thieves. I suggest two weeks for first offense (unless they run from the cops or commit other offenses. Second offense, thirty years hard labor. That should do it.
  • Oberkanone Installing immobilizer is the answer. It's not hard. It's not expensive.
  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.