2021 Hyundai Santa Fe spotted 1st time in flesh with no camouflage [Update]

Update – We have reported on the features and specifications of the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid in a new story.

June 16, 2020 –

A few days ago Hyundai Motor Company digitally showcased its new Santa Fe portraying a bold and charismatic design direction with a host of features making it an ideal family adventure vehicle. Now we have the first real-world photographs of the car, courtesy Instagram accounts of TheKoreanCarBlog and Kurdistan Automotive Blog. Photos from the latter looks like the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid.

The car’s mid-life intervention is more than a mere facelift as changes have been made on all fronts and this makes the fourth generation of the Santa Fe quite distinct.

The entire front section is wrapped by the wide grille covering almost the width of the vehicle. The big grille combined with the lower air intake grille provide a wide and muscular stance. The grille follows the signature Hyundai design language with patterned inlays and houses the headlamps. LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are placed at the top of the grille. The ‘slashes’ through the headlights makes a unique T-shape at either end and is likely to be a lighting signature for new Hyundai SUVs like the 2021 Hyundai Kona.

The Santa Fe has a wider profile thanks to the increased width on the wheel arches which makes the SUV look tougher. This is topped off by adding 20-inch wheels.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe follows the industry’s trend of the light bar which connects the taillights. This further accentuates Hyundai’s theme of the horizontal styling. The rear reflector gets the same treatment and along with the skid plate creates a clean and unique look.

On the inside, the New Santa Fe is further enhanced with a redesigned interior providing more space, comfort and convenience compared to the previous generations of the Santa Fe. Most of the materials are finished in premium soft-touch materials. The centre console is placed high and now accommodates a new 10.25-inch touchscreen display with satellite-based voice-guided navigation, rearview camera and complete in-car entertainment and with the latest connectivity features.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe interior

The gear lever is now a shift-by-wire system allowing the designers to replace the conventional shift knob with buttons, clearing out the centre console. The centre console has a Terrain Mode selector which is a first for the Sante Fe range. It is a control knob which can be used to switch between various drive modes by varying the HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) depending on the driving situation. The modes now include sand, snow, mud, eco, sport, comfort and a Smart mode. The Smart mode lets the system to automatically recognise the driving style to initiate a suitable driving mode.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe gets Hybrid variant

Coming to the changes to the powertrain, for the first time, the Sante Fe comes with an option of a Hybrid as well as a full Plug-in Hybrid version. The Sante Fe is based on a brand new Third-generation platform which Hyundai says will significantly enhance the performance, safety and comfort aspects of the car. The new Santa Fe will be the first Hyundai offering in Europe based on this new platform. The car will go sale in Europe from September 2020 and we expect to receive the specifications of the hybrid variants closer to the launch.

Hyundai aspires to be a full-range car company and sold two generations of the Santa Fe in the Indian market. Hyundai could reintroduce the Santa Fe nameplate in India once the economy recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic and demand for lifestyle purchases is restored.

Update – We have reported on the features and specifications of the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid in a new story.