2021 Hyundai Santa Fe facelift: Local specifications surface early

Facelifted seven-seat SUV to launch with four revised trim levels, and a price rise is expected.

The facelifted 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will gain a bold new grille design, be offered in a choice of four revised trim levels, and likely receive a price rise when it arrives in Australian showrooms by the end of the year.

According to an internal dealer bulletin seen by CarAdvice – though its contents have yet to be confirmed publicly by Hyundai Australia – the new line-up will include Santa Fe, Active, Elite and Highlander grades (instead of Active, Active X, Elite and Highlander as is the case currently).

While the document doesn’t detail pricing, dealers have been advised to expect a price rise of between $1500 and $2500 due to the increase in standard equipment and extra technology.

Note: Overseas Hyundai Santa Fe models pictured above and throughout this story.

As before, two engines will be offered locally: a 3.5-litre V6 petrol, and a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, though the petrol is mated to a conventional torque-converter transmission, while the diesel will adopt a dual-clutch design shared with its twin under the skin, the Kia Sorento seven-seater.

Outputs for both engines are yet to be confirmed, though a filing on the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) – a government database listing all vehicles certified for sale in Australia – lists a 200kW output for the petrol V6, and a 148kW claim for the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel.

The petrol V6 is expected to be front-wheel-drive only, while the diesel will be all-wheel-drive, as is the case with the current model.

Opening the local Santa Fe range is the eponymously-named ‘Santa Fe’ (no badge), expected to be priced just above the existing entry-level variant (currently $43,990 to $47,020 before on-road costs and badged Active). The list price changes according to the engine, with the diesel being more expensive.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels (with a full-size spare), automatic LED headlights and daytime-running lights, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear selector, black cloth seats, an electronic parking brake, rear parking sensors, reversing camera and wireless phone charging

Those features are joined by a range of drive modes (including a set of ‘Terrain’ off-road modes on diesel models), auto up/down windows, tyre pressure monitoring, manually-adjustable seats with electric lumbar support, second and third row air conditioning vents, heated side mirrors and roof rails.

The list of standard safety features is equally plentiful, consisting of six airbags, autonomous emergency braking with support for intersections, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keep assist, lane-following assist, high-beam assist, multi-collision braking (which applies the brakes after a crash to prevent successive accidents), blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, the latter two features capable of detecting and braking for obstacles.

All Australian-delivered Santa Fe variants feature seven seats.

Stepping up to the Active – now a mid-spec model, given the addition of the base ‘Santa Fe’ – adds 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed seats and dashboard, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, gear shift buttons (as opposed to a traditional gear lever), front parking sensors and rear privacy glass.

Above: European-spec Santa Fe interior, with a digital instrument cluster, large infotainment screen and tan leather equivalent to Australia’s flagship Highlander grade.

The Active also adds rain-sensing wipers, power-folding mirrors, remote rear-door ‘child locks’ and mirror-mounted puddle lamps.

The penultimate member of the facelifted Santa Fe range is the Elite, likely priced around $54,000 to $57,000 plus on-road costs.

It adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and DAB+ digital radio, premium Harman/Kardon sound system, dark chrome-trimmed grille (up from the base and Active’s black plastic unit), electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, three USB charging ports, power tailgate, rear window curtains, Rear Occupant Alert and a luggage net in the boot.

Sitting atop the local range is the Highlander, expected to be priced around $60,000 to $63,000 before on-road costs (depending on engine).

Compared to the Elite, the Highlander gains unique 20-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured exterior trim, nappa leather interior trim, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, panoramic glass sunroof, head-up display, 360-degree camera, heated and ventilated front seats with memory driver and power-adjustable passenger seats, heated outboard rear seats and steering wheel and ambient LED cabin lighting.

Other additions include LED projector-beam headlights, LED tail-lights and a variety of advanced safety features, including reverse autonomous emergency braking, Blind-Spot View Monitor (which projects a camera feed from the side mirrors into the instrument cluster), and Remote Smart Parking Assist, which allows the vehicle to be moved forward or backwards into a parking space remotely from the key fob.

Above: European-market Santa Fe’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, available on Australia’s Highlander grade

The range of available exterior colours consists of Typhoon Silver, Magnetic Force (grey), Phantom Black, Taiga Brown, Rain Forest (green), Lagoon Blue, Glacier White and White Cream, with all colours bar the latter three commanding an additional price premium. However, not all colours are available on all variants.

While all models offer black-hued seat trim as standard, Elite buyers can opt for ‘Cognac’ (brown) leather, while Highlander customers have the option of ‘Camel’ (tan) nappa leather.

Above: high-spec, US-market Hyundai Santa Fe on not-for-Australia 19-inch wheels

However, certain interior trim choices can’t be optioned with particular exterior colours – for example, brown leather cannot be had on Typhoon Silver, Taiga Brown or Rain Forest Elite models, while tan trim is available with all Highlander colours bar Typhoon Silver.

The facelifted 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is expected to launch in Australia by the end of 2020. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for an official pricing and specifications announcement, expected in the coming weeks.

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