2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Gets 2.5L Turbo, Efficient 1.6L Hybrid in America

17 October 2020 - autoevolution

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Gets 2.5L Turbo, Efficient 1.6L Hybrid in America

Hyundai of America has finally announced specs and details for the refreshed 2021 Santa Fe.

Besides cosmetic upgrades and a new luxury trim level, the SUV has received a pair of 2.5-liter engines and a 1.6-liter one.

The base engine is now a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, replacing the 2.4-liter just like we predicted. Power has gone up by 6 hp and 4 lb-ft to 191 hp and 184 lb-ft. This "Smartstream" engine features both multi-port and direct fuel injection, which should result in small efficiency gains. The gearbox of choice is still an 8-speed automatic while AWD is optionally offered.

The high-output model features a turbocharged version of the same 2.5-liter, which replaces the 2.0-liter turbo. The output has gone up to 277 hp and 311 lb-ft, increasing by 42 hp and 51 lb-ft over the previous model. So it's not quite as powerful as the Sonata N-Line, but it does boast a new eight-speed twin-clutch gearbox in place of the old auto, which could be the explanation for the efficiency boost of 2 mpg on the combined cycle.

The final new engine is something that has been announced for the European markets already. It's a hybrid system that combines a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with a 17- hp starter-generator motor and a 59 horsepower electric drive motor. The maximum system output is rated at 225 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, sent to the standard AWD system via a 6-speed automatic. Though not yet detailed, a plug-in hybrid will also arrive later next year.

Styling changes at the front make the 2021 Santa Fe distinct, setting it apart from rivals and other Hyundai SUVs. You have headlights that are integrated into a pinched geometric grille and strong LED daytime running light signatures which form a big "T" pattern. Changes are the back are less noticeable, but you do have full-width LEDs replacing the trim piece that used to connect them.

The interior of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe features larger infotainment systems, an 8-inch one for the base setup, and 10.3 inches of screen with the upgrade. A higher console resembles the design of the larger Palisade, also integrating the new pushbutton gear selector.

The Calligraphy trim level which made its debut on the Palisade has also been introduced here. The Santa Fe Calligraphy integrates fancy wheels, shiny trim, and higher-grade Nappa quilted leather. Available from $42,000, it will be the most expensive model in a range that starts from $26,275. 

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