Smile for the digital camera!

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Proponents of trickle-down economics argue that chopping taxes for the rich or giant firms advantages everybody as a result of their more money may be invested to create extra jobs or pay increased wages. Of course, it is doubtful whether or not this truly makes any financial sense, however such a top-down strategy does work in different fields, just like the automotive trade. Case in level: the Hyundai Palisade. With oodles of refinement and an upscale inside, it is one in every of our favourite three-row SUVs. Now, the Palisade’s all-around excellence trickles right down to the smaller Santa Fe, which has been considerably up to date for 2021.


  • Potent and refined engine
  • Comfortable experience
  • Upscale inside

Don’t Like

  • Low-speed transmission efficiency
  • Lack of ordinary driver aids

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe options mildly reworked exterior styling with a broader wanting entrance finish, contemporary wheel designs and some smaller tweaks. New powertrains are provided, too, together with a 2.5-liter base engine in addition to potent 2.5-liter turbo I4. A hybrid model can be out there, plus there are extra security and comfort options. Finally, similar to its massive brother, the Santa Fe is now out there in swanky Calligraphy trim. Inside and out, the car feels expressive with out being garish, a feat that is robust to attain.

Dressed in sultry Calypso Red paint, this top-of-the-line mannequin does a convincing impression of a luxurious car. Its seats are trimmed with supple Nappa leather-based and the headliner and roof pillars are swaddled in a suede-like materials. The Calligraphy additionally comes with a full-color head-up show, premium trim and specific up and down rear home windows, to call a number of of its myriad enhancements. Sure, there are some exhausting plastics right here and there, however the dashboard is usually gentle and there are miles of contrast-color stitching.

This adventurously designed inside can be extraordinarily useful. The bodily local weather controls and different secondary switches for issues just like the audio system are tremendous straightforward to see and attain, mounted on the Santa Fe’s upward-sloping heart console. This can be the place the push-button shifter lives, which is instantly intuitive. A skosh extra space for storing up high between the entrance seats could be good, however there may be an open bin beneath all these switches and knobs, the proper place to stash a handbag or small carry-out order.

Just just like the Palisade, consolation is without doubt one of the Santa Fe’s sturdy fits. The Calligraphy mannequin’s entrance bucket chairs, with their extendable decrease cushions, are long-haul soft, and so is the backseat. Passengers that do not get to experience shotgun are nonetheless coddled by glorious lodging, because the rear bench’s backside cushion is a superb top above the ground and there is loads of headroom and legroom to go round. The Santa Fe’s cargo capability clocks in at 36.4 cubic ft behind the rear backrests. Fold them down and also you get 72.1 cubes of junk-hauling house. That’s extra room in every place than you get in a Chevy Blazer or Nissan Murano, although the Ford Edge and Honda Passport are barely extra capacious.

Is this a luxury-car inside? Nope, it is only a Hyundai. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

As with passenger consolation and high-quality trimmings, there is not any scarcity of accessible tech on this car. Lower-end fashions now acquire an 8-inch infotainment display (1 inch bigger than earlier than), however fancier variants include a ten.3-incher that additionally options embedded navigation. Limited and Calligraphy trims are graced with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, although that is non-obligatory on the midrange SEL trim. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary throughout the vary, although counterintuitively, they solely join wirelessly on the Santa Fe’s extra primary grades. The up-level infotainment system is definitely one of many higher choices out there immediately, being each straightforward on the eyes and speedy. The consumer interface can be extraordinarily intuitive and the system promptly responds to inputs, virtually by no means stuttering or lagging. Really, there’s nothing to gripe about right here, although the identical cannot be mentioned concerning the drivetrain.

The Santa Fe’s new 2.5-liter turbo-four is an actual honey, tremendous {smooth} and suspiciously silent. It cranks out 277 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, way more of every than both the bottom engine or the hybrid. This prodigious output provides the car ample acceleration, critical scoot whether or not you take off from a light-weight or zinging down the freeway. Despite this sturdy efficiency, the Santa Fe can be fairly economical. With out there all-wheel drive, this instance is estimated to return 21 mpg metropolis, 28 mpg freeway and 24 mpg mixed, although in combined, real-world driving I’m getting round 24.5 miles out of every gallon of gasoline, higher than the marketed median.

This frugal displaying is aided by an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission. It shifts shortly and easily as soon as the car is shifting, nevertheless it’s not all roses. Unfortunately, when beginning off, the gearbox feels fairly unnatural because it connects the engine to the remainder of the driveline. Minor judders are detectable and there are little surges and sags, prefer it would not reply linearly to throttle inputs. Can we simply have the eight-speed torque-converter computerized that comes with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine? Please and thanks.

The Santa Fe’s 2.5-liter turbo-four is as potent as it’s refined. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Santa Fe’s transmission could also be its greatest dynamic weak point, however the remainder of this car’s driving expertise is nice. The inside is extremely quiet and the experience buttery-smooth. Sure, crisper steering could be good, as this SUV is something however sporty, and the brake pedal is on the sensitive facet, although these are minor complaints.

The Santa Fe affords loads of superior driver aids, although a number of of essentially the most fascinating ones usually are not customary. The base SE mannequin options computerized emergency braking, lane-keeping help and a driver consideration monitor, although it’s important to step as much as the SEL trim to get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Naturally, highfalutin Limited and Calligraphy fashions include just about the whole lot, further goodies like Remote Parking Assist, lane centering and adaptive cruise management. Hyundai’s implementation of these final two gadgets is among the many finest within the enterprise. When engaged, the Santa Fe tracks like a monorail, by no means sawing on the steering wheel or shedding monitor of the place it’s. The adaptive cruise management is equally {smooth} and confidence inspiring, whether or not you are in stop-and-go site visitors or bombing down the interstate.

The redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe is a wonderful all-around utility car. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Thanks to its upscale inside, over-the-road refinement and avant-garde styling, the brand new Santa Fe is a screaming deal and a very good midsize SUV, one other dwelling run for Hyundai.

Just just like the three-row Palisade, the up to date Santa Fe is a wonderful all-around SUV, one that gives loads of options and a near-luxury cabin in Calligraphy trim. You would possibly anticipate this car to value a younger fortune, however that is completely not the case. A base SE mannequin, sans any extras, checks out for round $28,185 together with vacation spot charges, that are $1,185. But even the top-shelf instance proven right here remains to be a wonderful worth. As it sits, my tester stickers for $43,440 with only one choice padding the underside line, a $155 upcharge for carpeted flooring mats.

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