Perhaps the biggest news concerns what’s under the 2021 Santa Fe’s hood: an optional hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a lithium-ion 64-kWh battery, and an electric motor. Combined output comes to an estimated 225 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Power is directed to an HTRAC all-wheel-drive system through an also-new six-speed automatic transmission. This AWD system features Normal, Sport, and Smart driving modes.
The old 2.4-liter four-cylinder is replaced by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Smartstream, producing 191 hp and 182 lb-ft, and paired to an eight-speed automatic. Hyundai claims this engine/gearbox combo increases fuel economy by about eight percent compared to last year’s model.
There’s a third engine option as well: gone is the 2.0-liter turbo-four, replaced by a new 2.5-liter turbo-four mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Peak horsepower is up by 18 percent for a total of 277 hp and 311 lb-ft. Fuel economy is also expected to improve.
Hyundai’s excellent SmartSense safety suite is standard, consisting of forward-collision warning, cyclist and junction-turning detection, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, and lane-keeping and lane following assists.