Hyundai Santa Fe


Anything Korean is fashionable right now, from music to movies, food, and of late the smash-hit Netflix series ‘Squid Games’. If there is anything else to take out of 2021 that ranks amongst the smash-hit Korean releases, it’s the Hyundai Santa Fe.


  • The 2021 release of the Hyundai Santa Fe oozes elegance whilst offering a great everyday driving experience.
  • The model comes in six different exterior colour options and ample features.
  • The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a seven-year/200,000km warranty and a six-year/90,000km service plan.
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First released in 2000, this fourth edition of the hugely popular model has seen an extensive update this year. The flagship release from Hyundai is hard to place amongst its rivals and sits comfortably in a fusion space between luxury SUV and more gritty off-road-type contenders. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Santa Fe has become an icon for the brand.


If nothing else, the price places it sweetly in the middle of either chic or grit, at R869,500 for the top-end Elite or R769,500 for the Executive. The Sandton Times took this beauty for a drive around town, to get a better feel for the vehicle.


Hyundai Santa Fe
Totally transformed, the new Santa Fe is much more than a mere facelift – redesigned to convey a look of strength, magnificence and highly redefined luxury. Image: The Sandton Times

Whilst the front end of the new Hyundai Santa Fe is hotly debated, we think it looks dashing and elegant. The grille immediately draws the eye to the center, framed by eyebrow-like LED headlights – a premium look, for sure. Both Santa Fe models have their own alloy wheel designs, with the Executive enjoying an 18-inch size and the more elevated Elite with a choice of 19-inch or 20-inch. Along with the sculpted front bumper, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers a highly distinctive presence and powerful appearance.


Those looking for extra seating space will be happy to know the Hyundai Santa Fe is a 7 seater, although the fairly large boot packing 634L, shrinks to a quarter of the size with the third row in use. The drive is impressive, with a great-looking and feeling cabin, showcasing a great quality from the Korean car manufacturer. The Hyundai Santa Fe pretty much has it all, from Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Electric Drivers Seats to Push Button Start, Wireless Smartphone Charging, Dual-Zone Climate Control and more! At 4 785 mm (exterior, length), 1 900 mm (width), and 1 710 mm (height), the Santa Fe is bigger than the previous model.


Hyundai Santa Fe
The spacious interior comes with full leather seats and a new floating center console. Both derivates have paddle gear shift levers on the steering wheel for manual shifting, because the transmission controls on the center console are push buttons. Image: The Sandton Times

The model also features a useful remote way to switch on the aircon on a hot day, a few minutes before getting into the car. Press a combination of buttons on the smart key, and the car will get the aircon buzzing, whilst keeping the doors locked, to ensure a cool cabin when you eventually do decide to head to the office or shops.


Both editions of the Hyundai Santa Fe feature a 2.2-litre, turbocharged-diesel, four-cylinder unit, and an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Once again, driving the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is a whole new experience as the traditional gearshift is replaced with a handful of buttons to drive, park or reverse and a selector knob for the drive modes including Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Smart. An 8-inch infotainment system display, with touchscreen functions, provides hands-free convenience with Bluetooth connection to a cell phone, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.


Hyundai Santa Fe
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning will give a warning to the driver when reversing and rear bumper radar sensors monitor cross traffic approaching from left and right sides behind the vehicle. Image: The Sandton Times

Passive safety features include front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as a curtain airbag that also provides protection for other occupants of the car.


It’s a great vehicle for a long road trip combining both comfort and performance in a well-packaged offering. A likely contender for families, based on its great seating and space combined with sophistication, features, and attractive pricing.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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