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Car Review: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2

22 June 2021 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Motor Matcher’s car reviews are back! Last time, we did a thorough car comparison of two up-and-coming Volkswagen automobiles. This time, we came up with yet another incredible car that’s worth reviewing since this could be on your auto-sharp eyes and you could be looking to drive one - the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2.

The simpler but evidently more jam-packed Santa Fe lineup from Hyundai, the South Korean car manufacturer behind these, has introduced higher tiers Active, Elite, and Highlander trims atop its base model. Would this mean the base model isn’t the trademark Santa Fe we have previously seen from the past few years?

Let us take a closer look at what it has to offer for us.


The engine and what’s under the hood

The entry-level spec of Santa Fe offers sets of specifications that can be well-liked by those with the taste for simplicity.

The diesel engine, although seemingly a match from the earlier versions of the model, has actually been kicked up a notch. The 148kW/440 Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel is up 1 kilowatt compared to last year’s model. The engine has also been more thoroughly revised with an all-new alloy block and a quieter timing belt in place of a chain to name a few.

Another great addition to the engine is the new eight-speed dual-clutch auto that jives very well with the transmission. Between gears, the addition is a very smooth one, showing no trouble choosing the appropriate gear for any given road conditions.

Hyundai has also claimed the Santa Fe can go the distance while saving up fuel consumption - a very minimal 6.1 litres per 100 km covered. This was a significant reduction from last year’s figures, which was measured at 7.5 litres per 100 km of distance driven. On the test run by Car Advice, Santa Fe base model consumed around 6.8 litres of fuel on 100 kilometres traveled.

Other details for the Santa Fe base model in terms of engine:

  • Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
  • Transmission: Eight-speed dual clutch automatic
  • Power and torque: 148kW at 3800 rpm, 440Nm at 1750-2750 rpm
  • Fuel claim: 6.1 L/100 km
  • Fuel efficiency test per Car Advice: 6.8 L/100 km


Driving experience

The all-wheel drive Santa Fe base model has more to offer for the ultimate driving experience just for you.

It has managed to run away from the surging and stumbling of some dual clutch autos for low speed shuffling, an advantage you can consider if you are on for a more comfortable weaving through traffic or lining up a tight car park. Steering is also a good one for use around town and is positioned just enough for a comfortable drive out on the open.

Smaller wheels and taller sidewalls have also made the base model a great choice for tough roads, as it provides impact protection, and it pairs well with a suspension tune guaranteed to keep the comfort in driving. Hyundai also got around with trying to make Santa Fe soft and in not doing so, the balance is kept in place.

Weekend tow needs? Santa Fe has also got that locked in for you. The range is weighted at 2500kg but with a 200kg tow bar load, it works just enough for most light to mid-duty applications.


Santa Fe Interior sneak peek

Santa Fe base model prides itself with not coming up short in terms of its interior appeal, and indeed, it has. The spacious interior paired with comfy seats and other equally considerable additions and features truly make it worth checking out.

The traditional centre console boasts itself as a very spacious area to keep some of your car’s little valuables, such as the car keys. A stash space aplenty as this one can also provide add-on storage for other keys and wallets, plus a few pocket shelves right in the front passenger seat.

The first and second row seats aren’t shabby in terms of head and leg room. The middle seating lane is a penury no more thanks to the flat floor that allows sliding on the middle row.

The third row is ideal for kids as it is in proportion to their size. Getting in and out is also not something to worry about. Luggage can also be placed in there if you intend to and there is still spare space.

The choice of seat fabric is also something Hyundai deservingly needs a raise. Aside from the fabric being fluffy and soft, it has also drawn some functionality by design, as it is crafted to be water and stain resistant.

Other standard equipment include wireless phone charging, auto up and down power windows equipped on all doors, heated door mirrors, leather wrap for the steering wheel and gear selector, manual aircon with vents to all three rows, and LED headlights.


Safety in the Santa Fe

Safety is also Hyundai’s number one priority, and it has been shown through loading up several of its models with necessary safety features. The Santa Fe is also one of them, as it is equipped with the following - lane-keeping and lane-following assist, speed limiter with adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking and intersection assist, high-beam assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear occupant alert, and tyre pressure monitoring fitted standard.

Six airbags accompany the model before, but curtain airbags are designated only for the first and second rows, which could be a downside for a car supposed to seat seven.


The Santa Fe might not be that glamorous car you are looking for to begin with, but it will most definitely meet your driving needs all too well and you will still be able to grab a great steal of a ride with this Hyundai new offering, which stands out in its own way.

Searching for your ideal Santa Fe or other automobiles on demand right now? Maybe Motor Matcher can help you land and drive yours now! With our wide selection of cars, one of them could be the one that fits your ideal ride. Check it all out here at!