The Hyundai Santa Fe proves that luxury doesn’t need to come with a hit to your bank account.
The moment I sat in the driver’s seat I knew I was going to enjoy this ride. It’s the buttery soft seats, sleek console, panoramic sunroom, and sports mode that make this a sporty utility vehicle — and all that luxury comes at a starting price of $40,750, with the model we drove clocking in at $43,730. And that’s for the fully-loaded trim. You can still get a taste of that luxury with the base-model Santa Fe, which starts at just over $28,000.
What sets the Santa Fe apart from others is the in-dash side view camera. Having a live view of what is next to the car while keeping my eyes forward is a great safety feature.
This sleek mid-size crossover SUV is luxurious, smart, and fun to drive… all without the hefty price tag you might expect. The added comfort and convenience features we all want in a vehicle come standard in the Santa Fe, too, which means you can have your fun without needing to worry.
Easy Mountain Driving
We took the Santa Fe on a road trip to Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma (yes, Oklahoma has mountains!). My favorite part of the drive was winding our way up 2,500 feet to the top of Mount Scott. The view at the top was spectacular.
However, I was a little nervous heading down the mountain because it was a steep grade and I wanted to pull over to get a photo from one of the lookout points. That’s where the hill start/downhill brake control came in handy. It kept my speed the same as I was going down the mountain and I could focus on steering while not worrying if I was going too fast. Paired with the Calligraphy’s standard all-wheel drive, this feature definitely made the descent a breeze.
No chance of forgetting your kids in the backseat!
If you have mom brain and prone to leave your restaurant leftovers, groceries, flowers, or heaven-forbid a quiet child (is that even a thing?!) in the backseat, then the Santa Fe is for you!
The rear occupant alert system comes standard in the Santa Fe, which reminds the driver to check the backseat before exiting the vehicle. Gone are the days of leaving important cargo in the back of the car!
Perfect for driving around town running errands or for taking long road trips, the Santa Fe has you covered. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much trunk space there is! That back is extremely roomy, so if you need an extra storage place, you’ll find plenty.
Related: The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe: A Favorite SUV Redesigned with Upgrades and Safety Features You Need
A Quiet Ride and Excellent Mileage
Well, I first need to preface that the quiet ride will only happen when you leave the kids at home. That said, this fuel-efficient SUV gets great gas mileage and is a smooth, quiet ride on the freeway and while cruising around town.
My favorite features
- Toned, beautiful interior
- Cooled seats, which is great for hot summer days
- Acceleration in Sport Mode
- Cargo space for luggage
- Panoramic sunroof
- Heated steering wheel
- Wireless device charging
- Comfortably seats 5
Who should buy this car
- Small families
- Families who enjoy taking road trips
- Drivers who want a comfortable ride for long road trips
- Those who want a good warranty
- Those who want an affordable luxury car
What the 2021 Santa Fe Calligraphy Costs
The Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy is the top-of-the-line trim for the Santa Fe.
- Base price – $40,750
- Quartz White Paint – $300
- Carpeted Floor Mats – $155
- Price of the 2021 Santa Fe Calligraphy that I drove with the added $1,175 delivery fee – $43,730
The other trims are as follows, with the delivery fee added:
- Santa Fe SE: 4-cylinder engine that makes 191 horsepower, cloth seats, 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standard safety features, 18-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control; $28,185
- Santa Fe SEL: Add push-button start, blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, optional hybrid powertrain, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist; $29,985
- Santa Fe Limited: Add optional 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, 19 inch wheels, surround-view monitor; $39,935
- Santa Fe Calligraphy: Add all-wheel drive, Nappa leather, color head-up display, 20-inch wheels; $41,935
There are also three different hybrid options: Blue hybrid ($34,835), SEL premium hybrid ($38,785), and Limited hybrid ($41,135).
Specs You Need to Know
- 20’ Alloy Wheels
- Turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 235 horsepower
- All-wheel drive
- Hands-free smart liftgate
- Four USB ports
- 10.25” navigation screen
- Fuel economy: 21 city / 28 highway / 24 combined
How Much Can the Hyundai Santa Fe Tow?
If you’re looking for some on-the-go towing capacity, you’ll have a bit in the Santa Fe. You’ll need to make sure that you have the all-wheel drive option (standard on the Calligraphy), which means the Hyundai Santa Fe can tow 3,500 pounds. That’s enough to tow hobby boats, small popup or tent campers, or a few motorcycles, ATVs, or jet skis.
Make sure you mention to your dealership that you’re looking to tow. They’ll make sure you’re outfitted with a tow hitch.
Disclosure: Hyundai provided me with a Santa Fe for my review. All opinions are my own.