Amelia reviews the new facelift 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe in the top Highlander trim.

In Australia, we love the Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s one of the most popular medium SUVs in its price range.

At first look, the latest update brought a lot of changes, but Hyundai doesn’t really call its latest Santa Fe ‘all new’. Instead, despite the changes, this is officially a facelift for 2021.

In total there are four trims, starting from just under $45k MSRP for the entry-level petrol model and all the way up to over $65k MSRP for this top of the range in the more expensive diesel guise. Trims include the entry Santa Fe, Active, Elite and Highlander.

Engine Specifications


Engine: 2.2L D4HIII 2.2 VGT 16 Valve (HLA) Turbo-charged Diesel 
Power: 148 kW @ 3800 rpm
Torque: 440 Nm @ 1750-2750 rpm
Transmission: Smartstream Wet 8DCT – Wet friction 8 speed
Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) 

Fuel Consumption (combined): 6.1L/100km


Engine: 3.5L G6DIII 3.5 MP 24 Valve (HLA Naturally aspirated 
Power: 200 kW @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 331 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Transmission: Smartstream 8AT – 8 speed automatic
Fuel Consumption (combined): 10.5L/100km

Now, there are two engine variants that come with some features related to each of them respectively and there are a few reasons why I actually prefer the diesel variant. Let me tell you what they are on paper and then we’ll see if they translate well to the driving experience.

The V6 petrol is FWD only, while diesel is AWD. The petrol is a 3.5 V6 and the diesel is a 2.2 inline 4, but the diesel is turbocharged. While the power of the petrol is higher at 200 kW vs 148 kW for the diesel, torque is definitely on the side of the diesel. You get 440 Nm vs 331 Nm in the petrol.