Yet base pricing remains reasonable.
The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is more luxurious and looks better than ever, easily the standout amongst crossover rivals like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. But Hyundai is also continuing to go upmarket, evidenced by the new Calligraphy trim that gives the Santa Fe luxury vehicle status. Not surprisingly, buyers are being asked to pay a premium for that luxury.
CarsDirect obtained an early dealer order guide with pricing for the 2021 Santa Fe lineup. The least expensive Santa Fe SE begins at $28,025 (a $575 increase over 2020) but it's fully-loaded Calligraphy trim that's raising some eyebrows because it can exceed $43,000. To compare, the 2021 BMW X3 has an MSRP of $43,000.
Packed with premium features like unique 20-inch wheels, quilted Nappa leather, special interior accents, a suede-like headliner, and standard all-wheel-drive, the total Santa Fe Calligraphy tally comes to $43,475. To compare, the outgoing 2020 Santa Fe Limited AWD, previously the most expensive version, topped off at $40,750. Is the new Calligraphy trim worth the premium? If something like a full-color head-up display is a must-have feature, then yes because the Calligraphy is the only Santa Fe trim to have this feature.
It's also worth noting the 2021 Santa Fe is not a complete redesign but rather an extensive facelift. The bold new exterior is complemented by a heavily updated interior that comes with a 10.25-inch wide navigation system and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, advanced features most typically found in luxury vehicles like BMWs and Audis.
Pricing for the first-ever Santa Fe Hybrid, due later in 2021, is not yet available but reports indicate we can expect up to a $1,700 premium compared to the non-hybrid models. Assuming the Calligraphy trim will also be available with the hybrid powertrain, then we're looking at around $45,175 all in. X3 buyers typically load up on features but figure the average customer spends about $50,000.
Who would have thought that the Hyundai Santa Fe, when fully equipped, can cost the same if not, perhaps, slightly more, than a BMW X3. That day has finally happened.