Santa Fe is a pleasantly upscale midsize metropolis in New Mexico; calligraphy is the artwork of well-executed penmanship. One way or the other, Hyundai has utilized each to a automobile to indicate the highest trim stage of its midsize, two-row SUV—a pleasantly upscale automobile, particularly properly executed for 2021. Ah, now I get it.
For 2021, the made-over Santa Fe comes with a alternative of three new powerplants: a regular 2.5-liter, 191-horsepower 4 obtainable with front-wheel or all-wheel drive; a 2.5-liter turbo 4 with 277 horsepower and AWD; and an AWD hybrid that mixes a 1.6-liter turbo 4 with an electrical motor to make 277 horsepower. Every engine will get its personal transmission, too—respectively, an 8-speed computerized, an 8-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox and a 6-speed computerized. The e-brake engages routinely in Park—a pleasant contact.
Our Calligraphy mannequin has the large engine and the crisp gearbox, and the efficiency is shocking—loads of energy and a cushty, very quiet trip with good suggestions and reliable dealing with. Hyundai has beefed up the braking system with larger rotors and extra increase, however at parking-lot speeds the brakes are a bit sensitive.
The AWD routinely splits the torque between the entrance and rear axles relying on the climate and highway situations; Hyundai says it additionally takes under consideration hill begins, straight-line acceleration and medium- and high-speed cornering. The motive force can choose Regular, Sport or Sensible modes, too.
The Calligraphy package deal consists of semi-autonomous driving—the “good” cruise management not solely follows the automobile forward, it’s additionally linked to the GPS system, so it is aware of when a curve is developing and adjusts the throttle to swimsuit. After all, there’s additionally lane-keeping help, and the emergency braking system (which additionally works when backing up) can now acknowledge a bicycle in addition to different autos and pedestrians.
However the very best security function is a pair of blind-spot cameras: Activate both flip sign and a view of the blind spot on that aspect—and no matter could also be lurking in it—exhibits up within the instrument panel. The picture shows on the left or proper aspect of the display, per whichever flip sign is in use. I’m additionally a giant fan of the split-screen backup digicam, which exhibits an enhanced hen’s-eye view of the Santa Fe in relation to no matter is close by:
The Calligraphy trim consists of (amongst many different issues) power-folding aspect mirrors with turn-signal indicators and “puddle” lighting; an unusually informative colour head-up show for the motive force; voice-activated energy tailgate, stereo and heating/cooling; a digital key with remote-start, cabin temperature and seat settings; good parking help; an upgraded stereo and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay apps. There’s even a monitor that reminds us (by blowing the horn and texting) if youngsters or pets are left within the again seat. And one other one which warns us about opening the doorways if there’s a automobile coming from behind. This can be essentially the most complete array of lively and passive security programs I’ve seen on a automobile.
For a 12 months or extra now, starting with the brand new three-row Palisade mannequin, each new Hyundai has proven spectacular styling, match, end and a focus to element. With its recent sheet metallic plus the upgraded efficiency, lengthy listing of options and engaging inside, the Santa Fe Calligraphy reaches Audi-like ranges of sophistication. (At a look, we’d suppose this was a Q5.)
There’s a value to pay, in fact: $43,130, which incorporates supply. Contemplating the Calligraphy’s lengthy, lengthy listing of options, that is exceedingly good worth for cash. It’s additionally 1000’s lower than an Audi—however in case you suppose that is an excessive amount of for a Hyundai, the entry-level Santa Fe SE begins beneath $30,000. It’s much less highly effective, much less plush and far much less well-equipped, however it too comes with Hyundai’s lengthy warranties and three years of complimentary upkeep.
Silvio Calabi has been reviewing vehicles since Ronald Reagan eliminated the photo voltaic panels from the White Home. He lives in Camden.