2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD – Re-Driven Review in Cursive

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: more premium than Ultimate, an early mid-cycle refresh brings N series power & bespoke accenting to this popular mid-size family SUV.

ART OF WRITTEN DETAILS:  An age of digital has fostered a new, less esoteric meaning of signature. Many school systems across the United States are either adopting or proposing curricula devoid of instruction in cursive. Hearkening to an where the art of refined handwriting was appreciated Korean carmaker Hyundai is adding a finish level superior to their Ultimate line. 

WHY A RE-DRIVE?: With a dollop of mid-cycle refreshing since last toting around in the 4th generation of popular mid-size family crossover SUV, Roadblazing.com wonders whether a 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD is as fancy as the most sublime of nuptial announcements.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD Driving Hits:

  • New Smartstream family intercooled turbocharged direct injected 2.5L 16V DOHC gas inline-4 cylinder engine
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: slightly detuned N series 2.5T powerplant brings 42 hp, 55 lb-ft bumps mated to a new 8-speed viscous dual clutch transaxle and optional wet clutch differential all-wheel drive
  • 277 horsepower, 311 lb-ft of torque swings in at low 3500 rpm
  • +42 hp, +51 lb-ft vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate
  • New 8-speed automatic dual clutch helical transaxle
  • (optional) wet multi-clutch differential all-wheel drive
  • Impressively brisk acceleration
  • 23 miles per gallon, combined driving
  • 520 miles fuel tank range
  • Compliant road composure
  • Near luxury cabin isolation from road

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD Driving Misses:

  • Push button center stack transmission selector
  • Nose heavy 4000+ pounds
  • Hints of understeer fairly early into power band
  • Seeking out more road to steering feel
  • Transaxle Seeks highest possible gear
  • All-season highway tires lack all-terrain capability

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD What It Has Got:

  • From $28,185 (incl. destination) for a front-drive 8-speed planetary automatic 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 2.5 . The tested top trim 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD w/ 8-speed dual-clutch transmission = $43,635
  • Calligraphy replaces Ultimate at top of Santa Fe trim pecking order
  • Mid size family crossover utility vehicle
  • More premium sport sedan emulating styling
    • Fully widened molten metal grille w/ LED headlamps split by tandem vertical DRLs lowered to grille edges
    • Mirrored chrome lower body crease accent band
    • Lower arms of lateral boomerang taillamps lengthened
    • Rear bumper cover reflectors revised as thin bands
    • 19″ wheels
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: Optional classy quartz white metallic flake finish makes enhances rich quality
  • Solid build
  • Thicker pile carpeting
  • Optimal balance between tall road clearance & occupant ingress
  • 2nd Row door privacy glass tint
  • Wide seat spacing
  • Space saving floating center stack
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: lever-free floating center stack flow to console highlights simplicity and added storage space
  • Swallows sizable cargo
  • 60/40% split nearly flat folding 2nd Row seat backs
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: Cargo capacity nears the head of the class
  • Needs little explanation settings & media menus
  • Above par standard feature set
    • Heated mirrors, front seats, headlamp washers
    • Keyless comfort entry, ignition
    • Cruise control
    • Power windows full express x 4
    • Bluetooth wireless communications and music stream
    • 8.0″-inch touch LCD infotainment display
    • 6 speaker audio
    • Inductive wireless device charging (SEL trim and up)
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play and MirrorLink phone projection (SEL trim and up)
    • Wi-Fi
  • Good safety features & grades
    • IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick
  • Comprehensive driver assistance suite
    • Forward Collision avoidance w/ pedestrian & cyclist detection braking, blind spot & rear cross traffic warning
      • Available adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, park distance warning, surround camera, and auto high beams, adjacent Lane Watch video in gauge cluster, sonar rear occupant / parcel minder on exit & via BlueLink app (on higher trims)
  • 5 year / 60,000 miles bumper to bumper, 10 year / 100,000 miles powertrain warranties

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD What It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • No 3rd Row option
  • No CD /  DVD media player 
  • Calligraphy trim silver faced TFT instrument cluster gauge markings faint
  • No included maintenance
  • Long powertrain warranty halves upon resale

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD Almost Bespoke Feature(s):

  • Eco Suede headliner
  • 12.3″ -inch TFT twin gauge instrument cluster w/ lane watch cameras
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: dual gauges in TFT cluster can be switched to display adjacent lane cameras when signaled
  • 10.25″ -inch touch LCD cloud navigation split-pane infotainment display
  • Panorama tilt and slide power moonroof
  • Night cabin accent illumination
  • Harman Kardon 12-speaker 630 watt DSP premium audio
  • Quilted leather seats, heated & cooled front, driver’s 2 position memory
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: quilted leathers, front heating & cooling, 2nd Row heating & metallic power controls make for luxurious cabin furnishings
  • Heated leather steering wheel; 2nd Row outboard seats and
  • Power folding side mirrors
  • 2nd Row door sunshades
  • Approach activated 2-speed power liftgate
  • Power remote cargo bay 2nd Row seatback releases
  • Heads Up Display (HUD)
  • Surround view park camera
  • Brushed metallic switches & accents
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T Calligraphy AWD: brushed metallic controls, abundant pockets and quilted Harman Kardon speaker grilles adorn driver’s door


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T AWD Calligraphy = Extra elegant touches inside and out plus a detuned Hyundai N powertrain appeal to the more discerning family SUV shopper who insists on value.


Contributing Editor: P. Stamatis

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WHAT: All-new 4th generation TM 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T AWD mid-size family sports activity vehicle, replacing a successful 3rd generation DT Santa Fe Sport run.


Standard Power: 2359 cc, dual VVT-i DOHC 16V I-4 cylinder gasoline engine = 185 hp/ 178 lb-ft + 8-speed planetary automatic transaxle;

Optional Power: 1998 cc, turbocharged, direct injected, 2 x VVT-i DOHC 16V I-4 gas engine = 235 hp/ 260 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm + 8-speed planetary automatic transaxle;

 Idle Stop and Go – both powertrains

Optional Drivetrain: PTU to viscous multi-clutch differential all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: a larger adaptation of lil’ cute ute brother Kona’s deep Tiger Nose to Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture poured molten steel front end.

Graceful Grille: tall & wide corporate lattice hexagonal grille subtly curved at the lower risers, split to lower honeycomb grille

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate AWD: Wispy LED headlights make for broader fenders and more assertive corner DRL housings

Other Styling Notables:  Razor-like upper wrap-around LEDs underlined by span of metallic banding;  Inboard arrow chiseled lower corner turn indicator housings; Low cowl to dual valley hood;  Tall thin fender outline extending to creased beltline;  Rising creased cheatline and pronounced rocker panel;  Dramatic D-pillar Hofmeister kink softened by wrap-around boomerang taillamps;  Emphatic roof spoiler, mid & lower tailgate to rear quarter panel creasing;  Creased rear bumper corner back-up lamp housings;

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate AWD: A more expressively creased silhouette and gently tiered back end is supplemented by expected lower cladding and simulated skid plates

Clad & Skid -ed: Lower grey plastic body cladding, except at wheel arches, rising up at front & rear lower center fascia to accommodate simulated metal skid plates.

WHY: Mid-size family crossover SUV value standard bearer = elevated with +1 character lines and +1 tangible premium facets.




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