Changes to 2021 Hyundai Models Bring Redesigned Elantra, Refreshed Santa Fe, Calligraphy Luxury Trims

Jack R. Nerad | Dec 15, 2020

Hyundai model lineup changes for 2021 include an all-new Elantra compact car, a significantly updated Santa Fe midsize SUV, a new performance-oriented Sonata midsize sedan variant, a new Calligraphy trim level to define upscale luxury, and a wealth of upgrades and equipment changes across the board. All 2021 Hyundai models come with three years of free scheduled maintenance and, where offered, three years of free Blue Link connected services, in addition to the automaker’s industry-leading warranty coverage.

2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line Gray Front Quarter View

2021 Hyundai Accent Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Hyundai makes minimal changes to the 2021 Accent subcompact car. Two colors — Urban Gray and Linen Beige — are pulled from the 2021 color palette in favor of new Forge Gray. 

2021 Hyundai Elantra Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The all-new seventh-generation 2021 Elantra compact sedan is longer, wider, and lower than before, and features dramatic new design elements that instantly identify it as the new Elantra. It comes in standard and new hybrid form, as well as in sporty turbocharged N Line specification. Hybrids and the Elantra N Line offer a more sophisticated independent rear suspension.

Highlights of the new car include available digital instrumentation, wireless smartphone projection, technology that transforms an Android smartphone into a digital key, and a full collection of Hyundai SmartSense driving assistance technologies. Hybrids are rated to get more than 50 mpg without a palpable loss of power or performance.

Coming soon: a performance-tuned Elantra N with significant capability.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq models carry over virtually unchanged from the 2020 model year. Amazon Gray replaces Summit Gray as a paint color choice. Buyers choose between hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric versions of the Ioniq.

Starting in 2022, Hyundai will transform Ioniq into a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) brand that will, according to the automaker, combine smart mobility solutions with connected lifestyle experiences. As the opening salvo, Hyundai will introduce three Ioniq EV models over the next several years starting with the 2022 Ioniq 5, a midsize crossover SUV based on the company’s all-new EV platform.

2021 Hyundai Kona Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

A new Night Edition is the big change for the Hyundai Kona, while the Kona Electric carries over with no changes at all from 2020. 

The 2021 Kona Night Edition uses the Kona’s available 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, pairing the powertrain with 18-inch semi-gloss black alloy wheels and LED headlights and taillights. Inside, the Kona Night Edition has aluminum alloy pedals, gloss black exterior accents, and a black headliner. 

Next year, the 2022 Hyundai Kona will get refreshed styling, upgrades to connectivity, and improved driving dynamics. A performance-oriented Kona N Line model will also arrive for 2022.

2021 Hyundai Nexo Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) carries over from the 2020 model year with no changes. It is a compact crossover SUV that emits nothing but heat and water vapor, and it is sold only in selected parts of California.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The addition of a new top-level Calligraphy trim is the big news for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade midsize SUV. Calligraphy trim includes unique 20-inch alloy wheels, an exclusive grille, premium exterior accents, and puddle lamps. Inside, Calligraphy models feature a microfiber headliner, quilted leather door panels, and perforated leather for the steering wheel. 

In other Hyundai Palisade news, a power sunroof, LED headlights, and wireless smartphone connectivity are now standard on the base trim level. The Palisade's trailer-towing pre-wiring is also upgraded from a 4-pin to a 7-pin connector design. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Along with refreshed styling the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe gets new powertrains including an all-wheel-drive hybrid version. 

The Santa Fe’s new standard engine is 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The optional upgrade is a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder promising an estimated 277 horsepower, teamed with an 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. The new Santa Fe Hybrid features a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine coupled with a new 6-speed automatic. Combined output is estimated to be 225 horsepower. 

Additionally, Hyundai introduces a new top-of-the-line Calligraphy trim level for the updated Santa Fe. It includes the more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, plus all-wheel-drive, 20-inch alloy wheels, a lush interior featuring quilted Nappa leather, and a full complement of technology.

2021 Hyundai Sonata Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

After a total redesign last year, small changes are the order of the day for the Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan. A safe exit assistance system is now standard starting with SEL trim, the SEL Plus trim now features 19-inch wheels with performance all-season tires, and Limited trim gains a 6-way power front passenger’s seat. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid arrived late in the 2020 model year, and it carries over unchanged for 2021.

The new 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line performance trim installs a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivering 290 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft. of torque. It pairs with an 8-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a specially tuned suspension, quick-ratio rack-mounted electric steering, and larger 13.6-inch front and 12.8-inch rear brakes. The N Line sits on 19-inch wheels with a choice between performance all-season and summer tires.

2021 Hyundai Tucson Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The Hyundai Tucson compact SUV carries over into the 2021 model year without changes, other than new paint colors. Coliseum Gray, Ash Black, and Red Crimson are now available while Sage Brown has been dropped. 

Coming soon, the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson will be improved in just about every way but the name. It goes on sale in the spring of 2021.

2021 Hyundai Veloster Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Changes to the 2021 Hyundai Veloster pertain primarily to the performance-tuned N version of the car. Hyundai eliminates the Veloster N base model and adds the former Performance Pack features as standard equipment. A new 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission is available as an alternative to the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, and the seats are upgraded to a light sport bucket design. Several new functions have also been added to the Veloster’s SmartSense driver's assistance feature set.

2021 Hyundai Venue Changes - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The small Hyundai Venue entry-level SUV gets packaging changes for 2021, and the automaker also discontinues the 6-speed manual transmission. Aluminum alloy wheels are now standard, sized 15 inches with SE trim and 17 inches with SEL and Denim versions of the vehicle. The Venue SEL also adds a sliding armrest storage box and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning system are now part of the SEL and Denim standard equipment list as well. 

Hyundai Motor America is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 11, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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