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2021 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which Is Better?


The 2021 Chevrolet Blazer and 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe are two mid-size, 5-passenger SUVs at similar price points. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The Chevrolet Blazer nameplate dates back to the 1970s.
  • The Hyundai Santa Fe was the brand’s first SUV model.

2021 Chevrolet Blazer

2021 Chevrolet BlazerBase Price: $29,995 / Read our 2021 Chevrolet Blazer Review

What we like: Sharp-looking design inside and out; sporty handling; available V6; tows up to 4,500 pounds

What we would change: AWD unavailable with the two lower trims; driver-assists not standard on lower trims; richly priced at the high end

Overview: This Chevy nameplate may have been born out on the trails, but the 2021 Chevrolet Blazer is an urbane crossover whose chief calling cards are sporty styling and sharp handling. That’s particularly true of the Blazer RS, although its stiffer suspension exacts a toll in ride comfort. There’s plenty of room for five in the stylish interior, but some cabin materials are disappointing. Cargo space, meanwhile, is average for the class. A 193-hp 2.5-liter engine powers lower trims, but the 227-hp 2.0-liter turbo four offers more grunt, is more fuel-efficient, and can be combined with AWD. Our favorite, though, is the potent 306-hp V6 that’s standard on the RS and Premier and optional on the 2LT and 3LT. It can tow up to 4,500 pounds and can be paired with FWD or AWD, and the latter includes rear torque vectoring in the RS. The V6’s mileage is a not-so-great 22 mpg combined (FWD) or 21 mpg (AWD). The turbo four adds 3 mpg to those numbers and is the most economical choice. All engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic, which can be slow to downshift.

What’s new for 2021: The Safety Assist Package, consisting of forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT, 3LT, Premier, and RS trims. V6 Blazers with front-wheel drive can now be had with the trailering package (raising the tow rating from 1,500 to 4,500 pounds).

Features and technology: The Blazer is offered in L, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier trim levels.

All trims get a user-friendly infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, while the RS and Premier add navigation. Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT and above. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on 1LT and 2LT and standard on higher trims. Leather arrives with the 3LT. Adaptive cruise control and wireless device charging are optional on the two top trims. The RS and the Premier are the most desirable variants, but they’re also quite pricey. Better to option a 2LT or 3LT with your preferred features.

What does the future hold: The current-generation Blazer has been around since 2019, which means it’s likely to see a minor redo for 2022. See 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale near you

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Hyundai Santa FeBase Price: $28,035 / Read our 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

What we like: Loads of tech features; attractive pricing; choice of three powertrains including a fuel-efficient hybrid

What we would change: An off-road-themed variant would expand the Santa Fe’s appeal as would a sport-themed version; ditch the pushbutton gear selector

Overview: Already a strong contender, the freshened 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe boasts more features, better fuel economy, two new standard engines plus a gas-electric hybrid. Powering the base SE and the SEL is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 191 hp and an 8-speed automatic. EPA estimates are 26 mpg with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. Limited and Caligraphy models get a 2.5-liter turbo that makes 277 horsepower and pairs with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. With FWD the turbo’s combined fuel economy is just 1 mpg lower than the base engine, while the AWD turbo is the same as the AWD base engine. The turbo’s max towing capacity is 3,500 pounds versus 2,000 for the base engine. The hybrid (offered in SE and SEL form) combines a 1.6-liter turbo, an electric motor, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and standard AWD. It puts out 225 horsepower while delivering 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe is strictly a 5-seater, but there’s lots of room for people and cargo, and the interior has been upgraded—particularly in the luxurious new Caligraphy versions.

What’s new for 2021: The Santa Fe has been treated to an extensive makeover for 2021, with new engines, additional tech features, an enhanced interior, revised exterior styling, and a new top trim.

Features and technology: The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in SE, SEL, Limited, and Caligraphy trims. Forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability are standard even on the base model. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert arrive with the SEL trim level. An 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is standard on the SE and SEL, with a 10.25-inch unit optional on the SEL and included on higher grades (although the larger system has only wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). A digital instrument cluster, smartphone-as-key, leather, and Hyundai’s impressive Highway Driving Assist automated lane-centering feature are optional on the SEL and standard on the Limited and higher, which also get Hyundai’s neat blind-spot view monitor and remote smart parking assist. The top-drawer Caligraphy comes standard with AWD as well as Nappa leather stitched in a quilted pattern.

What does the future hold: The Santa Fe was just freshened for 2021, so Hyundai is likely to stand pat for a while. See 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe models for sale near you

Blazer vs. Santa Fe: Strengths comparison

Chevrolet Blazer Benefits: Powerful V6, 4,500 pounds max towing, sporty RS variant

Hyundai Santa Fe Benefits: Attractive pricing, available hybrid version, loads of high-tech features, more standard active-safety features, long warranty, 3 years/36,000 miles free scheduled maintenance

2021 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which is better?

The Hyundai Santa Fe takes top honors here, as its lower pricing, greater feature content, longer warranty, and free maintenance adds up to better value. See 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale or See 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe models for sale

2021 Chevrolet Blazer 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter I-4 2.5-liter I-4
Horsepower 193 hp  at 6,300 rpm 191 hp  at 6,100 rpm
Torque 188 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 182 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
Transmission 9-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 23 mpg (21 city/27 highway) 25 mpg (22 city/29 highway)
Also Available 2.0-liter turbo i-4; 3.6L V6 2.5-liter turbo I-4; hybrid; AWD
Specs
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 112.7 inches 108.9 inches
Overall Length 191.4 inches 188.4 inches
Width 76.7 inches 74.8 inches
Height 67.0 inches 66.3 inches
Turning Diameter 38.7 feet 37.5 feet
Headroom, Front 39.8 inches 41.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.6 inches 39.0 inches
Legroom, Front 41.0 inches 44.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 36.9 inches 41.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 59.1 inches 59.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 58.6 inches 58.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 107.8 cubic feet n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 30.5/64.2 cubic feet 36.4/72.1 cubic feet

Joe Lorio
Joe Lorio is an author specializing in automobiles. He says, “I have been into cars ever since I started with Matchboxes, and have been sharing my opinions about them for almost as long. Granted, I was pretty young at the time, but my parents really should have listened to me when I told them not to buy an Austin Marina.”

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