Next-Level Luxury: What is the Hyundai Calligraphy Trim?

What you get and how much extra will you pay for Hyundai’s most expensive trim level.

White Hyundai Santa FeHyundai

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Automakers are always seeking new ways to differentiate their products from the competition and squeeze additional profits out of existing models. A popular way to accomplish both of these goals over the past several years has been for mainstream brands to introduce a near-luxury "halo model" of a popular seller that provides extra features, design elements, or capabilities not found in more affordable versions of the same automobile.

Hyundai's halo model strategy centers around the calligraphy trim, which was introduced for the 2021 model year. Here's what to expect from the Hyundai calligraphy trim when ordering it on a new vehicle.

What is the Hyundai Calligraphy Trim?

The calligraphy trim is a range-topping edition available with Hyundai vehicles that aim to compete more directly with traditional luxury brands. It's presented as one step above the limited trim and relies primarily on unique design elements to separate it from other Hyundai.

What Vehicles Offer the Calligraphy Trim?

Hyundai makes the calligraphy trim available on the 2022 Santa Fe compact SUV and the 2022 Palisade three-row sport-utility vehicle—the largest and most prestigious vehicle in the brand's portfolio.

White Hyundai interior with calligraphy trimHyundai

What Features are Exclusive to Hyundai’s Top Trim?

On the exterior, the calligraphy trim adds a unique grille treatment, 20-inch wheels exclusive to the model, and silver skid plates front and rear. It also features LED lighting details not found on other editions of the Palisade or the Santa Fe.

Inside its seven-passenger cabin, the Palisade calligraphy adds wood trim, door panels that feature quilted leather paneling, a two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a choice between two-tone black and beige color schemes. Finally, it comes with additional soundproofing in the form of laminated rear door glass.

The five-passenger Santa Fe Calligraphy uses the same nappa leather found inside the Palisade but leaves behind the laminated glass and wood trim.

All Palisade and Santa Fe trims have an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive (FWD) with all-wheel drive (AWD) available.

How Does Calligraphy Compare to Hyundai’s Limited Trim?

The Palisade Calligraphy carries over all the Palisade Limited trim's equipment, including the "Ergo Motion'' seat (which uses inflatable air cells to massage the driver and front passenger), three zones of climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated seats across the first two rows, and a Harman/Kardon audio system to go with its 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Both Palisade trims are powered by a 291hp V6.

Not available on the Santa Fe Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models, the calligraphy trim is otherwise mechanically identical to the turbocharged 277hp four-cylinder Santa Fe Limited. The calligraphy adds a head-up display, ambient cabin lighting, and a micro-suede headliner over the next-step-down Santa Fe Limited.

How Much Do Calligraphy Trims Cost?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy stickers for about $43,000, $2,000 more than the limited trim. The 2022 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy starts around $48,000—about $1,500 more than the limited. Hyundai charges an extra $1,700 if you want AWD on either SUV.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.