After spending years on Hyundai’s wish list for Australia, the Santa Fe Hybrid is about to go on sale as a new-generation replacement looms
Hyundai has confirmed a self-charging hybrid variant of the Santa Fe will go on sale in Australia this November – with a six-seater option also available to buyers.
Out of the Santa Fe’s four Australian grades, the hybrid variant will be sold only in top-spec Elite and Highlander guise, with the entry-level ‘Santa Fe’ and Active grades available with the 2.2-litre diesel and 3.5-litre petrol V6.
Hyundai will offer the Santa Fe Hybrid in the Highlander grade with a six-seater option for the first time, meaning the traditional three-seat bench in the second row is replaced with a more comfort-focused arrangement featuring two captain’s chairs.
With a focus on higher grades, the Santa Fe Hybrid will start at $63,000 before on-road costs, putting it above the entry-price of the Toyota Kluger Hybrid ($54,150) but below the closely-related Kia Sorento Hybrid $66,750.
It comes as prototypes of the upcoming fifth-generation Santa Fe are spotted with increased frequency wearing boxy Land Rover Defender-like styling, suggesting that the successor could go on sale before the end of 2023.
The Santa Fe Hybrid makes use of a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a 44.2kW electric motor that draws energy from a 1.49kWh battery.
Hyundai claims the Santa Fe Hybrid uses just 6.0L/100km in combined conditions, just besting the 2.2-litre diesel four-cylinder AWD (6.1L/100km) and far surpassing the front-driven 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V6 (10.0L/100km).
The Santa Fe Hybrid produces 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque which is sent through a six-speed automatic transmission and a mechanical all-wheel-drive system.
For context, the petrol V6 produces 200kW/331Nm and the turbo-diesel 148kW/440Nm. Both are fitted with eight-speed automatic transmissions but the oil burner makes use of a dual-clutch type rather than the traditional torque converter unit paired with the petrol option.
Buyers looking to tow should note the Santa Fe hybrid has a lower rating of 1650kg braked, while all other drivetrains can pull 2500kg under the same conditions.
As standard, the entry-level Santa Fe is fitted with features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, seven-seats with cloth upholstery, a leather steering wheel, LED headlights and an electronic parking brake.
Technology features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus an additional 4.2-inch display in the digital gauge cluster.
A notable safety update was released for the Santa Fe earlier this year, ushering in a centre airbag between the front passengers, bringing the total airbag count to seven.
Other standard safety tech includes rear parking sensors, forward AEB with intersection detection, blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance, rear cross-traffic assistance and adaptive cruise control with a stop and go function.
Stepping up to the Santa Fe Active adds larger 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery on the dashboard and seats, power-folding mirrors, rear privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, chrome finishings inside and outside the car plus more safety features such as safe exit assist and front parking sensors.
The Santa Fe Elite is the first grade to be offered with the new hybrid drivetrain and focuses on enhancing the level of luxury and convenience features.
These include a larger 10.25-inch multimedia screen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Harman Kardon sound system, rear sunshades, 10-way power adjustment on the driver’s seat and heating for both occupants in the front row.
A power tailgate and LED tail lights also join the fray, as do handy features such as USB ports in the third row and luggage nets in the boot.
While the Santa Fe Elite is sold with 20-inch wheels in both petrol V6 and turbo-diesel guise, the new hybrid option uses 19-inch alloys with a greater focus on aerodynamics to improve efficiency.
Sitting at the top of the range, the Santa Fe Highlander includes Nappa leather upholstery, ambient lighting in the cabin, heated and cooled front seats plus heating for the outboard second-row seats and the driver’s steering wheel.
Also included is a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, a head-up display, 360-degree camera, blind spot view monitor, key fob parking function and LED interior lighting.
The safety suite carries over from the Elite grade, however the Highlander also benefits from reversing AEB.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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