Hyundai is hoping its that its updated Santa Fe lineup - which includes two hybrid variants - will appeal to buyers looking at their options within Australia’s seven-seat hybrid SUV segment, but the competition is tight.
Let’s take a look at how the Santa Fe Hybrid stacks up against its rivals, and what potential savings are on offer when switching over to one of Hyundai’s newest hybrid vehicles.
Starting Price: $63,000
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Hyundai Santa Fe - ELITE HEV (7 SEAT) Specifications
|Variant||ELITE HEV (7 SEAT)|
|Fuel type||UNLEADED PETROL/ELECTRIC|
|Transmission||6 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5500 / 1500|
|Fuel tank size||67.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.0 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Hyundai Santa Fe car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
Hyundai is introducing its Santa Fe Hybrid here in Australia in two variants split across the Elite and the Highlander trim levels.
The cheapest of which, the Santa Fe Elite Hybrid, is priced at $63,000, with prices rising to $69,550 for the Santa Fe Highlander Hybrid.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Santa Fe Hybrid Have?
The most affordable member of the Santa Fe Hybrid lineup, the Elite, comes riding on a set of 19-inch aerodynamic alloys, and receives LED head & tail lights, adaptive cruise control, powered tailgate, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, rear-view camera with parking sensors, power-adjustable heated front seats, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, which is paired with a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
Stepping up to the Santa Fe Highlander Hybrid adds a set of LED projector headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, LED interior lighting, Nappa leather upholstery with a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats with heated rear seats and an upgraded safety equipment list.
19-inch aerodynamic alloys
LED head & tail lights
Adaptive cruise control
Leather upholstery with heated front seats
Rear-view camera with parking sensors
12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
LED projector headlights (Highlander)
Surround-view camera (Highlander)
Panoramic sunroof (Highlander)
Nappa leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated rear seats (Highlander)
Hyundai Santa Fe Colours
The Hyundai Santa Fe range is available in a choice of seven colours, including Glacier White and Lagoon Blue as a no-cost colour option, with Typhoon Silver, Rain Forest, Magnetic Force, Taiga Brown and Abyss Black remaining optional extras.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Sante Fe Hybrid comes powered by an all-new engine design from Hyundai that pairs a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor that produces a combined 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with power for the e-motor supplied by a compact 1.49kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The hybrid engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the ground via an all-wheel drive system that gives the Santa Fe a stable and grounded driving feel at speed.
Other than the new hybrid powertrain, though, the Santa Fe retains all the important underpinnings that have made the Santa Fe a hit with families.
That means you can expect to enjoy the comfortable ride quality that Hyundai tunes specifically for Australian road conditions, and this does a great job at ironing out small bumps while staying stable in the corners.
The same goes for the lightweight steering rack that has been carried over from the standard Santa Fe and makes it particularly user-friendly and approachable for drivers new to large, seven-seat SUV bodyshapes.
This makes the Santa Fe easy to park and manouver in town thanks to the featherweight steering rack which offers a substantial amount of feedback to the driver as you pick up speed, making for a great all-rounder.
All of these ingredients make the Santa Fe the perfect companion for pretty much anything Australian roads can throw at it, offering a silky-smooth driving nature around town with the added bonus of all-wheel-drive stability at speed.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Stepping inside the Santa Fe is a treat- especially for those lucky enough to sit in the front two seats, while the rest of the cabin offers more than enough space for a family of seven.
The front of the cabin is incredibly spacious, even with the large central tunnel separating the driver and front passenger taken into account, it feels like there’s an endless amount of space up front.
The seats are extremely comfortable, with a heap of headroom on offer for tall adults, and a fully-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel accommodates the preferred driving position for all shapes and sizes.
As we’ve mentioned, the Santa Fe Hybrid is offered only in high-spec Elite & Highlander variants, which means the cabin is covered with leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, metallic highlights and even heated seats in the second row, which makes it extremely well-equipped, with some premium features sprinkled on top.
Storage options in the front of the cabin include a pair of cupholders, a small key stash and a storage area perfect for phones in the central tunnel, flanked by a massive folding armrest with storage inside and a pair of large door bins on either side of the cabin.
To make things even better, there’s an additional layer of storage sitting beneath the transmission tunnel that is perfect for bulkier items like bags and purses.
Move to the second row and passengers are treated to a comfortable bench seat that is able to slide back and forth for some extra legroom, with acres of leg and headroom even for the tallest of adults, and three ISOFIX anchors and top tether points for child seats.
It’s worth pointing out here that Hyundai is more than happy to swap out the seven-seat layout in favour of a six-seat configuration that adds a pair of Captain’s chairs into the second row.
The third row of the cabin is, of course, more suited to younger children where they’ll be happy thanks to a set of USB ports and air conditioning vents.
Finally, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a boot measuring 130L with all three rows of seats standing, which expands to between 571-782L with the second row adjusted, and to a total of 1649L with all rows folded.
Is it Safe?
The Santa Fe Hybrid receives the same five-star ANCAP safety rating as the rest of the range, which scored 94 per cent for adult protection, 86 per cent for child protection, 67 per cent for pedestrian protection and 78 per cent for its safety assist technologies.
As standard, the Santa Fe Hybrid picks up autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and junction assist, lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control and curtain airbags throughout the cabin.
Being based on the Elite & Highlander variants, the Santa Fe also picks up rear autonomous emergency braking, a surround-view camera, front parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Being a hybrid, fuel efficiency has been a top priority for Hyundai with its latest iteration of the Santa Fe, and the results are pretty impressive.
Officially, the Santa Fe Hybrid returns fuel economy figures of 6.0L/100km on a combined cycle, which is a marked improvement over the V6 petrol’s 10.5L/100km figures.
This makes the Santa Fe Hybrid a truly fuel-efficient seven-seat SUV and speaks to the fuel efficiency of Hyundai’s latest hybrid engine design.
Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Worth it?
One of our few gripes with the Santa Fe was the sky-high fuel economy figures for the V6 petrol version, which this model has directly addressed and created what is close to a flawless seven-seat hybrid SUV package.
We would welcome the addition of the company’s clever and fuel-efficient hybrid engine to the entry-level Santa Fe to make it even more accessible for buyers, but this seems more than likely for the future.
Other than that, though, the Santa Fe Hybrid takes the already impressive family package and offers some serious fuel savings over the standard petrol variant, and makes it well deserving of a spot on your shortlist.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Hybrid engine for Elite & Highlander variants only
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
12-month/10,000km service intervals
Fuel economy figures of 6.0L/100km
Smooth and refined drivetrain
Endless cabin space and family-friendly practicality
Significant fuel savings over Santa Fe petrol
Hybrid engine reserved for high-spec Elite & Highlander variants
Short service intervals
Braked towing power drops from 2500kg to 1650kg in Hybrid form
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Competition
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
|Kia Sorento HEV|
|Toyota Kluger Hybrid|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV|