The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will be available with a choice of three engine choices in Europe – new hybrid and a plug-in hybrid options will be sold alongside the diesel – when the facelifted model goes on sale later this year.
And Hyundai Australia has raised its hand for one or both hybrid options to be made available locally, however no plans have been confirmed.
CarAdvice understands the updated Hyundai Santa Fe will initially continue with the current engine line-up when it arrives in local showrooms in the second half of the year: a 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder matched to an eight-speed auto and all-wheel-drive, and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol matched to an eight-speed auto and front-wheel-drive.
For European buyers, a hybrid 1.6-litre petrol turbo (169kW/350Nm) or a traditional 2.2-litre turbo-diesel (148kW/440Nm) will be offered initially in either front-drive or all-wheel-drive. The hybrid will use a 1.49kWh battery powering a 44.2kW electric motor.
A plug-in hybrid version of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will also eventually be offered in Europe, using the same 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine but mated to a 13.8kWh battery pack powering a 66.9kW electric motor. This option will only be available in all-wheel-drive.
Both petrol hybrids will use an updated six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, the company says.
Based on the outgoing NEDC cycle, the plug-in hybrid Kia Sorento claims a driving range of 40 kilometres on a single charge, before the petrol engine takes over.
Kia Australia has already told CarAdvice the plug-in hybrid Sorento won't be offered locally, with the SUV instead being fitted with the 3.5-litre V6 already seen in the previous Sorento and Santa Fe models.
In the meantime, the lack of a Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid option holds the door open for its competitors.
The upcoming Toyota Kluger seven-seater will be available as a hybrid when it goes on sale locally next year. Meanwhile the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid five-seater – winner of Drive Car of the Year 2020 – is so popular the waiting list stretches up to 10 months.