The next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the first time one has been offered in Hyundai's mid-size family crossover. The model is likely to be sold in the United States, but Hyundai has only released specifications for the European market so far.
Scheduled to go on sale in Europe in 2021, the Santa Fe follows the practice of previous Hyundai plug-in hybrids in using the same powertrain as its hybrid sibling, but with a larger (13.8-kwh, versus 1.49-kwh) battery pack and more powerful electric motor.
In both the Santa Fe hybrid and plug-in hybrid, a 1.6-liter turbo-4 gasoline engine works with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a single electric motor. The plug-in hybrid has a total system output of 261 horsepower, compared to 226 hp for the hybrid. Torque output for both models is 258 pound-feet.
The gasoline engine features direct injection and Hyundai's Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) system to improve fuel efficiency. First seen on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata sedan, CVVD adjusts the amount of time valves are left open for optimal efficiency.
The plug-in hybrid gets standard all-wheel drive, while the hybrid model is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Electric-only range hasn't yet been disclosed; but since this is a larger SUV than the Toyota RAV4 Prime, with a smaller battery pack, don't expect anything close to the Toyota's 42-mile range.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
The announcement included a diesel engine, too, but Hyundai struck through the possibility of a diesel once planned for the U.S. in late 2018—before it even arrived.
Hyundai gave the Santa Fe plug-in hybrid plenty of driver-assist tech, including the Tesla-like Smart Park Assist that allows a car to drive itself in and out of parking spaces, as well as adaptive cruise control with an automated lane-centering feature.
Hyundai Motor America has already hinted that the Santa Fe plug-in hybrid is likely for the U.S. market, but that full details won't be announced until later in the summer. The plug-in hybrid version of the Santa Fe will essentially replace the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, which has been discontinued.
Meanwhile, the Sonata Hybrid has instead gone more upscale and offered some standout features, including a solar roof.