2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid review: Feelin’ fancy

Maria J. Danford

Is the Santa Fe Hybrid at residence in the dust? Eh, not genuinely. But it appears to be like quite great there.


Being the center baby is never ever fun, but the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid tends to make the most of it. Hanging out involving the 3-row Palisade and its at any time-so-a little more compact Tucson sibling, the Santa Fe relies on a fancier approach to relatives-friendliness in get to justify its existence, and a new hybrid powertrain presents individuals a further purpose to test out this midsizer, as nicely.


  • Heaps of typical capabilities
  • Snug ride
  • Fantastic in-car or truck tech

Don’t Like

  • Just-Alright fuel financial system
  • Not that unique from far more attention-grabbing Tucson Hybrid

Posh getup

The Santa Fe and Palisade depend on many of the exact same structure staples, which is really substantially a great detail. The Santa Fe is a handsome midsize SUV. Its maw may possibly be a minor huge for some people’s preferences, but I consider it integrates nicely with split-stage headlights and several pieces of silver trim on the reduced element of the overall body. It really is handsome adequate to receive a compliment or two without likely way too challenging in the styling paint, which is far more of the Tucson’s arena. And now that hybrids are offered throughout virtually all of Hyundai’s lineup, you’re not likely to find any garish brightwork signaling electrification it really is as typical as any other crossover out there.

The Santa Fe Hybrid’s interior genuinely ramps up the plushness. My Limited-trim tester rings in at $41,290 which include $1,185 for vacation spot, and irrespective of hovering close to the ordinary new-car or truck transaction price in 2021, it should make families come to feel like they’ve moved up a class. The leather seats are relaxed and supportive, and they’re equally heated and cooled. Soft supplies cover all the relevant touch factors, and establish good quality is higher all-close to. The textured finish of the entrance doorway speaker grilles might be my beloved element.

An electronic press-button shifter hangs out on a middle console that rides type of higher, but it tends to make place for a positively cavernous storage cubby beneath. If that is not adequate, there is a sizable pocket beneath the middle armrest, and the doorway playing cards are deep adequate for excess bottles, masks, snacks, you name it. Another intelligent touch below is the wi-fi cellphone charger, which you slot your cellphone into vertically, blocking it from sliding close to and shedding link even though driving. Out back again, there is an enough 36.4 cubic ft of cargo room, which is on par with the outgoing Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it really is mild decades in advance of the Chevy Blazer and Toyota Venza, but the Honda Passport has it defeat with a shade above 50 cubes powering the second row.

Plush driving at a charge

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid would not just look fancy, it feels it, way too. The first detail I see is how dang peaceful the interior is at pace. Even above some of Michigan’s gnarlier streets, the Santa Fe Hybrid permits really handful of aural annoyances into the cabin, and all those that do make it inside appear mainly from the powertrain on the other facet of the firewall. The ride good quality is fantastic, with mounted dampers mitigating all but the harshest road surfaces, keeping up that luxury-adjacent experience.

Beneath the Santa Fe Hybrid’s hood is the exact same hybrid-electric powertrain that can be discovered in the a little more compact Tucson Hybrid. A 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine combines with an electric motor to generate a internet 226 horsepower, which is fed to all 4 wheels (typical!) by a 6-pace computerized transmission. This powertrain isn’t likely to gain any awards for sound good quality, coming off a minor tractor-ish for my taste, but there is a sufficient sum of ahead movement on tap. Off-the-line acceleration feels strong many thanks to that electric motor, and I can barely come to feel the transfer from electric to ICE propulsion. It only genuinely visits up when I try to go away a quit indication way too quickly, as the powertrain normally takes an excess pair of ticks to figure out what it desires to do. The Santa Fe Hybrid does appear with a method swap, but I find the car or truck at its very best when all the things is remaining in its default state.

The powertrain will do a great work acclimating families to the hybrid lifetime, but fuel financial system leaves a little bit to be ideal. The EPA estimates the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid’s hydrocarbon thrift at 33 mpg town, 30 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. Which is improved than fuel-only rivals will muster, but it pales in comparison to the crossover’s principal competitor, the Toyota Venza, which can obtain 40 mpg in the town and 37 on the highway.   

For a mass-sector crossover, the Santa Fe Hybrid can genuinely pile on the fancy.


Outstanding tech

Hyundai has extensive offered a person of my beloved infotainment programs, and its most up-to-date iteration in the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid only tends to make it improved. A 10.3-inch display screen rises from the middle of the dashboard, carrying the most up-to-date version of Hyundai’s telematics, which has been reskinned to match the most up-to-date from sister brand Genesis. The final result is far more visually appealing, with a minimalist residence monitor and a menu page that places all the critical things within arrive at. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, as you may possibly anticipate, typical throughout the lineup. A second monitor resides in the gauge cluster, furnishing the normal speedometer and hybrid ability meter, in addition to a configurable portion that allows me check fuel financial system, hybrid method operation, what is taking part in on the radio, the normal.

Korean automakers have standardized a extensive checklist of energetic and passive safety programs, and the Santa Fe Hybrid keeps that likely. Normal package features ahead-collision warning, computerized emergency braking, blind-location checking, lane-keeping assist and complete-pace adaptive cruise regulate. Freeway Push Guide combines some of these capabilities to keep the motor vehicle in its lane at the pace of site visitors, and as far as hands-on programs go, it really is a great a person, managing its placement nicely without swaying or bouncing about.

The Santa Fe Hybrid’s infotainment method is equally appealing and practical, and it really is been a person of our favorites for decades.


Down to brass tacks

At $41,290 out the doorway, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is quite darn cost-effective for a thing this fancy, even far more so when you look at the base product can be experienced for a hair beneath $35,000. Whilst fuel-powered rivals abound, from the Chevy Blazer to the Honda Passport, its principal electrified competitor is the Toyota Venza, which has the Hyundai defeat on fuel financial system and overall luxuriousness, and the two are quite evenly matched on price. It is, having said that, styled like a glass of place-temperature milk. You will find also the make any difference of the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, which presents up a little little bit of room inside and out, but it has far more evocative styling, presenting a circumstance in which a car’s greatest competitor might be calling from inside the home.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is totally value your time. Whilst the performance could be improved, a smooth powertrain and a posh stature have the makings for very the benefit engage in in its price range, giving families a great way to simplicity into electrification.

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