The Santa Fe and Palisade depend on most of the similar design staples, which could be very a lot an excellent factor. The Santa Fe is a good-looking midsize SUV. Its maw could also be just a little large for some individuals’s tastes, however I feel it integrates properly with split-level headlights and numerous items of silver trim on the decrease a part of the physique. It is good-looking sufficient to earn a praise or two with out going too exhausting within the styling paint, which is extra of the Tucson’s area. And now that hybrids are provided throughout practically all of Hyundai’s lineup, you are not going to search out any garish brightwork signaling electrification; it is as regular as some other crossover on the market.
The Santa Fe Hybrid’s inside actually ramps up the plushness. My Restricted-trim tester rings in at $41,290 together with $1,185 for vacation spot, and regardless of hovering across the common new-car transaction worth in 2021, it ought to make households really feel like they’ve moved up a category. The leather-based seats are snug and supportive, they usually’re each heated and cooled. Delicate supplies cowl all of the related contact factors, and construct high quality is excessive all-around. The textured end of the entrance door speaker grilles is likely to be my favourite half.
An digital push-button shifter hangs out on a middle console that rides form of excessive, however it makes room for a positively cavernous storage cubby beneath. If that is not sufficient, there is a sizable pocket beneath the middle armrest, and the door playing cards are deep sufficient for further bottles, masks, snacks, you title it. One other intelligent contact right here is the wi-fi telephone charger, which you fit your telephone into vertically, stopping it from sliding round and shedding connection whereas driving. Out again, there’s an ample 36.four cubic toes of cargo area, which is on par with the outgoing Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it is mild years forward of the Chevy Blazer and Toyota Venza, however the Honda Passport has it beat with a shade over 50 cubes behind the second row.
Plush driving at a price
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid does not simply look fancy, it feels it, too. The very first thing I discover is how dang quiet the inside is at pace. Even over a few of Michigan’s gnarlier roads, the Santa Fe Hybrid permits only a few aural annoyances into the cabin, and those who do make it inside come largely from the powertrain on the opposite aspect of the firewall. The journey high quality is great, with mounted dampers mitigating all however the harshest street surfaces, maintaining that luxury-adjacent feeling.
Underneath the Santa Fe Hybrid’s hood is identical hybrid-electric powertrain that may be discovered within the barely smaller Tucson Hybrid. A 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine combines with an electrical motor to provide a web 226 horsepower, which is fed to all 4 wheels (commonplace!) via a six-speed automated transmission. This powertrain is not going to win any awards for sound high quality, coming off just a little tractor-ish for my style, however there is a adequate quantity of ahead movement on faucet. Off-the-line acceleration feels highly effective due to that electrical motor, and I can barely really feel the switch from electrical to ICE propulsion. It solely actually journeys up when I attempt to depart a cease signal too rapidly, because the powertrain takes an additional couple of ticks to determine what it needs to do. The Santa Fe Hybrid does include a mode change, however I discover the automobile at its finest when every thing is left in its default state.
The powertrain will do an awesome job acclimating households to the hybrid life, however gas financial system leaves a bit to be desired. The EPA estimates the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid’s hydrocarbon thrift at 33 mpg metropolis, 30 mpg freeway and 32 mpg mixed. That is higher than gas-only opponents will muster, however it pales compared to the crossover’s main competitor, the Toyota Venza, which might obtain 40 mpg within the metropolis and 37 on the freeway.
Hyundai has lengthy provided one in every of my favourite infotainment methods, and its newest iteration within the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid solely makes it higher. A 10.3-inch show rises from the middle of the dashboard, carrying the newest model of Hyundai’s telematics, which has been reskinned to match the newest from sister model Genesis. The result’s extra visually interesting, with a minimalist residence display screen and a menu web page that places all of the necessary stuff inside attain. Apple Automobile Play and Android Auto are, as chances are you’ll count on, commonplace throughout the lineup. A second display screen resides within the gauge cluster, offering the standard speedometer and hybrid energy meter, along with a configurable portion that lets me monitor gas financial system, hybrid system operation, what’s enjoying on the radio, the standard.
Korean automakers have standardized a protracted listing of energetic and passive security methods, and the Santa Fe Hybrid retains that going. Commonplace package contains forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping help and full-speed adaptive cruise management. Freeway Drive Help combines a few of these options to carry the car in its lane on the tempo of site visitors, and so far as hands-on methods go, it is a good one, controlling its place properly with out swaying or bouncing about.
All the way down to brass tacks
At $41,290 out the door, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is fairly darn inexpensive for one thing this fancy, much more so when you think about the bottom mannequin will be had for a hair beneath $35,000. Whereas gas-powered opponents abound, from the Chevy Blazer to the Honda Passport, its main electrified competitor is the Toyota Venza, which has the Hyundai beat on gas financial system and general luxuriousness, and the 2 are fairly evenly matched on worth. It’s, nonetheless, styled like a glass of room-temperature milk. There’s additionally the matter of the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, which supplies up a tiny little bit of area inside and outside, however it has extra evocative styling, presenting a case the place a automobile’s greatest competitor is likely to be calling from inside the home.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is completely value your time. Whereas the effectivity could possibly be higher, a easy powertrain and a fancy stature have the makings for fairly the worth play in its worth vary, providing households an effective way to ease into electrification.