The Hyundai Santa Fe has been with us for 20 years now, and while Hyundai has had hybrids in its stable for half that time the Santa Fe has only sort of been electrified once. Until next year, that is.
In a release, Hyundai said that it would make the internal combustion engine version of the Santa Fe in Alabama, while the hybrid version would be made at Hyundai’s plant in Ulsan, South Korea. There will also be a plug-in hybrid electric version later next year, Hyundai said.
That gives the 2021 Santa Fe three different powertrain options for buyers: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower, a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 277 horsepower, and the hybrid option, which is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder mated with an electric motor that makes 225 horsepower combined, Hyundai said.
Hyundai did not say what kind of mileage it was expecting for the hybrid version, nor did it give pricing. But, assuming it will be similar to the Sonata hybrid’s $4,000 price bump, it’s fair to expect the hybrid Santa Fe to cost $30,000 or more, given that the 2020 Santa Fe starts at $26,275. The plug-in version will likely cost a few more thousand on top of that.
This still-fourth-generation Santa Fe also features a significant facelift and will be built on a different platform because it’s going hybrid. There will also be a new top trim, likely to cost nearly $40,000. It’s called Calligraphy. I’ll let Hyundai do the explaining:
Calligraphy builds upon the Santa Fe Limited model with the more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, adding HTRAC® AWD with downhill brake control, exclusive-design 20-inch alloy wheels, quilted Nappa leather, full-color heads-up display, premium-finish front grille, premium door and seat accent trim, eco-suede headliner, expanded ambient lighting themes and auto up/down rear windows.
That is all getting nearly into luxury territory, but Hyundai seemingly wants to offer every option for its third-best-selling car in America. With Santa Fe sales up over nine percent last year compared to 2018, so far so good.