New 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe on sale from £40,250

New Hyundai Santa Fe SUV available with hybrid and plug-in hybrid options

  • Seven-seat SUV gets striking front end
  • Next-gen Santa Fe sits on new platform
  • Plug-in hybrid starts from £45,715

The new hybrid Hyundai Santa Fe SUV has a starting price of £40,250, rising to £49,010 for a top-spec plug-in hybrid model. At launch, a hybrid and plug-in hybrid are on sale; other engines may join the range later and reduce the starting price.

The Santa Fe is Hyundai’s biggest SUV and a seven-seater to rival the Skoda Kodiaq, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Peugeot 5008.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe UK prices and specs

Two trim levels are available: Premium and Ultimate. Hyundai has upmarket aspirations for the Santa Fe, so both are well equipped. Premium offers LED lights, heated front and rear seats, a powered tailgate, electric front seats and a high-end Krell sound system, while Ultimate adds a digital instrument cluster, a surround-view monitor, a head-up display and semi-autonomous motorway driving capability.

Ultimate starts from £43,815 in two-wheel-drive hybrid guise, while adding four-wheel drive to each trim level costs £2,000. The nine metallic or pearl paint shades cost £690, and you can add a Luxury Pack to the Ultimate trim (Nappa leather upholstery, aluminium trim and suede headlining) for £2,000.

The pricing structure for the new model represents an increase of around £750 compared with the previous Santa Fe and means that all versions now attract the higher rate of VED in years two to six.

Styling

The new Santa Fe is not short of presence, thanks to an even bigger front grille and new T-shaped LED daytime running lights that run down between the headlights. The new grille and repositioned chrome accents tidy up the front end compared with the current model.

While the Santa Fe may sit on a brand-new platform, Hyundai has ensured the side and rear views look almost identical to the outgoing car. Look closely and you’ll notice redesigned brake light clusters connected by a light bar and a full-width reflector under the tailgate. The cheapest model rides on 17-inch alloy wheels; every other model sits on 19-inch wheels.

Engines, fuel economy and performance

While the last Hyundai Santa Fe was only available with a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, the new model will introduce both hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) options.

The hybrid pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 44.2kW electric motor and the two produce 227bhp. Choosing the plug-in hybrid means you get a more powerful 66.9kW motor and a much bigger 13.8kWh battery, with peak power of 261bhp. All models get from 0-62mph in around nine seconds. You can expect 42-44mpg from two-wheel-drive hybrid models (slightly less for all-wheel-drive versions), while the PHEV claims 173mpg; that’s fully dependent on the journeys you do and how often you plug it in.

The hybrid is available with either front- or four-wheel drive; the plug-in hybrid is four-wheel drive only but both get a six-speed automatic gearbox. The PHEV offers 36 miles of range and is a seven-seater as standard.

These engines are also used in the Kia Sorento, our Car of the Year 2021. The two Korean manufacturers are partners, and both these SUVs will sit on an all-new platform that allows the introduction of electrified powertrains. This explains why Hyundai is replacing its flagship SUV only two years since it went on sale.

Interior and technology

We expected Hyundai to make the Santa Fe feel more upmarket inside and it seems to have delivered. If you taped over the badge on the steering wheel, you could easily be in a Mercedes GLC. Both screens - a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 10.25-inch touchscreen - are new, while there’s extra soft-touch materials and a Terrain Mode selector for the first time. The positioning of the gear selector buttons suggests there won’t be a manual version.

Read our guide to the best used 7-seaters.

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