The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is finally locked in for an Australian sales launch, with the brand’s local arm confirming with CarExpert the Toyota Kluger Hybrid rival will lob during the fourth quarter of 2022.
Hyundai’s petrol-electric seven-seat SUV is some 12 months behind original schedule for the Australian market, having been delayed, and then delayed again due to production priority given to markets like Europe and North America – we’ve heard that story before, haven’t we?
The Korean brand’s local arm wouldn’t offer further details about the Australian range, i.e. whether multiple variants will be offered, or pricing and supply projections, so it’s unclear whether the Santa Fe Hybrid will be a high-spec-only proposition like its twin under the skin – the Kia Sorento Hybrid.
Kia Australia is currently only able to source around 20 units per month of the Sorento HEV, on top of the circa-10 monthly unit supply of the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Both electrified versions of the Sorento are solely available in Australia in expensive GT-Line guise, limiting the Korean brand’s ability to properly challenge Toyota in the sales race.
What we do know, however, is that the Santa Fe Hybrid will be probably AWD-only in Australia, despite a more affordable FWD version being available overseas (the Sorento HEV offers FWD here too). The hybrid version will be the first variant of the current generation to offer a petrol-fed AWD option.
The Santa Fe Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with a 44.2kW electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Combined power and torque outputs are rated at 169kW and 350Nm respectively, putting the HEV somewhere between the existing V6 (200kW/331Nm) and 2.2-litre diesel (148kW/440Nm).
According to Hyundai Motor Europe’s specifications, the Santa Fe Hybrid with AWD consumes 6.9-7.6L/100km on the combined WLTP cycle depending on specification, emitting 157-172g/km.
Santa Fe sales are down by 21.4 per cent year to date (as of August 31), with 2936 registered in the first eight months of 2022.
By comparison, the Kia Sorento is sitting at 4304 units for the same period (up 11.1 per cent YTD), while the Toyota Kluger is even further ahead at 9654 registrations (up 107.7 per cent) to the end of August.
Toyota Australia has also confirmed that the Kluger Hybrid’s sales mix in 2021 was more than half at 53 per cent, with that share likely to have grown in 2022 despite production delays and supply shortages.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest in the lead up to the Santa Fe Hybrid’s launch in the coming months.