Hyundai Australia’s rival to the Toyota Kluger Hybrid has hit a roadblock for the second time, with the company’s local arm confirming production of the Santa Fe Hybrid for our market has been delayed until the second half of 2022.

    Initially earmarked for a late-2021 introduction, and then a Q1 2022 launch, the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid was notably absent from the MY22 announcement earlier this week, despite previously being flagged as part of said running changes.

    A spokesperson for Hyundai Australia confirmed with CarExpert that Korean production of local-spec models has been pushed back until the second half of the year, though couldn’t indicate when we will see vehicles in showrooms.

    Given there’s a six-month window, we could see the Santa Fe Hybrid either late in 2022 or early in 2023.

    It’s not ideal for the Korean brand, which will now be without a competitor to the popular Kluger Hybrid and the upcoming (and related) Kia Sorento Hybrid – which will be available in limited numbers from later this month.

    When it does arrive, the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid will be the first variant in the local range to offer petrol and all-wheel drive – the current 3.5-litre V6 is solely available with front-wheel drive.

    Like the upcoming Kia Sportage and Sorento hybrids, the Santa Fe Hybrid will be 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 between the existing V6 (200kW/331Nm) and 2.2-litre diesel (148kW/440Nm).

    Globally, the Santa Fe Hybrid is available with front- and all-wheel drive, though Australia is expected to only receive the latter. A six-speed automatic transmission rounds out the drivetrain.

    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.

    For reference, local Santa Fe models with the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel claim to use 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

    Sales of the Hyundai Santa Fe in Australia grew by 9.4 per cent in 2021 to 5048 units for the calendar year, not far behind its Kia Sorento sibling (5126 sales, +12.7 per cent).

    While the Korean pair posted growth, they both trailed the Mazda CX-8 (6119 units, +63.7 per cent), Mazda CX-9 (6630 units, -1.7 per cent) and Toyota Kluger (9320 units, +10.9 per cent).

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Santa Fe

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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