Hyundai’s petrol-electric rival to the new Toyota Kluger will be arriving fashionably late.

    Hyundai Australia has confirmed the Santa Fe Hybrid won’t make it to Australian showrooms until the first quarter of 2022, having initially been slated for a late-2021 arrival.

    This follows sister brand Kia’s confirmation the related Sorento Hybrid will also be delayed until 2022 – though the plug-in hybrid version of Kia’s flagship SUV in Australia is imminent.

    Hyundai and Kia have been battling delays and supply shortages across its line-up, with new model launches hit with months-long delays.

    Toyota recently launched its long-awaited new Kluger seven-seater with hybrid power. Previous generations were offered in the USA with hybrid drivetrains, but never made it here.

    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.

    Officially, it’s not far off the Euro-market 2.2-litre diesel model, which claims 6.7-6.9L/100km in all-wheel drive configuration on the same WLTP regime. It’s actually better in terms of emissions than the oiler, which in AWD guise emits between 176-181g/km.

    It’s worth noting local Santa Fe Diesel AWD models claim fuel use of 6.1L/100km based on ADR testing, which is closer to the old NEDC test cycle. Expect the Santa Fe Hybrid to quote fuel use around 6.5L/100km (combined) in local spec.

    Hyundai will no doubt be itching to launch its hybrid Santa Fe as soon as possible, given hybrid SUV sales grew by 258.9 per cent in 2020 and are up 63.9 per cent year-to-date in 2021 as of July 31.

    Toyota maintains its stronghold on the hybrid market with its ever-popular RAV4 Hybrid, all-new Kluger Hybrid as well as the smaller Yaris Cross Hybrid and C-HR Hybrid.

    We regularly hear the vast majority of RAV4 orders are hybrids, to the point where Australian buyers are forced to wait 6-8 months for new vehicles to arrive.

    We’ll soon see Hyundai and Kia enter the chat with the Santa Fe Hybrid, Sorento Hybrid and the all-but-confirmed new Sportage Hybrid, while China’s GWM Haval will bring the H6 Hybrid in the coming months.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    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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