Hyundai New Zealand will add a hybrid version of the new Santa Fe 2021 launched in the middle of next year – although it will not feature plug-in technology. At least not at first.
The Santa Fe hybrid will feature a 1.6 liter turbo-petrol engine with a 44kW electric motor and a 1.5kWh battery. Total system output will be 169kW / 350Nm (no fuel economy figures have been shared yet) and while specifications are yet to be finalized, Hyundai NZ said it anticipates the hybrid will become AWD.
But that won’t be Add-ons Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This will be a petrol-electric powertrain similar to the one used by Toyota in the upcoming RAV4 and Highlander models.
That’s the direct difference between the equally new (and closely related) Santa Fe and Sorento of its sister brand Kia, which has been announced. PHEV version for the first quarter of 2021.
Sorento PHEV combines a 1.6 liter turbo-petrol engine with a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 66.9kW electric motor. The pure electric range will be about 50 km; the system produces 195kW / 350Nm.
Although the brands come from the same enclosure, they are distributed by different companies in NZ: Hyundai is independent and locally owned, while Kia is a subsidiary of the factory.
In short, no love was lost between the two on local soil. So it’s no surprise that Hyundai says it’s very comfortable with its conventional hybrid options and it hasn’t been possible to prove whether there is a demand for the Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV).
“We know from competing brands that have a hybrid variant, they are doing quite well,” said Gavin Young, technical boss of Hyundai NZ.
“Our customers ask questions and we know there is interest. We know there is space we can fill.
“With all the coverage we did with EVs and Nexo, we knew that early adopters wanted the technology.
“We’re also working with Australia to see what the market looks like for the plug-in variant, but that’s not yet determined. There has to be demand.”
Sales statistics seem to support that view. Only 610 PHEVs have been sold in NZ this year, compared to the 1189 BEVs and 6,844 petrol-electric hybrids.
Meanwhile, Hyundai has launched the diesel and petrol variants of the Santa Fe 2021 in NZ. Although it looks similar to the previous version, except for the new grille which is scalloped and carries most of the body panels, it uses a new platform, with new technology.
There are three powertrains: 2.5-liter 132kW / 232Nm petrol with 6-speed automatic and AWD, a core 2.2-liter 148kW / 440Nm turbo diesel engine with 8-speed automatic dual clutch and AWD, and a return of the V6 petrol model: 200kW / 331Nm from a 3.5-liter engine. , with an 8-speed automatic (not the new diesel dual clutch) and FWD only.
Across entries, Elite and Limited specs, prices range from $ 62,990 to $ 89,990.
The $ 90k price tag for the 2.2D Limited flagship is attractive because the model shares a similar high-tech suite, including remote parking and a high-resolution display in-dash blind, to Kia Sorento Premium. But Kia costs just $ 76,990.
Again, Hyundai NZ is comfortable with that. General manager Andy Sinclair pointed out that the gap is smaller than before ($ 20k on the previous model) and the Santa Fe is the top seller in this segment – with Limited being the most popular variant.
“If people buy a cheaper car, they are still a cheaper car – maybe a much cheaper car – when they exchange them,” Sinclair said. “What we prove with our brand is when people buy [Hyundai], they get a strong residual value.
“There is a big difference in NVH [between Santa Fe and Sorento], there are indeed differences in the materials used, but the biggest difference is the brand. People trust our brand. “
To view all the Hyundai Santa Fe models currently listed on DRIVEN, click here