Driving report Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid 4 WD: Setting the scene

Driving report Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid 4 WD: Setting the scene


Even if the rise of “large” SUV models has long passed, there are still interesting versions. Like the Hyundai Santa Fe, the fourth generation is also available as a plug-in hybrid. Automotive News Service (center) tested an interesting touring car for practice.

When the market needed large SUVs, Hyundai didn’t want to branch out and sent the Santa Fe to the streets in 2000. Although the design, which resembled a swollen bar of soap, was not suitable, customers were happy to buy it: the Federal Motor Transport Authority managed to register almost 8,000 registrations in 2004.

The Santa Fe is now in its fourth generation (since 2018) and has blossomed in appearance – especially since the facelift of 2020. With the room-mature radiator grill, which is made up of many profile elements, the Santa Fe, with its lines of the power and accentuated fender cheeks, make for an elegant look that is instantly appealing.

The hybrid version, in which the 1.6 petrol engine and the electric motor join hands and thus rotate up to a system output of 265 hp, was tested. The electric motor draws its power from a 270-volt battery (lithium-ion polymer) with a capacity of 13.8 kilowatt hours. In theory, the Santa Fe should travel up to 69 kilometers on electric power.

Due to the controllable transmission of the combustion engine, the maximum speed is reached at 187 km / h. This means the Korean isn’t quite a sprinter, especially as the engine feels unpleasantly bruised when revved under full load, but it’s certainly a suitable long-distance model with a high level of comfort.

Contributing to this is also a chassis that is ready to absorb, which only loses its stability in the case of transverse links that meet when walking slowly. The steering responds to the driver’s commands with sufficient directness, and the spring/damper combination succeeds in suppressing the tendency of the body to roll, which is often characteristic of long-legged cars in fast corners.

The test car in the second highest equipment variant (Grand) left nothing to be desired. Special features on the extensive list include a head-up display in the windshield, assistance packages, a digital cockpit with a large navigation screen and a fully functional blind-spot assist. Once you set the turn signal, it displays the camera images for the respective rear lane in the left or right dashboard scale.

Also positive: For the most important functions there are still the usual buttons on the central console, which you can access without bothering with small menus. On the other hand, it is a pity that the recognition of the traffic sign cannot correctly interpret the additional information. In the case of time-related speed limits, an incorrect current state value is often reported.

The distance control of the automatic cruise control could also be better solved: you don’t see the distance you want in the head-up display, you have to take your eyes off the road to the dashboard instruments when you set it. And the traffic warning in the navigation system does not represent the current state of the art compared to the Santa Fe competition.

A luxury touring car impresses with its space. Even tall people feel comfortable in the front and back, and the luggage compartment with 634 to 1,704 liters has no problem carrying the luggage of a large tour group or large luggage. It’s a shame that the charging cable for the hybrid battery lies under the trunk floor in an extra compartment that’s too far from the boot sill. This can mean more effort when charging on a vacation trip with a fully loaded car.

The dream value of 1.5 liters for fuel consumption (combined) in the data sheet is due to the measuring method, which assumes a fully charged battery and a manageable distance. Once the battery is empty, you have to take into account the fact that seven to eight liters will flow through the injector nozzles per 100 kilometers. Measured against the size of the Santa Fe, that’s not a bad value either. For comparison: power consumption in combined operation is estimated at 16.3 kWh.

If you won’t be traveling long distances all the time and can use hybrid technology hard with your wall box, but still appreciate the Santa Fe’s on-the-go comfort, the plug-in version is a good choice. However, at least 55,750 euros must be paid on the payday when the car is handed over. The General Fund adds another 6,550 euros (7,550 for seven seats), and the top equipment “Signature” there is an additional payment of at least 8,900 euros.

If the Santa Fe is going to be driven a lot on the highway, then it is worth considering the entry-level model with a 2.2-liter diesel engine for 43,850 euros, which certainly comes out the best in terms of total purchase and operating costs. It doesn’t matter which solution the buyer who needs a lot of space chooses: you get a comfortable SUV that you can feel good about and which, in addition to its attractive appearance, has moved light years from its grandfather from the year 2000.

Klaus Brieter / center

Specifications Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid Prime:

Length / width / height: 4.79 / 2.15 (with exterior mirrors) / 1.71 (with roof rails) meters
– Propulsion: four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection/electric motor
– Power: 132 kW/180 hp / 67 kW/ 91 hp
– Displacement: 1,598 ccm/ –
Maximum torque: 265 Nm at 1,500 – 4,500 rpm / 304 Nm
– System power / torque: 195 kW/265 hp / 350 Nm
– Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
– Acceleration: 0 to 100 km / h in 8.8 seconds
– Top speed: 187 km / h
– Typical consumption: 1.5 l Super/100 km / 16.3 kWh
– CO2 emissions: 34 g/km
– Price: from 55,750 euros

The article “Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid 4 WD: Imposing Appearance” was published on August 24, 2022 in the category Driving Report by Klaus Brieter with keywords Driving report, SUV, four-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid, test report, press presentation, test, report, short test, presentation provided.