2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Review: Sustainability Meets Pragmatism

by Aiden Eksteen

To adhere to the prevailing trends in the automotive industry, Hyundai introduces the first-ever semi-electric version of the ever-popular Santa Fe SUV to the USA this year. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is derived from the fourth-generation Santa Fe marque and offers all of the same fine qualities as the regular SUV but with the added benefit of frugality. Beneath the hood is a 1.6-liter hybridized 4-cylinder engine that churns out up to 226 horsepower and achieves reasonable gas mileage scores of 36/31/34 mpg. While its performance figures aren't the best in the HE-SUV classification, the Santa Fe Hybrid is still an enhanced version of the already superb midsize SUV. It's suave, compliant, comfortable, and pragmatic, and comes outfitted with an extensive selection of creature comforts, conveniences, and driver-assistance systems. There are many options within the classification, however, including the Toyota Venza, Kia Sorento Hybrid, and Ford Escape Hybrid, so does the all-new Santa Fe Hybrid have what it takes to earn a spot at the top?

Read in this review:

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Santa Fe Hybrid?

The Santa Fe Hybrid introduces electrification to the Santa Fe SUV for the first time and also enjoys the many changes that have been introduced to the regular Santa Fe for 2021. Outside, there are new alloy wheel designs and new front and rear skid plates, in addition to a revised muffler design. The big news for the Santa Fe hybrid, of course, is the brand-new 1.6-liter turbocharged and electric motor hybrid powertrain.

The interior features a new center stack and console design, ambient lighting selections, and the rear cargo area volume has been increased by one-half cubic feet. The Santa Fe is now safer thanks to the addition of cyclist and junction-turning detection, parking collision avoidance assist with a reverse function, highway drive assist, lane following assist, and navigation-based smart cruise control with road curve control. Not all of these features are standard on every trim, however. Tech improvements for 2021 include a larger eight-inch audio display, and a new larger 10.25-inch widescreen navigation display. A segment-leading 12.3-inch cluster display is now available, and other additions include wireless phone charging, wireless operation for Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

Pros and Cons

  • Modern and authoritarian design
  • Comes with plenty driver assists
  • Offers plenty of value at its price
  • Extensive standard warranty cover
  • Good safety rating and reliability
  • Infotainment system is laggy
  • Rearward visibility is hindered
  • Customization is fairly limited
  • Middling fuel economy

Best Deals on 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid Blue
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Hybrid SEL Premium
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Hybrid Limited
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

Santa Fe Hybrid Exterior

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Front Angle View Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Rear Angle View Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Side View Hyundai
See All 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Exterior Photos


  • Length 188.4 in
  • Wheelbase 108.9 in
  • Height 67.3 in
  • Max Width 74.8 in
  • Front Width 65.0 in
  • Rear Width 65.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,204.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Cream White, Build Out: March 1, 2021 +$400
  • Quartz White +$400
  • Lagoon Blue
  • Black Noir, Build Out: March 1, 2021
  • Twilight Black
  • Stellar Silver, Build Out: March 1, 2021
  • Shimmering Silver
  • Magnetic Force, Build Out: March 1, 2021
  • Portofino Gray

Santa Fe Hybrid Performance

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Front View Driving Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Rear View Driving Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Engine Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

Providing the impetus for the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid is a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, which has been hybridized with a single electric motor. This combined powertrain produces up to 226 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Outputs are directed by a 6-speed automatic transmission and are sent through to the Santa Fe Hybrid's HTRAC all-wheel-drive system as standard. While the powertrain does provide an adequate amount of power for easy and consistent daily commuting, it doesn't return the most frugal gas mileage figures. The SUV has a maximum towing capacity of just 2,000 lbs.

  • Engine
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Santa Fe Hybrid Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    17.7 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 36/31 mpg
* 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Blue AWD

Santa Fe Hybrid Interior

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Instrument Board Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Gauge Cluster Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Gearbox Controls Hyundai
See All 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 44.1 in
  • Front Head Room 41.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.0 in

Santa Fe Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Central Console Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Cup Holder Hyundai

Santa Fe Hybrid Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid A Good SUV?

Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV is a good vehicle, but only in that it's a pragmatic daily runabout that's also very dependable and safe. The new 1.6-liter engine and MHEV system provide plenty of thrust and have it perform fairly pleasantly in urban and suburban settings. Unfortunately, the SUV isn't the most frugal hybrid with the most efficient variant returning only 36/31/34 mpg city/highway/combined while the Toyota Venza Hybrid achieves 40/37/39 mpg, in comparison. We'd say there are more positives to the Santa Fe Hybrid than drawbacks, though. It has a commanding and contemporary design and an interior to match, with plenty of creature comforts and conveniences coming standard, along with a comprehensive infotainment system. However, the latter is a tad slow. Hyundai puts forward the all-new Santa Fe Hybrid with an extensive advanced driver-assist suite and plenty of safety features. It's exceptionally well-built, too, and both the NHTSA and the IIHS have subjected the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid to review for its crashworthiness and scored it superbly. The regular Hyundai Santa Fe SUV is and always has been an exceptional 5-door family car and the addition of the hybridized motor has only added to the SUVs list of qualities.

What Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

With what the entry-spec Blue model comes outfitted with as standard, it's easily the one we'd recommend considering its attractive starting price. It comes standard with plenty of first-rate specifications including full LED frontal lighting and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Infotainment is presented in the form of an eight-inch display that's pre-installed with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system and 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system in the SEL Premium and Limited are really tempting, but it's a $4,000 increase from the Blue to the SEL Premium - the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid's price starts at $33,650. The driver-assist suite in the Blue is also quite comprehensive and includes forward collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse parking sensors.

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