Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid spec, pricing for NZ: $10k discount right out of the gate

David Linklater
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New Santa Fe: note 'H' pattern in headlights (it's in the tail-lights, too).

New Santa Fe: note 'H' pattern in headlights (it's in the tail-lights, too).

Hyundai New Zealand has announced full specification details for its new Santa Fe 7-seat SUV… complete with special “launch” pricing that wipes $10,000 off retail across the range.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid.
Just one engine for NZ right now: 1.6-litre petrol-turbo hybrid.

The bold-looking Santa Fe is available in three specification levels: Active at $84,990, Limited ($96,990) and the new flagship specification, Calligraphy ($104,990). But launch pricing removes $10k from those prices for an unspecified time, meaning the real-world price range is $74,990-$94,990.

It’s not just the look that is bold. There’s been a massive change in powertrain availability, with diesel – a mainstay of the Santa Fe range in NZ since the second-gen model in 2006 – no more for the model globally.

The sole engine for Kiwi buyers right now is the 1.6-litre turbo hybrid with 6-speed automatic, a mildly modified carryover from the previous generation with 173kW/367Nm. WLTP fuel economy of 6.2l/100km is actually very close to the outgoing 2.2-litre diesel.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid.
Looks huge, but new Santa Fe is only 45mm longer than previous model.

But tow rating is not, with the hybrid only able to haul 1650kg. Hyundai NZ has two alternatives for buyers wanting to maintain similar hauling ability to the outgoing car: a 207kW/422Nm 2.5-litre turbo-petrol (non-hybrid) 8-speed dual-clutch model coming at the end of this year that can tow 2 tonnes, or the existing Pallisade 2.2 diesel that’s rated for 2.2 tonnes.

Also off the table for Hyundai NZ in this new generation is the plug-in hybrid option, which is restricted to Europe for now.

Pricing looks pretty attractive given the Santa Fe’s huge step up in design and technology. For the record, the previous-gen Santa Fe hybrid was $88,990-$109,990 (although it’s currently still on runout at $79,990).

Is Santa Fe as big as it looks?

The new model looks enormous in photographs, but that’s more to do with the chunky style. In fact it’s only 45mm longer than the outgoing model, with a lot of the extra 60mm in height accounted for by the roof rails.

Hyundai Santa Fe.
Hyundai makes much of the Santa Fe's 'terrace' tailgate and rear compartment.

It may also surprise you to learn that this set-square Santa Fe is more aerodynamic than the previous model, with the drag coefficient figure reduced from 0.330 to 0.294.

That boxy exterior does contribute to useful increases in interior space, especially in the third row: there’s an extra 60mm headroom and 50mm more legroom for the those in the cheap seats.

The tailgate opening is also wider, with Hyundai making much of the “terrace-like” space available. Power operation is standard across the range. Luggage space is up from 763l in the previous model to 812l.

Santa Fe range in three parts

All three models have different grilles and trim, with the top Calligraphy easily identifiable by its blacked-out look and gloss wheelarch garnishes (other models are plain black). All models ride on 20in wheels as standard, but each with their own designs.


Curved display dominates the dashboard.

Up front, the cabin is dominated by a curved-screen display combining an instrument cluster and infotainment screen, and a phone charging pad (wireless projection is now standard for the first time). Climate control functions are handled by a separate 6.6in touch display.

All models have a comprehensive SmartSense safety package, albeit with a few additional features for the Limited and Calligraphy. The Forward Collision Avoidance 2 package in particular is upgraded across the range; Santa Fe is the first to have it.

Hyundai Santa Fe.
Twin wireless phone chargers on the Limited and upwards.

The Active still gets heated front seats, dual-zone climate air with 3rd row fan controls and acoustic glass. However, the main instrument cluster is 4.2in rather than the 12.3in display used for upper-level versions (the infotainment screen is still full size).

The Limited adds the twin 12.3in screens, navigation-assisted cruise control (it will slow down for corners automatically), Surround View Monitor and extra parking features, including remote forward/reverse control from outside the car with the keyfob. The Limited gets projection LED headlights, leather upholstery, heated 2nd-row outboard seats and Bose audio with twin phone chargers.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid.
More aerodynamic than previous model. No, really.

Calligraphy, previously offered as a Pallisade trim level, is now global branding for Hyundai’s luxury SUVs. The Santa Fe Calligraphy has Nappa leather, a digital rearvision mirror, “relaxation” front seats with memory and ventilation, and a head-up display.

The Calligraphy can also be optioned as a 6-seater with captain’s chairs in the second row, which are power-adjustable and also have the relaxation function. The different, more luxurious layout comes at no extra cost - presumably because the opportunity cost is one less seat.

A “bi-directional” centre console storage box is a novel feature of all Santa Fe models; it can be opened two ways, either by front-seat occupants or those in the back.

But an additional piece of cabin equipment for the Calligraphy is a UV-C sanitising tray: put personal items in the glovebox, press the button and when the lid is closed it will sterilise them.

The Calligraphy also offers a C-pillar assist handle, to help with reaching the roof (while standing on the tyre).

Hyundai NZ has sold over 26,000 Santa Fes locally since the model was introduced back in 2002. Since 2018 (when the previous 4th-gen model was launched), it’s been second only to the Toyota Highlander in the large SUV segment, ahead of the Ford Everest.

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