New 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe facelift: engine specs confirmed

The revised flagship Hyundai Santa Fe SUV gets hybrid and plug-in hybrid power

Hyundai has confirmed further details on the revised Santa Fe SUV’s powertrain line-up, which will feature a diesel, hybrid and – for the first time – a plug-in hybrid powertrain. 

The refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe will go on sale in the UK in September, with prices starting from around £40,000. First deliveries are expected to arrive towards the end of the year.

The plug-in hybrid Santa Fe’s powertrain will comprise a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, a 90bhp electric motor and a 13.9kWh lithium-ion battery pack – which offers a combined maximum output of 261bhp and 350Nm of torque. However, it’s not due to reach the UK market until early 2021.

So, for the time being, the only electrified powertrain available is a 227bhp hybrid petrol unit. It’ll be on sale from the SUV’s launch and uses the same 1.6-litre engine as the plug-in model, albeit with a slightly less powerful electric motor and smaller 1.49kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Hyundai also says that it’ll be available with either front- or four-wheel drive.

Both hybrid powertrains are hitched to a newly developed six-speed automatic transmission, which Hyundai says is both smoother and more fuel efficient than the previous model’s gearbox. The two engines also feature a new low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system and continuously variable valve timing, which Hyundai claims improves fuel efficiency by five percent and decreases emissions by 12 percent.

Finally, buyers have the option of a turbocharged 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 199bhp and 440Nm of torque. Unlike the Santa Fe’s outgoing diesel unit, this new engine is made mostly from aluminium, which has shaved 19.5kg off the car’s kerb weight.

The diesel also has a new fuel injection system and improved internal components, which help to reduce the engine’s friction and improve fuel economy. The powertrain is mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox – and, like the hybrids, buyers can choose from either front- or four-wheel drive.

For the first time, Hyundai’s four-wheel drive system is fitted with a terrain mode selector, which offers specific setups for snow, gravel and mud. The drivetrain also comes with three driving modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – which can deactivate drive to the rear axle to improve fuel efficiency or distribute the engine’s torque across the SUV’s axles for extra stability, sending either 35 per cent or 50 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels.

New Hyundai Santa Fe: facelift updates

Hyundai refers to this tweaked Santa Fe as a facelift – but it’s much more than a simple bumper and trim update. It’s actually based on a completely different platform to the outgoing model, with Hyundai adopting the same strategy that Land Rover did with the latest Discovery Sport.

The Santa Fe now shares the same platform as the US- and China-only Sonata saloon, which has added support for Hyundai’s latest chassis technology and interior equipment.

Due to the platform switch, the Santa Fe has increased in size. It’s 15mm longer, 10mm wider and 5mm taller than the model it replaces, with dimensions of 4,785mm, 1,900mm and 1,685mm respectively. Hyundai says this has unlocked more space in the cabin for passengers, adding an extra 34mm of legroom for rear-seat occupants.

Hyundai has also given the Santa Fe a fairly substantial cosmetic update, with new T-shaped LED daytime running lights, a redesigned radiator grille, a pair of subtly tweaked bumpers, wider wheel arches and a new, full-width LED tail light.

Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will come as standard with a set of aerodynamically efficient 19-inch alloy wheels, although buyers can have 20-inch alloys as an optional extra. There’s also a choice of three new paint finishes – Glacier White, Taiga Brown and Lagoon Blue – bringing the SUV’s number of colour options to nine.

Inside, there’s a new floating centre console, a new gear selector and a host of extra storage bins. Hyundai has also fitted a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment screen with wireless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – and, like the old model, a head-up display is available on the higher-specced Premium SE variant.

New Hyundai Santa Fe: safety technology

Hyundai has given the Santa Fe’s safety technology a boost, too, with the company adding its Highway Drive Assist 1.5 semi-autonomous function, which can assume control of the car’s steering, throttle and brakes on the motorway. Buyers also get lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance and an autonomous parking system.

In addition, there’s a new reverse parking collision avoidance system, which uses the SUV’s rear camera and parking sensors to detect obstacles when reversing. Like most parking sensor systems, it’ll provide an audible warning for nearby objects – but if the driver gets too close, the system will automatically apply the brakes to prevent damage to the vehicle.

There’s a new Remote Smart Parking Assist system, too, which allows the driver to remotely move the SUV into a tight parking space using the key – without being in the car.

Hyundai says its upgraded underpinnings also give the new Santa Fe better handling and improved crash safety, thanks to its extensive use of high-tensile steel and its redesigned crumple zones. Refinement should also be improved, with Hyundai fitting additional sound dampening in vibration-sensitive areas such as the engine bay and suspension towers.

What do you make of the new Hyundai Santa Fe? Let us know in the comments section below…


Hyundai Santa Fe review
Hyundai Santa Fe - front
Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe review

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a practical, well-built family SUV with seven seats and loads of standard equipment
25 Mar 2020
New 518bhp Land Rover Defender V8 joins range
Land Rover Defender 90 V8 - front
Land Rover Defender

New 518bhp Land Rover Defender V8 joins range

Land Rover’s new 5.0-litre V8 engine has made this the fastest Defender yet, with a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds
25 Feb 2021
SsangYong Korando Ultimate: long-term test review
SsangYong Korando long termer - final report header
SsangYong Korando

SsangYong Korando Ultimate: long-term test review

Final report: our time with SsangYong Korando SUV has left us with very mixed feelings
24 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 arrives to take on Tesla
Ioniq 5 - front

New all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 arrives to take on Tesla

The new Ioniq 5 – the first model from Hyundai’s all-electric sub-brand – takes design influence from the 45 Concept and will be offered with two batt…
23 Feb 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI ‘Edition 45’ anniversary model leaked
Volkswagen Golf GTI 'Edition 45' - front
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI ‘Edition 45’ anniversary model leaked

The Volkswagen Golf GTI will soon get a new special edition model to celebrate its Sapphire anniversary
23 Feb 2021
New 2021 Mercedes C-Class gets sporty image and S-Class tech
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New 2021 Mercedes C-Class gets sporty image and S-Class tech

The fifth-generation Mercedes C-Class features a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains, with high performance AMG models set to follow in 20…
23 Feb 2021