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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe detailed: Toyota Kluger-rivalling large SUV set for updated engines, hybrid power

Though the new Hyundai Santa Fe will make use of carryover engines, a hybrid version is due to launch in 2021.

Hyundai’s new Santa Fe is on track to land in Australian showrooms before the end of the year packing updated 3.5-litre petrol V6 and 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engines, with the hybrid earmarked for a 2021 introduction.

Overseas markets will offer the new Santa Fe with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 142kW/247Nm, as well as a 207kW/422Nm 2.5-litre turbo-petrol option, but both powertrains remain off the table for Australia.

The former is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the latter is fitted with a dual-clutch auto.

Hyundai Australia meanwhile, will continue to offer its current engine line-up that consists of a 206kW/336Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 and 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, albeit in updated forms that might have slightly higher outputs.

Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the petrol engine sending drive to the front wheels, while the diesel scores all-wheel drive.

As for the Santa Fe hybrid, it will score a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine and electric motor combo good for around 168kW/350Nm.

The petrol-electric model will make use of a six-speed automatic transmission that sends drive to all four wheels – at least in the US market – as well as a 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery.

A more advanced plug-in version is yet to be confirmed for Australia, but uses a more powerful electric motor and larger capacity 13.8kWh battery in conjunction with the hybrid’s 1.6-litre engine.

Total output in the Santa Fe plug-in is pegged at 195kW, but torque looks to the be same 350Nm.

The all-electric driving range is also up to 50km on a single charge.

The refreshed Santa Fe is also expected to come standard with advanced safety features such as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control.

Interior features are expected to include the option of Nappa leather seats, soft-touch dashboard, ambient lighting, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and up to 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen.

Pricing for the new Santa Fe is yet to be revealed, but for reference, the current version kicks off at $43,990 and extends to $61,660.

The Santa Fe will go toe-to-toe against the new-generation Toyota Kluger due in showrooms in the first half of next year.

Like the Hyundai, Toyota’s large SUV offering is available with a petrol V6 engine, thought it outputs a slightly higher 218kW/356Nm, and petrol-electric hybrid choice.

The hybrid Kluger however, pairs a 2.5-litre engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 179kW/237Nm, with the Japanese brand hoping to emulate the sell-out success of the one-size smaller RAV4 locally.