New Hyundai Santa Fe set for 2021 Singapore release, featuring new hybrid powertrains

Hyundai has revealed the all-new Santa Fe seven-seat SUV, set to arrive in Singapore next year with hybrid powertrains available for the first time


Hyundai has unveiled its all-new Santa Fe seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV), which has undergone an extensive revamp, and offers the availability of hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants for the first time.

Local distributor Komoco Motors are still finalising plans for the new Santa Fe for Singapore, but it should be expected on our shores some time early next year.

The introduction of hybrid powertrains for the Santa Fe marks a serious push into electrification for the Korean carmaker, as up until now the only hybrid model it sells here is the purpose-built Ioniq.

But it also fits into Hyundai’s strategy of using SUVs as a platform for exploring alternative fuel solutions, with the Santa Fe hybrid joining the Kona electric vehicle in the lineup, along with the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Nexo and Tucson crossovers that are sold overseas.

While details of the Santa Fe’s hybrid powertrain has not been released, it is likely to be similar to the one found in the US-market Sonata, with which the new Santa Fe also shares its ‘third-generation’ platform architecture. In that application, the 2.0-litre engine combines with the electric motor to produce a total of 192hp and 205Nm of torque.

There will also be a plug-in hybrid version, which, if it makes it here, will make the Santa Fe the first Hyundai PHEV to go on sale in Singapore, as the Ioniq PHEV is not offered locally.

It’s not just the drivetrain which is all new on the Santa Fe. The styling has also been given a major makeover, with a much larger grille design that stretches across the front fascia of the car, and melds into the T-shaped daytime running lights. Check out the comparison with the current car (right), which we tested back in 2018, below. 

New Santa Fe (left) and current model (right)

The rear sees more minor changes, but they now include a reflector bar that stretches between the slightly redesigned taillights – a design cue which Audi and Porsche have gone all-in on.

The interior has also been revamped, with a noticeable more upmarket look. The dashboard is topped with a new 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, which replaces the 7.0-inch item on the current model.

The thick-set slanted centre console is a nod toward high-end premium cars with similar designs such as Porsche, and features buttons aplenty, as well as a new rotary gear selector, in place of the traditional shifter stick.

The Santa Fe will face tough competition in the seven-seater SUV market, as it will be pitched against the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, as well as the Santa Fe’s Korean cousin, the Kia Sorento, itself due for an update at the end of 2020. But its hybrid powertrain could give it an edge against its rivals in the form of a substantial Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) rebate when it goes on sale here.

about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world.