SUV shoppers looking for something that uses less fuel have a new option in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in hybrid. On Tuesday, we learned how much Hyundai plans to charge for its latest plug-in, and that figure is $40,535 after a $1,185 destination charge. The car's closest rival, the Toyota RAV4 Prime, is in for a challenge, folks.
Toyota's plug-in SUV costs $39,465 after its destination charge, which makes the Santa Fe about $1,000 more expensive. However, Hyundai's offering is larger inside and outside, which could appeal to buyers more as they flock to larger, more spacious utility vehicles. And Hyundai's going to offer a Tucson plug-in hybrid, too, which could put the RAV4 Prime under even more pressure.
Stepping into the cheapest Santa Fe plug-in puts drivers in the SEL Convenience trim. It's pretty well equipped with heated seats, a bundle of active safety technology, a power driver's seat and smart keyless entry. It also adds a typically optional Convenience Package, which wraps the steering wheel in leather and adds digital key functionality for a smartphone, a hands-free tailgate and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Not too shabby at all.
From there, customers jump right into the top of the crop with the Limited trim. This is where the seats are leather instead of cloth and gain ventilation function, the steering wheel adds a heating element and a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system arrives. In addition, the SUV gets 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a suede headliner, a 10.25-inch infotainment display and the brand's Highway Driving Assistant. Total price including all the tech and gear comes to $46,545.
No matter which trim, a 1.6-liter turbo-four engine works with an electric motor and a 13.8 kilowatt-hour battery to deliver a total of 261 horsepower. A six-speed automatic tuned specifically for hybrid duty sends power to all four wheels via a standard all-wheel drive system, too. No word on what kind of electric range we should expect, but it likely won't touch the RAV4 Prime's 42 miles with a smaller battery.
We're not too far off from the first Santa Fe plug-in hybrids landing at dealers. Hyundai maintains the first batch will arrive by the end of this year. And keep in mind, this SUV will be eligible for a portion of the federal EV tax credits.