Try the Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI PHEV Luxury – A little lacking in perfection

Try the Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDI PHEV Luxury – A little lacking in perfection

Santa Fe is the largest model that can be bought for the European market. We decided to look at the characteristics of the hybrid variant of the plug-in, which is the top of the line thinking. Along with the top trim of the Luxury, Hyundai wants to take on the established European competition and we’ve found out if the current generation Santa Fe is up to it.

The current generation of the car has already undergone a facelift in 2020, which can be safely considered as a semi-transition to a new generation. The chassis system has changed and a plug-in hybrid version with a power of 265 hp has entered the offer. An interesting fact is that the PHEV and HEV versions cannot be fitted with larger than 20″ alloy wheels, which is an unusual snag. Therefore, I had 19″ wheels on the car with winter tires, which were fine in the issue of driving comfort. . Big wheels would have looked better on the car, but due to the absence of adaptive suspension (it can’t be bought even for an extra charge) the journey, especially in Prague, was often more difficult than I personally would have liked.

Construction SUV, 4,785 x 1,900 x 1,710 mm, 2,080 kg
Drive Hybrid (electric/petrol), drive axle: 4×4
Performance 195 kW, 265 hp, torque: 304 Nm
Battery 13.8 kWh
Charging on board: 3.7 kW, connectors: Mennekes
Usage Together:? l / 100 km
Price from 1,565,900 CZK

A futuristic feature of the current generation Santa Fe is the split headlights, which offer Full LED technology as part of the Luxury package. But beware, it may seem that the headlights of the car at the price of 1.5 million CZK will provide the best performance, but that is a mistake. In addition, you can count on the possibility of switching directly from dimmed to high beams, which is a big pity for me. Other competitors at the same price level offer detection of objects in front of the car in long-distance mode – so I hope that Hyundai will prepare this device for the next fifth generation of its SUV.

But that’s where the negatives about the exterior end. The interior, thanks to the special Luxury package, offered seats trimmed in premium Nappa leather with diamond-shaped stitching in a shade of beige, which was very attractive to look at. In addition, the seats provided full adjustment of electricity, heating and ventilation. The test cabin was also spiced up with decorative moldings and aluminum center trim. The highlight was the suede upholstery of the pillars and ceiling, which I see only in the most luxurious models of premium products. Thumbs up for that, because even a small thing like that adds a lot to the overall feeling of being in the car.

In terms of technology, you can have a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 10.25-inch infotainment display in the top trim. Even the 10-speaker Krell sound system didn’t sound bad at all, and I’d probably just forgive the headline show. Its display capacity is insufficient and all information about it is so faint that one would need a magnifying glass and a little exaggeration. Some may be intimidated by the flood of buttons on the middle panel, but it’s fine by me. The driver always has an overview of where it is and doesn’t have to look for anything in the car’s dashboard. Although there’s a larger Palisade model over the Santa Fe (only available in the US), there’s still no shortage of interior space and plenty of carrying capacity. The tested piece also received an additional third row of seats, which can accommodate small children up to 130 cm tall.

But in the configuration of seven seats, the luggage compartment decreases to a comfortable 130 liters. On the contrary, after folding the third and second rows of seats, a space with a volume of 1,649 liters is visible. Those who regularly tow an enclosed trailer should remember that the plug-in hybrid version only tows 1,350 kg. The biggest surprise was the presence of a complete park. This is not only visible in this car concept and it is under the car. The most important feature, however, is the power unit, which is among the most powerful that can be purchased for the current Santa Fe.

The base is a 1.6-liter Smartstream four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct fuel injection and a single turbocharger. It is further powered by a permanent magnet electric synchronous motor. The internal combustion engine produces a maximum output of 132 kW and a maximum torque of 265 Nm. It is supported by a powerful electric motor with a maximum output of 66.9 kW and a torque of 304 Nm. The result is a system output of 195 kW and a maximum torque of 304 Nm. Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, and I had a choice of three on-road and two off-road modes while driving. Despite the large number of sheets, the Santa Fe PHEV is surprising by accelerating from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.8 seconds and reaching a maximum speed of 187 km / h.

It should be the best SUV

These numbers are averages at best and certainly not impressive. The capacity of the Li-Pol battery is 13.8 kWh and is stored under the passenger seat. When it was full, I drove 40 km with a light foot on the gas pedal. But as soon as I forgot about ecology, the battery did not last 25 km, which was mainly used for highway movement. My average consumption stood at 3.4 liters per 100 km after driving 1,200 km, which I see as a good result. But it involved seven full charge cycles, during which the battery slowly charged for about 4 hours after each one. The power of the charger is a maximum of 3.7 kW, which is very low by today’s standards.

The small fuel tank, which holds only 47 liters of fuel, will not please you either. All it takes is a long highway trip and the car’s range quickly drops to 450 km. In all other respects, however, the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is a well-built SUV that can please its crew with plenty of luxury equipment features. However, for the second version of this model, I hope that the manufacturer will work on the current limitations and not give anything to the competition. A few improvements will suffice, and the Santa Fe could attract a wider range of interested parties.

Photo: Roman Havlin,