First Look Review: The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is a wholehearted effort [Update]

  • Santa Fe Hybrid gets a more mature design and a more upscale interior for 2024
  • To be manufactured in 5-, 6-, and 7-seat versions
  • Has a 235-horsepower powertrain
  • Scheduled to begin reaching U.S. dealerships in the Spring of 2024

Update: Introduction and ‘Price & Release Date’ section updated and new live images added to the ‘Interior’ section.

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, part of the brand’s fifth-gen global mid-size SUV, is scheduled to start reaching U.S. dealers in the Spring of 2024. With a bold new character, luxury vehicle-like and spacious interior, and a host of mechanical upgrades, the fully-redesigned model is one of the most anticipated launches for 2024. At the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, I got a detailed look at the S.Korean SUV months before its release, and here are my findings:

Design

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has a boxy exterior with a mix of retro and modern design elements. The shape reminds me of the Galloper that Hyundai marketed between 1991 and 2003. Some viewers have called it a poor man’s Range Rover, and I can attest from my experience at the LA Auto Show that it does have some resemblance to the British SUV when seen from the front three quarter angle.

The 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid’s flat and wide front-end reminds me of the Ford Flex. The H-shaped DRLs that adorn its wide and boxy headlamps, the slim light bar that splits the rectangular upper grille, the H-shaped frame on the bumper, the prominent front grille, and the high hood lend it a strong and confident first impression.

On the sides, the shape of the wheel arches look somewhat unconventional, but the squarish windows and straight belt line complement the classic SUV character that Hyundai’s designers intended to achieve. However, the oversized wheel arches somewhat detract from the alloy wheels, which are actually quite big at 21 inches in diameter.

At the back, the glass on the flat tailgate seamlessly merges with the rear-quarter glass, adding to the SUV’s understated, minimalist vibe. The technical look of the tail lamps, creating a wide, H-shaped light signature, stands out, although I’m not particularly fond of the low positioning. My favorite aspect of the exterior is the tight shut lines, which give the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid the look of a luxury SUV.

Interior

While seated in the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid in Los Angeles, I was impressed by its tall dashboard, accentuated by ambient light strips forming an H-shape, the steering wheel with its truck-like spokes and large center pad, and the elevated center console. These elements collectively contributed to the feeling of being in a proper SUV. These design bits also create a nice contrast with the modern elements.

One of my favorite things about the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid is the slick curved panel that integrates the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. However, I’ll have to point out that there’s a notable gap between the two displays, and as they aren’t seamlessly clubbed, their combination looks adhesive and not cohesive!

Both displays have crisp graphics and look among the best ones in this segment. The touchscreen has smooth animations, but it can get slow sometimes. I think Hyundai will update the software to improve responsiveness before the launch. I was curious to know what the extended part of the curved panel was, and at the 2023 LA Auto Show, I found that it integrated a fingerprint reader.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid infotainment system
The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system has sharp graphics and shows smooth animations, but it has some room for improvement with respect to responsiveness.

Hyundai has generously used soft-touch padding and premium trim materials in the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid. From my experience with some of the touchpoints in the first row, I felt that I was sitting in a much more expensive vehicle.

Globally, the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid is available in 5-,6-, and 7-seat versions. At the 2023 LA Auto Show, I sat in the 6-seat version, which I expect will be the one that will be available in the U.S. I’m six feet tall, and I had no issues getting in or out of the ‘Relaxation Comfort’ front seats. The backrest reclined way back and the leg rest slid in the opposite direction, giving me a comfortable seating position. I think I’d truly appreciate this feature during road trips.

In the normal driving position, I had a ton of headroom and excellent under-thigh support. All-around visibility was great, and the steering wheel with a power tilt and telescopic column felt solid to grip.

I was curious to check out the various storage spaces, and the first thing my eyes laid on was the world’s first center console storage space that can be opened from both front and back. I think I could keep a few Nintendo Switch units or books, or a small grocery bag in there. There’s an open area in the lower part of the center console, right ahead of this innovative storage box. I think it’s spacious enough to keep my partner’s handbag.

The dual wireless smartphone charging tray is quite big and can easily fit an iPhone 15 Pro Max on both sides. Its convenient placement allows for quick glances at notifications without needing to handle the phone repeatedly. The 27-watt USB-C charging ports would come in handy on a family roadtrip.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid second-row seat
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid features power reclining rear seats, which are supportive.

Another interesting storage feature is an additional glove compartment, located at the top of the passenger-side dashboard. It opens with a push of a button on its left and it has an ultraviolet sterilization feature to keep frequently used items like cell phones, wallets, and glasses clean.

Ingress and egress were easy in the second row as well. I sat right behind the driver’s seat, which was still in my most comfortable position. I think a six-footer could easily sit behind a six-footer here, as I had sufficient legroom and plenty of knee room left. The under-thigh support wasn’t bad either, although I wouldn’t give it a five out of five. A power recline function allowed me to tilt the backrest backward to a considerable extent. As for headroom, it was more than adequate.

Ingress and egress in the third row were a little difficult, as while the second-row seats had a power fold-and-dive function, there wasn’t much of a passage between them and the doors. Thanks to the tall and boxy body of the SUV, I had impressive headroom and shoulder room in the third row. The seating height was a bit too low, though, so under-thigh support wasn’t all that good.

The 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid has an electrically operated, wide liftgate. Hyundai states 50.2 in. as the liftgate opening width, an improvement of 5.7 in. from the outgoing model. Folding the third-row seats gives 40.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, 4.1 cu. ft. more than in the outgoing model.

Specifications

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has a 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine under the hood, tuned to produce 180 PS (177 hp) and 27.0 kgf·m (195 lb.-ft.) of torque. The engine sends drive to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission, and an all-wheel drive system is available as an option.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid side profile
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has a 232-hp powertrain.

Assisting the 1.6-liter engine is an electric motor that produces 47.7 kW (64 hp) and 264 Nm (195 lb.-ft.) of torque. Together, the engine and motor supply the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid 235 PS (232 hp) and 37.4 kgf·m (271 lb.-ft.) of torque. The driver can choose from three levels of regenerative braking intensity using paddles behind the steering wheel.

The 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid has an ‘E-Ride’ feature that uses the motor to control its sway when passing through a bump, like as a speed breaker, for instance. This way, the ride remains smooth and the driver can continue having a firm grip on the steering wheel to keep the vehicle in its lane.

There’s also an ‘E-Handling’ feature, which reduces body roll, yaw, and pitch during turns and braking by adjusting the traction of the front and rear wheels and increasing the steering response. When the vehicle turns in, the motor decelerates the front wheels to increase their contact patch on the road surface. While exiting the corner, it applies precise torque to the rear wheels for the same reason.

Price

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid’s prices start at USD 36,950 and go up to USD 48,800, excluding freight charges of USD 1,395.

Configuration2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Price
SEL FWDUSD 36,950
SEL AWDUSD 38,750
Limited FWDUSD 43,850
Limited AWDUSD 45,650
Calligraphy FWDUSD 47,000
Calligraphy AWDUSD 48,800
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid prices in the U.S. (excl. USD 1,395 freight charges)

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has style, comfort, space, and lots of premium technologies and amenities. Admittedly, its exterior is polarizing, but it’s certainly designed to look a class above its rivals. It has been priced well, too. The verdict will depend on its ability to deliver enough performance and show good on-road manners to be a good family SUV. I expect those details to become available in early 2024.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid release date?

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid will start arriving at U.S. dealerships in Spring 2024.

What will be the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid price?

The prices of the 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid start at $36,950 (excl. USD 1,350 freight charges).

Which models will be 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid rivals?

The 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid will compete with the 2024 Kia Sorento Hybrid.

This first look review article has contributions from our reader.