Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander Hybrid AWD SUV 2023 Review

Is the new Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid any good

Highlander Hybrid – The Hyundai Santa Fe has been very popular over the years. Late last year they upgraded the models and added a Hybrid version in two top models.     Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid on the beach The hybrid engine is a 1.6 litre turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It also comes exclusively in AWD versions.

Power is 169 kilowatts and torque is 350 newton metres from an impressively low 1000 rpm.

This makes for quite smooth and relaxed driving, but allows some zippy acceleration when asked.

Economy is around 6.0L/100km which is excellent for a mid to large seven seat SUV.

I drove the top model, the Highlander with six seats, and it lacks for nothing in the way of safety, comfort, and luxury.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid drivers instruments

I like the blind spot camera that comes on I the dash when the indicator is on. Its useful, clever but shouldn’t replace the good old-fashioned glance over the shoulder.

The two middle row seats look prestigious.

Like most SUVs this size its much better as a five seat or in this case a four seat family runabout.

The Hybrid Santa Fe Elite is priced from $63,000 and the Highlander from $69,550 plus the usual; costs.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Brianna Fraser

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Highlander seating 4 pic


Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander Hybrid Motoring Minute Video

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid LED headlights

What is good?

  • Fluid Hybrid economy
  • Stylish design
  • Luxury and comfort

What is not so good?

  • Sunroof restricts headroom for middle row.
  • Reduced towing capacity.
  • Makes the 3.5L petrol engine redundant.

Santa Fe Hybrid details can be found HERE

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid profile

Also look at:

Mid to large SUVs are abundant and hybrids are becoming so.

Buyers could look at the sister vehicle the Kia Sorento Hybrid, as well as Toyota Kluger Hybrid, Peugeot 5008 GT, Mazda CX-8, Haval H6 Hybrid, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Lexus RX 350h.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid connectivity

More Highlander Hybrid thoughts

  • The Santa Fe looks stylish and feels luxurious
  • It blends sharp lines with SUV styling
  • Inside the Highlander Hybrid is class all the way.
  • Leather everywhere, comfortable heated and cooled seats, a central stack with an abundance of controls and the ability to find your perfect driving position.
  • In my mind I question if the two seat middle row is better than three as usually there are two people there at best. And you have a little more room.
  • The twin middle row seats do look prestigious though.
  • Access to the third row is ok but like most mid sized seven seat SUVs are the rear seats truly worth it.
  • Driving the Highlander Hybrid is easy
  • Its responsive, smooth and compliant.
  • It also has diesel like driving style with low torque delivery and relaxed cruising
  • It seems to cocoon the occupants
  • Economy is excellent but not that much better than the diesel version and that’s a choice buyers will need to make. There is about a $3000 price difference.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid controls

Highlander Hybrid final thoughts

I really like the Santa Fe. It’s a good balance between Urban duties and holiday chariot.

Its not really an adventure SUV, but ideal for snow trips and additional safety in wet conditions.

This Hybrid would make it difficult to choose between it and the diesel version.

Either way buyers will be getting a luxurious, comfortable, responsive SUV for a reasonable price.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid engine

Hyundai Santa Fe 


Highlander Hybrid

Model Price $69,550 MLP*
Engine 1.6L Turbo petrol hybrid Euro 5
Drivetrain 6 Sp AT AWD
Battery Capacity / type 1.5kWh / Lithium Ion
Power 169Kw @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 265Nm @ 1,500 – 4,500rpm
Range (WLTP) / ADR 1,136Km max
Economy / efficiency ADR 6.0L/100k
Fast Charge / Home N/A
Safety 5 Star ANCAP (tested Jul 2018)
CO2 Emissions 137g/100km
0-100kmh/Top Speed N/A
Servicing 12mth / 10,000km Capped Price
Warranty 5yr/ Unlimited km
Roadside Assist 5Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid interior

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel 9
Comfort 9
Equipment 9
Performance 8
Ride and Handling 8
Practicality 9
Fit for Purpose 8
Style / Appeal 9
Technology/connectivity 8
Value for Money 8

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Highlander cargo area 4 pic


Overall Length 4875mm
Wheelbase 2765mm
Width 1900mm
Height 1685mm
Wheels 19×7.5 Alloy
Tyres 235/55 R19
Max ground clearance Up to 176mm
Wading Depth TBA
Approach 17.9 degrees
Rampover 15.4 degrees
Departure angle 19.3 degrees
Turning Circle KTK 11.4m
Boot Min 571Lmm
Boot Max 782mm
Kerb Weight 1983kg
Payload (kg) 597kg
GVM (kg) 2580kg
GCM 4230kg
Towing Capacity 1650kg
Tow Ball rating 100kg

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid rear

Motoring Minute is heard around Australia every day on over 50 radio channels through the Torque Radio network

Our Motoring Minute has an average daily audience of over 550,000 listeners and they are also syndicated through various news sites around Australia.

Additionally Motoring Minute is also broadcast as part of Overdrive Radio Program, which is broadcast through the Community Radio Network across Australia

About Rob Fraser 2508 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.