The new, hybrid-powered Hyundai Santa Fe is now available to order in the UK with prices starting at just over £40,000. The South Korean manufacturer says the new model “combines rugged presence and sophistication” with new, more efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

Externally, Hyundai’s seven-seat SUV has been modernised with a new grille and T-shaped headlights, as well as ‘connected’ tail lights and a full-width lower reflector. Inside, meanwhile, there’s a completely new dashboard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen as standard and an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Engine choices are currently limited to two 1.6-litre petrol engines, both of which come with electrical assistance. The cheaper of the two is the Hybrid, which sends a total of 227 bhp to the wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. As standard, that engine/motor combination sends its power to the front wheels, but you can choose to upgrade to four-wheel drive if you so wish.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

The alternative is the Plug-In Hybrid version, which has a larger battery and, as the name suggests, a plug with which to charge it. That means the car will manage up to 36 miles on electricity alone, before the 1.6-litre petrol engine takes over. Use the engine and motor together, however, and you get a 262 bhp four-wheel-drive SUV that gets from 0-62 mph in 8.8 seconds.

If you only want to spend the £40,250 starting price, however, the Santa Fe will come in Premium guise with the two-wheel-drive Hybrid powertrain. Apart from the claimed 44.1 mpg economy, that car also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, two-zone climate control and heated seats in the front and rear. Parking sensors and a reversing camera are also included, along with satellite navigation and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity technology.

If you’re happy to upgrade to the Plug-In Hybrid version, you will get larger 19-inch alloy wheels, but the real upgrade is to be found in the shape of the £45,715 Ultimate trim. That offers drivers 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, plus a 360-degree manoeuvring camera, a digital instrument cluster and a fighter jet-style head-up display. Safety features including parking collision avoidance assistance and blind-spot monitoring are also thrown in.

“The latest enhancements to the Santa Fe not only provide an outstanding range of standard equipment but also combine this with a high level of efficiency offered by the hybrid and plug-in hybrid electrified powertrains that continue to reaffirm our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles,” said Ashley Andrew, the managing director of Hyundai Motor UK.

“New Santa Fe will also appeal to the fleet market, particularly for fleet operators and company car drivers who require a multi seat vehicle and a low emission powertrain – a requirement that Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid is ideally positioned to fill with its low CO2 emissions of just 37 g/km and standard seven-seat configuration.”

Gallery: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe