The Santa Fe debuted in 2001 and is now offered in eco-focused Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions.
It sits between the smaller Tucson and the larger Palisade in Hyundai’s lineup and comes with all-wheel drive as standard.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Santa Fe Hybrid’s average lifespan.
Here is the short answer to how long the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid lasts:
A Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid can last at least 200,000 miles and could even last up to 300,000 miles when properly maintained and driven conservatively. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, you can expect to get at least 13 years of service before requiring expensive repairs.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid?
The hybrid versions of the Santa Fe have only just been released (2021 for Hybrid and 2022 for Plug-in Hybrid) so there isn’t much data regarding their longevity just yet.
However, Hyundai has been making hybrid drivetrains for over a decade now and they are proven to go the distance; the Sonata Hybrid made its debut in 2011 and you can find lots of high-mile models on the used market.
Across various online forums you’ll also find no shortage of owners who have gone past 200,000 miles in their gas-powered Santa Fes.
And so it’s not unreasonable to believe that the hybrid version will last just as long or even longer as the electric motors reduce a lot of the stress that the engine is subjected to.
We’re pretty confident in predicting that the Santa Fe Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) can easily rack up 200,000 to 300,000 miles before needing major repairs that are worth more than what the vehicle is worth.
And you can expect the Santa Fe’s hybrid battery to last 10 – 15 years, possibly more, and although this doesn’t spell the end for the vehicle, it will cost upwards of $3000 to replace.
Hyundai offers the best warranty in the business with their 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty.
All Hyundai hybrids also come with a 10-year/100,000-mile hybrid battery and powertrain warranty.
If any production or quality issues come up with your Santa Fe Hybrid, then you’re pretty well covered.
Remember, the key to longevity is regular maintenance, smooth driving habits and taking good care of your vehicle, this will ensure you get the most life from the engine and hybrid battery.
Does the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Rust Easily?
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrids are expected to be quite resilient when it comes to rust and corrosion, especially as they are such new models, they will benefit from the most up-to-date rust protection technology.
Rusting on a new car is out of the ordinary, and you shouldn’t need to worry about getting any additional rust proofing.
Keep in mind though, it’s not unusual to see some surface rust on any car after 5 years use — especially if you live somewhere that uses a lot of road salt during the winter.
Rust on the brake rotors and other specks of rust on the body won’t affect the vehicle’s safety or drivability.
Keep in mind that a neglected Santa Fe will likely have more rust issues compared to one that’s been regularly washed and looked after.
Keeping your Santa Fe garaged when not in use, waxed twice a year, and washed regularly (including the under chassis) will ensure rust is kept at bay.
Hyundai also offers one of the longest anti-perforation warranties in the business at 7 years and an unlimited number of miles.
What is High Mileage for a Santa Fe Hybrid?
A Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid with 100,000 miles is considered high mileage. Although it’s a hybrid, it still uses many of the same parts any other vehicle would use which are subject to wear and tear over time and will eventually need to be replaced – especially as the odometer reaches high numbers.
The warranty for its hybrid battery and other hybrid components is done once it’s past 100,000 miles, so you’ll have to be financially prepared to cover all repair costs.
A used Hyundai also doesn’t have the same powertrain warranty as a brand new one, and is cut to half at 5 years/60,000 miles – the hybrid powertrain warranty stays the same though.
When buying a used Santa Fe Hybrid, don’t judge it by mileage alone, as this only gives one piece of the puzzle – assess the vehicle as a whole and consider the following:
- Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
- Have the car inspected by a mechanic who understands hybrids.
- As a general rule, less previous owners is better. More owners usually means more wear-and-tear. A one-owner car that’s been regularly serviced on time is less likely to have issues and nasty surprises.
- The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was maintained and cared for.
- Mileage relative to vehicles age: A car that has done alot more, or a lot less than 15,000 miles per year on average is a red flag.
How Long Does the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Last Compared to Other Hybrid SUVs?
In this section, we’ll compare the Santa Fe Hybrid to its closest competitors.
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs today and after more than two decades on the maket, it has only recently released a hybrid variant — just like with the Santa Fe.
Toyota is a leader in the hybrid space and it’s no surprise that its hybrid vehicles have outstanding long-term reliability.
The RAV4 borrows many components from other reliable Toyota hybrids like the Camry and Prius.
This means parts and repairs are less likely to become major issues as they should be cheap and plentiful many years further down the road.
We estimate that the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid can reach 300,000 – 500,000 miles and is generally expected to outlive a Santa Fe Hybrid.
- RepairPal gave the Santa Fe and RAV4 the same reliability rating of 4/5 stars.
- The RAV4 has a lower average annual repair cost of $429 compared to the Santa Fe’s $515.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Santa Fe Hybrid a 4.6/5 for Reliabilty which is significantly higher than the RAV4 Hybrid’s score of 3.6/5. The RAV4 does have hundreds more owner reviews than the Santa Fe Hybrid which only has around 10 reviews.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid an overall score of 3.8/5 which is much lower than the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid’s 4.1/5.
- J.D. Power gave the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 80/100 for Quality and Reliability. The 2021 RAV4 hasn’t been rated yet but the 2020 model got 74/100.
Though reviews seem to favor the Santa Fe over the RAV4 when it comes to owner satisfaction and rated reliability, we believe the RAV4 has a better track record for reliability.
Toyota’s extensive experience in producing highly reliable hybrid vehicles can’t be ignored, which is why we believe the RAV4 will give you less headaches in the longer term.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Toyota RAV4 Hybrids Last?
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid vs. Honda CR-V Hybrid
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid faces pretty stiff competition with the Honda CR-V Hybrid which also only came out very recently in 2020.
Honda has legendary reliability and has been building hybrids for just as long as Toyota.
The CR-V has also been a very popular and reliable vehicle generation after generation with a run that spans well over two decades.
We expect the Honda CR-V Hybrid to last a tiny bit longer than the Santa Fe Hybrid with its effective lifespan of 250,000 – 350,000 miles.
- RepairPal gave the CR-V a slightly higher reliability rating of 4.5/5 stars compared to the Santa Fe’s 4/5.
- The CR-V is cheaper to maintain with an annual repair cost of $407 compared to the Santa Fe’s $515.
- The Kelley Blue Book consumer rating index gave the CR-V Hybrid a reliability rating of 4.5/5 which is almost the same as the Santa Fe Hybrid’s 4.6/5.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2021 Santa Fe an overall rating of 3.8/5 while the 2021 CR-V Hybrid got a slightly higher 4.2/5.
- J.D. Power gave the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 80/100 for Quality and Reliability while the 2021 CR-V got 84/100.
Though Hyundai’s reliability has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 15 years, the CR-V Hybrid will likely hold up a bit better than the Santa Fe Hybrid as both vehicles get older.
Aside from being slightly cheaper to maintain, the latest generation Honda CR-V has gotten better reviews overall both from actual owners and different publications.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Honda CR-V Hybrids Last?
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid vs. Kia Sorento Hybrid
The Kia Sorento and Santa Fe are built on the same platform but have slightly different exteriors and interiors.
Both vehicles also use the same engine and hybrid powertrain so their long-term reliability should be pretty equal.
The Kia Sorento Hybrid should be able to last at least 200,000 – 300,000 miles or 13 – 15 years just like the Santa Fe Hybrid.
- RepairPal gave the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe the same reliability rating of 4/5 stars.
- Average annual repair costs for both vehicles are almost the same with the Kia Sorento costing an average of $533 per year, while the Santa Fe costs $515.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Sorento Hybrid and Santa Fe Hybrid the same reliability rating of 4.6/5.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the 2021 Kia Sorento a higher overall rating of 4.1/5 while the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid only got 3.8/5.
- J.D. Power gave the 2021 Kia Sorento a 77/100 for Quality and Reliability while the 2021 Santa Fe got a slightly higher score of 80/100.
It’s no surprise that the Kia Sorento Hybrid and Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid received similar ratings as the vehicles are practically the same.
The choice really comes down to which you prefer in terms of looks and features.
Price is almost the same for both vehicles as well, with the Sorento often just a few hundred dollars cheaper.
|Santa Fe Hybrid||RAV4 Hybrid||CR-V Hybrid||Kia Sorento Hybrid|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating*||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||4/5|
|RepairPal Annual Repair Average*||$515||$429||$407||$533|
|KBB Reliability Rating||4.6/5||3.6/5||4.4/5||4.6/5|
|Expected Lifespan (miles)||200k – 300k||300k – 500k||250k – 350k||200k – 300k|
|Expected Lifespan (years)||13 – 15||17 – 20||15 – 17||13 – 15|
* Ratings for entire model range (not specific to hybrid models)
Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Reliable?
The Hyundai Santa Fe has proven its reliability throughout the past 2 decades that it’s been in production, and we expect the hybrid variant to be just as reliable.
Hyundai’s earlier hybrids like the Sonata and Ioniq have also been quite problem-free and typically just keep on going for years and years.
Early Sonata Hybrids had some engine issues but the hybrid components have been pretty reliable so far.
Hyundai would have already sorted their hybrid systems by the time they started developing the Santa Fe Hybrid, so there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises lurking around the corner once the vehicle gets older and the mileage starts to pile up.
Santa Fes can easily last over 200,000 miles and we expect the hybrid models to last longer on average than their ICE-counterparts.
Here’s more data that proves how reliable the Santa Fe Hybrid can be:
- Looking at owner reviews for the Santa Fe Hybrid on Kelley Blue Book, people seem to be very happy with their vehicles in terms of features and price, and its reliability is rated very highly at 4.6/5 stars.
- JD Power gave the latest generation Santa Fe lineup a very good Quality and Reliability rating of 80/100 which is higher than some Toyota models got.
- RepairPal gave the Santa Fe an average reliability rating of 4/5 which is comparable to what other reliable SUVs from Japan typically get.
- RepairPal also ranked the Santa Fe in 2nd place among all other midsize SUVs for reliability.
Reliability Compared to Other SUVs
|Mazda CX-5||4.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Venza||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Veracruz||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Endeavor||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Journey||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Highlander||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Nitro||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota 4Runner||4.0 / 5.0|
|Subaru Outback||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Edge||3.5 / 5.0|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||3.5 / 5.0|
|Honda Pilot||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Liberty||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mazda CX-7||3.5 / 5.0|
|Nissan Pathfinder||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru Tribeca||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Traverse||3.0 / 5.0|
|GMC Acadia||3.0 / 5.0|
|Buick Enclave||3.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Touareg||3.0 / 5.0|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||2.0 / 5.0|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||3.5|
The Best and Worst Years for the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has only been available since 2021 so there are very few model years to choose from.
Let’s take a look at how the different model years have changed so far.
Worst Model Year
It’s hard to say which model year is the worst since the Santa Fe Hybrid has only been out for roughly 2 years.
But it’s always wise to stay away from the first model year of any vehicle so the 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid can be considered as the worst model year so far.
Best Model Year
The best model year for the Santa Fe Hybrid is currently the 2022 model since it now comes in a Plug-in (PHEV) variant, as well as in a regular hybrid trim.
As the Santa Fe Hybrid gets updated, newer models will likely surpass the 2022 model in terms of features and reliability as any initial build quality issues get sorted out.
Model Year and Number of Complaints
The Santa Fe Hybrid has not recorded any complaints on the CarComplaints website or the NHTSA database so far.
|Model Year||No. of Complaints|
What About Recalls for the Santa Fe Hybrid?
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has only had 1 recall so far, in cold weather the driver’s digital displays can flip upside down.
Hyundai says the screens “may have been produced with incorrect resistors.” In extremely cold temperatures, that can cause the driver’s display screen to show an inverted image.
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid: 1
- 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid: 0
You can always check if your Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the Hyundai recall site or the NHTSA recall database.
It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Model Year List
Though the Santa Fe has been sold since 2001, a hybrid version was only released in 2021 at the same time the fourth-generation Santa Fe introduced a face lift.
2022 saw the introduction of a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) variant in addition to the regular hybrid version of the Santa Fe.
First Generation (2021 – present):
- 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Expensive to Maintain?
The Santa Fe Hybrid should cost around $515 a year in terms of maintenance and overall it should be a very afforable vehicle in terms of ownership costs.
The Santa Fe Hybrid also comes with longer warranties than most other vehicles which should give extra peace of mind.
|Model||Avg. Annual Repair Cost||Frequency of|
Unscheduled Repairs (per year)
|Probability of |
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$515||0.2||10%|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||$506||0.5||14%|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$666||0.3||13%|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||$720||0.3||14%|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||$1,160||1.0||20%|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||$573||0.4||13%|
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The Hyundai Santa Fe’s brake pads should be able to last around 100,000 miles before needing replacement.
It uses regenerative braking to charge its batteries and slow down the vehicle whenever you take your foot off the accelerator.
This means you won’t have to use the brakes as much and will have longer maintenance intervals.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The Santa Fe Hybrid’s tires should be able to last around 40,000 miles or roughly 3 to 4 years with normal use.
Tires on gas driven Hyundai Santa Fes typically last this long and the hybrid versions aren’t going to be that much different although they may wear out a bit sooner as they are slightly heavier vehicles.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
- Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
- Check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid uses a traditional 6-speed automatic which should last well over 200,000 miles.
Traditional automatics are pretty well developed at this point and are much less finicky than newer CVTs or dual-clutch transmissions.
How Long Will the Santa Fe Hybrid’s Electric Motors Last?
The Santa Fe Hybrid’s electric motors and powertrain should last at least 300,000 miles.
The motors will likely outlive the rest of the vehicle and other major problems like engine and transmission failures are more likely to occur.
It will also most certainly outlast the stock hybrid batteries.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Ford Explorer Hybrids Last?
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid’s 1.6-liter engine needs new spark plugs only every 100,000 miles or 5 – 6 years.
You may need new spark plugs sooner if they look too worn down or fouled up during the car’s regular inspection
How Long Do Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Batteries Last?
The Hyundai Santa Fe’s batteries should last well over 100,000 miles and even past 200,000 miles.
Batteries also degrade with age aside from extended use, so any hybrid battery that’s 10 years or more won’t perform anywhere close to its original design specifications.
The Santa Fe Hybrid’s battery also comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty in case of any premature failures.
If you do have to replace the hybrid battery out of pocket, you’ll be able to get aftermarket replacements that cost much less than what a dealership charges very easily.
What About Insurance Costs?
According to Insuraviz’s estimates, the Hyundai Santa Fe costs an average of $1,610 per year or roughly $134 per month to insure.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person, so be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for your Santa Fe Hybrid.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
- Practice smooth and safe driving habits.
- Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
- Use quality parts and fluids.
- Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
- Regularly wash your Santa Fe Hybrid to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust.
- Keep your Hyundai Santa Fe stored in a garage to help protect it from extreme heat and cold.
- Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your SUV needs and in what quantities, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.