4 Best & Worst Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Years (With Pictures)

The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is a standout SUV that was introduced as a 2021 model year. 

It has a great fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and a spacious cabin. 

In this article, we’ll be checking out all of its best and worst model years.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Are:

The best Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid model years are 2024 and 2023. The worst model years of this model are 2021 and 2022. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid?

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The 2024 Santa Fe Hybrid ushers in a bolder, more luxurious, and slightly boxy 5th-generation SUV.

While exterior changes were significant, what we find to be an even better upgrade is seating and seating capacity. 

On the inside, you would find 3 rows of seating with room for up to 7 passengers (plus 1 driver). 

In addition, all trims are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that is assisted by an electric motor and battery pack to push out a total of 232 horsepower (slightly higher than the previous model year’s 226-horsepower setup).

It also has a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all wheels as the standard configuration. 

Another big leap forward is the dual 12.3-inch touchscreen information and multimedia system that is capable of both wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

This particular Santa Fe Hybrid, with all of its new upgrades and features, is now positioned to be even better than the entire Palisade lineup as it is now largely considered to be a midsize SUV (as opposed to its former compact SUV classification). 

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid is the final 4th-generation model and is a top pick.

It has an abundance of standard features, generous warranty coverage, and intuitive advanced driver assistance aids.

There are 3 main trim levels to pick: Blue, SEL Premium, and Limited. Base pricing ranges from approximately $38,000 to $43,000.

The most popular trim is the range-topping Limited trim, with a starting price of $43,205. 

We agree with the crowd. The Limited variant is the best option, particularly when considering it from a value for money perspective. Features and equipment include:

  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Driver’s seat memory settings
  • Leather upholstery
  • 115-volt power outlet
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Remote smart parking assist

All 3 trims are powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system that provides 226 horsepower.

A 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive configuration are standard across the board. 

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0

2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, Edmunds Review:

“Love this Hyundai Hybrid. It’s very quiet and fuel efficient. I’ve been getting around 35 mpg here in WNY with temperatures in the teens, during the summer I’ve been getting near 40 mpg. This vehicle is very quiet and it’s hard to feel the transition from EV to motor. UPDATE: Nothing to dislike, just a nice quiet vehicle which is delivering 44mpg on a regular basis. Looking forward to the redesign in 2024.”

Consumer Scores For Best Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid 4.3 / 5.04.6 / 5.0

Related: 8 Most Common Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid?

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

By all accounts and statistics online, the first-ever Santa Fe Hybrid (2021) is the most problematic model year ever produced.

Owners frequently complained about sporadic loss of engine power while driving at various speeds. 

This was accompanied by sounds and vibrations that made it seem like the vehicle was about to stall. 

“While traveling 70 mph the vehicle had a sudden loss of engine and battery output performance while driving and began losing speed despite the accelerator being fully depressed. There was a very rapid decrease in speed, and no warning chime activated… The vehicle would not accelerate and had to be coasted through four lanes of traffic to get to the shoulder of the highway…” – CarProblemZoo.com

While driving on the highway, when I pushed on the gas pedal the car would not accelerate, I was uncertain if I was losing power. Luckily it maintained the current speed and did not decelerate,but I was unsure at the moment if I was losing complete power, because it wasn’t responding, it felt like the car was going to stall similar to when you run out of fuel…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Other common problems:

  • Windshield easily cracked
  • Transmission failure
  • Vehicle lurches when accelerating
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The 2022 Santa Fe Hybrid is the second-most problematic vehicle, stats-wise. 

Much like the 2021 model year, several owners of this model reported loss of power and acceleration while driving. 

There seemed to be no rhyme or reason behind this issue as this would occur in various circumstances, speeds, and driving conditions. 

“I was idling for 15 minutes and then drove for 10 minutes at which time the check hybrid system stop safely alert showed on my dashboard with the red light. I was on a bridge and could not stop in the middle, this was very terrifying and dangerous as I was losing acceleration and speed and it felt like the car was about to totally turn off, I was losing control…” – CarProblemZoo.com

“The vehicle started stalling on the highway and the check engine light came on. I was trying to accelerate as other vehicles were catching up but it won’t do that…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Another widespread issue is a persistently appearing error message that indicates that there is an issue with the coolant level.

Based on accounts online, however, it seems that the coolant sensor has been providing inaccurate readings. 

“This vehicle is a hybrid and the issue is an on/off error message that states that the inverter coolant level issue. When I lift the hood and view the inverter coolant level it is at the same location as the car was delivered in (exactly on the high mark). I have contacted two separate Hyundai dealerships and they stated that they were aware of this issue but had no fix for it.” – CarProblemZoo.com

Unfortunately, for both issues, we have found neither a recall campaign nor any official pronouncement from Hyundai regarding possible fixes or workarounds for these specific issues. 

Other common problems:

  • Start button will not start vehicle
  • Fraying cloth seat covers
  • Air conditioning problems

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Related: How Long Do Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrids Last? (Solved)

What Problems Do Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Have?

  • Engine failure
  • Windshield easily cracked
  • Transmission failure
  • Vehicle lurches when accelerating
  • Start button will not start vehicle
  • Fraying cloth seat covers
  • Air conditioning problems

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Sportage Hybrid8.7$27,490 – $36,390City: 38 – 42 /Highway: 38 – 44
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid8.6$31,350 – $39,110City: 37 – 38 /Highway: 36 – 38
Honda CR-V Hybrid8.4$32,950 – $39,100City: 40 – 43 /Highway: 34 – 36
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid8.3$35,660 – $41,320City: 33 – 36 /Highway: 30 – 31
Kia Sorento Hybrid8.2$36,690 – $42,490City: 36 – 39 /Highway: 33 – 35
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid8.2$30,225 – $38,530City: 41 /Highway: 38 
Toyota Highlander Hybrid8.1$40,220 – $52,425City: 35 – 36 /Highway: 34 – 35
Kia Niro7.9$26,590 – $34,890City: 53 /Highway: 45 – 54
Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid7.9$44,670 – $58,125City: NA /Highway NA
Ford Escape Hybrid7.7$29,345 – $36,965City: 26 – 42 /Highway: 32 – 36
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid7.7$36,845City: NA /
Highway: NA
Toyota Venza 7.6$33,595 – $41,740City: 40 /Highway: 37

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 12 Best Hybrid SUVs for Tall Drivers (With Pictures)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/hyundai/santa-fe-hybrid

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/hyundai/santa-fe-hybrid

https://www.edmunds.com/hyundai/santa-fe-hybrid/

https://www.kbb.com/hyundai/santa-fe-hybrid/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/hyundai/santa-fe-hybrid

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Hyundai/Santa_Fe/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/hyundai/santafe/

https://www.cars.com/research/hyundai-santa_fe/recalls/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/