Such a Tease

Hyundai teases refreshed Santa Fe with hybrid and plug-in powertrains

Hyundai has shown off a refresh of the Santa Fe SUV, which includes two new powertrain options.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai has given the world its first glimpse of a new Santa Fe. With the release of a new teaser photo, the Korean automaker has announced that hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants of the SUV are on their way, as well as a host of interior updates.

The image reveals as slightly bolder Santa Fe, with its daytime running lights and grille combining at the front of the car. The new design incorporates a "T" shape, making Hyundai the second automaker to employ such a design in modern autos. Volvo has had a sideways "T" for its headlights since the current XC90 generation debuted, calling it "Thor's hammer". There will, naturally, be comparisons to the Tesla logo.

Hyundai Vision T concept car suvThe Hyundai Vision T concept SUV debuted at the LA Auto Show in November. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The move to debut a hybrid and PHEV version of the Santa Fe comes as no surprise. Hyundai has promised that they will reveals 13 hybrids, six PHEVs, 23 electric vehicles (EVs), and two fuel cell vehicles by mid-decade.

In the U.S., the mode is sold with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower) or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (235 horsepower). Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The European version of the model currently only is available with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel power plant, with a manual or automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the U.S. with all-wheel drive available. European models only are available with 4x4.

U.S. buyers can currently choose from three plug-in models in the Hyundai lineup, the Kona Plug-In, Sonata Plug-In and the Ioniq Plug-In. Those models are also available as hybrids, as is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

At the LA Auto Show last November, Hyundai unveiled a concept SUV that championed eco-conscious lifestyle choices, including electric power. Though it's thought that the model serves as a study for the next-generation Tucson, it's likely that we'll see some parallels between the Santa Fe hybrid and PHEV, and the forthcoming new Tucson. Hyundai frequently reveals concepts that give hints at new model news.

It's also quite likely that the Hyundai Santa Cruz utility truck will be born as a hybrid later this year.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. No word yet on when, or if, it makes its way to U.S. dealerships.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The Hyundai Palisade got a mild refresh for 2023.

Hyundai

Earlier this year, Hyundai announced changes to the Palisade for 2023. The list includes a new front fascia, an updated grille with new headlights and daytime running lights, a 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, and more. A new XRT trim joined the lineup as well, bringing brawny off-road styling and dar exterior trim. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the SUV, which starts at a little more than $32,000.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeA new XRT trim adds rugged styling. Hyundai

The Palisade's powertrain carries over from 2022, which includes a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Inside, the SUV got several new and updated technology features, including a more powerful wireless device charging pad, an updated digital key system, and a larger infotainment display.

As Hyundai's flagship SUV, the Palisade edges on luxury territory, with plush leather upholstery and a serene cabin that offers excellent noise cancellation and comfort. Captain's chairs and seven-passenger seating are available, but a second-row bench comes standard and brings eight-passenger capacity to the SUV.

Muscular SUVs are more popular than ever before, so Hyundai gave the posh Palisade an outdoorsy treatment with its XRT trim. The new Palisade XRT builds on the SEL trim with 20-inch wheels, a more rugged bumper and lower body cladding, a sunroof, and leatherette upholstery. To be clear, XRT is an appearance package that does not improve off-road capability to a large degree.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeTop trims border on the quality and design of some luxury brands. Hyundai

Standard safety equipment is generous, and includes forward collision warnings with avoidance, lane keep assist, lane following assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the base Palisade SE starts at $36,245, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The top Calligraphy AWD model starts at $52,095 after destination. All-wheel drive is available for all trims as an added-cost option.

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