Family vehicle for example, these SUVs are intended above all to transport large families, which explains why these imposing models usually have 7 seats and large loading volumes. Few in generalist manufacturers, but more widespread in Premiums, they are designed to devour kilometers, which explains why they are mainly marketed in diesel. However, Toyota and Hyundai, specialists in hybrid technology, are now offering their novelty in this segment called Highlander and Santa Fé respectively. However, it should be noted that the policy of the two manufacturers is quite distinct since the Highlander is only available as a hybrid while the Santa Fé is also available as a plug-in hybrid.
In the case of the Toyota, it has existed in the USA since 2000 and is only arriving here today. Like all models of the Japanese manufacturer, the Highlander is powered by the same engine as the Rav4, namely an atmospheric 2.5 of 190 hp coupled to two electric motors. The first develops 182 hp, while the second of 54 hp is responsible for driving the rear wheels. The total power is 248 hp. Despite the presence of a small battery, impossible to drive electric over long distances, it will be necessary to be content with only 2 to 3 km in 100% electric, like a Toyota Prius for example.
Technology very similar to the Hyundai Santa Fé, the fourth generation of which benefited from a major restyling a few months ago. It is powered by a supercharged 180 hp 4-cylinder petrol engine coupled to a 60 hp electric motor, for a total power of 230 hp. The electric unit is powered by a small 1.49 kWh battery, which recharges during braking and deceleration.
The prices of these two models are relatively expensive, but it is all the same the Santa Fé which is the most accessible with prices starting at 42 000 € whereas it will be necessary to pay at least 56 000 € for the Toyota Highlander.
The 2 hybrid family SUVs at the Caradisiac show
The preferences of Caradisiac journalists
Alexandre Bataille: “the Santa Fé by default”
In both cases, these vehicles were designed for an international audience and especially North America. Which means: XXL size, comfort-oriented handling and quality of presentation “American style”. However, the Santa Fé shows more personality both inside and out.
Manuel Cailliot: “the Hyundai Santa Fe, homogeneous”
If the goal is to avoid big penalties, and to contain the necessarily high consumption of these large vehicles, then either of these two proposals will do the trick. But For similar benefits, the Hyundai Santa Fe is sold much cheaper than the Toyota. And it will be more than enough, with even convincing benefits, a polished finish, and full equipment at the top of the range. Not very sexy certainly, but for me the best choice.
Pierre Desjardins: “if there is only one left: the Highlander”
This is a category that is extremely poorly supplied but one of the two models stands out in my opinion: the Toyota Highlander. Unlike its Korean counterpart, it has indeed an Atkinson cycle heat engine and no less than two electric motors, which guarantees much greater fuel economy.
Olivier Pagès: “between the Plague and the Cholera”
When you love the automobile, having to choose between two SUVs and even more when they are hybrids is almost synonymous with making a choice between the Plague and the Cholera, as these two vehicles leave me cold. So, if you really have to make up your mind, I’ll go for the Santa Fé.