2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Aft View
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Dashboard
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2023 Hyundai Santa Review: The Safest Of Choices

by Michael Butler

Hyundai is one of the market leaders when it comes to offering sheer value from its cars, and the new 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, now in its fourth generation, is one of the company's best buys. The Santa Fe is a midsize crossover SUV that offers the same level of refinement and luxury as compact European rivals. A review of the Hyundai Santa Fe's competitors will show that they offer more performance, and its base engine might not feel as refined as those of its European rivals, but the turbocharged 2.5-liter unit with its 281 horsepower feels plucky enough for US roads. Hyundai also offers a 226-hp hybrid or 261-hp plug-in hybrid for the eco-warriors, so the Santa Fe has all the bases covered. The interior is stylish, the build quality is on point, and the Sante Fe is ready to keep competitors such as the Honda Passport and Kia Sorento on their toes.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
9.1
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2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Santa Fe?

The 2023 Santa Fe's front fascia has had a slight touch-up, with the changes depending on the trim. There are also trim-specific changes to the rear-bumper and door-handle finishes and the lower-door garnish. The SEL Convenience package has been discontinued and its features redistributed among the trims; the SEL Premium now gains rear-window sunshades, blind-spot monitoring, and a 360-degree camera system and both this and the Limited and Calligraphy trims gain an auto-dimming rearview mirror, digital gauge cluster, and a power-release second row. The SEL and XRT gain a leather-trimmed steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and a power liftgate. The SEL gets a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. The PHEV Santa Fe model now comes with standard semi-autonomous driving and a larger touchscreen. Late last year, the turbocharged engine received a slight power boost from 277 to 281 hp. The 2023 model goes on sale in the USA at a starting price of $28,200.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable and dependable
  • Good standard features
  • High-quality cabin
  • Decent ride/handling compromise
  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • Lazy base engine
  • Unimpressive towing capacity
  • Indecisive transmission on turbo engine
  • Button overload

What's the Price of the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The entry-level SE has an MSRP of $28,200, increasing to $31,900 for the SEL. The new Hyundai Santa Fe will cost $33,700 in flashy XRT guise. The Limited trim represents a giant leap in pricing, retailing for $40,050. A top-spec Calligraphy will cost you $42,050. Adding AWD is an additional $1,700 on all models.

Hybrid models all come standard with AWD; the base Blue costs $34,300, while the SEL Premium goes for $38,360. In Limited trim, the hybrid retails for $40,710. Finally, the plug-in hybrid costs $40,000 for the SEL Convenience and $46,010 for the top-end Limited.

All 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe models are subject to a destination charge of $1,295 in the USA.

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2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,750
SEL
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,450
XRT
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,250
Hybrid Blue
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$36,210
Hybrid SEL Premium
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$40,070
See All 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Trims and Specs

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Handling And Driving Impressions

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is not, and never will be, a sporty driving machine. This car has been designed to transport families in refined comfort and to make driving in the city an easy chore. The Santa Fe delivers on both those points: in the city, the Santa Fe feels responsive, and its light steering system makes cutting sharp corners easy but also manages to return a fair bit of feedback. On the highway, this SUV feels planted and will gobble up long-distance miles with a smile. It cannot be labeled as being fun, but its ride comfort, handling, and steering feedback strike a sound balance that should keep most drivers happy. For a sportier experience, the Honda Passport still has it licked though. The base engine offers sedate performance and isn't the most refined, but the turbocharged engine is pleasingly punchy, even if its autobox can occasionally not make up its mind. The Santa Fe isn't exactly off-road ready but will easily handle dirt tracks, even in FWD configuration, and the braking system feels strong and direct, on or off the beaten path.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe A Good SUV?

The Hyundai Santa Fe isn't a bad car, but in the massively competitive midsize SUV class, you need to be more than just okay to stand out. The fourth-generation Santa Fe has been around since 2018, and while it still feels quite fresh, other newer competitors outdo it. Cars such as the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride offer more space for more or less the same money, and Kia's Sorento is newer. Let's not even get started with the plethora of excellent fighters from Japan, including the refined Mazda CX-5. At the end of the day, this is a safe bet, but the Santa Fe will not excite or inspire; it will merely serve.

What 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Model Should I Buy?

The Limited models are the most appealing. With the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, it costs $40,050, while the hybrid retails for $40,710. Since the Santa Fe isn't a serious off-roader, we'd go the hybrid route. The 33/30/32 mpg claimed fuel consumption is just too good to ignore. The FWD ICE model is more than capable unless you live in a cold-weather state and need the extra grip provided by the AWD system. We know the MSRP is high compared to some rivals, but the top-spec models come with everything included already. All you need to do is select a color and, for a total of $41,345 (or $42,005 for the hybrid), you're good to go.

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