Is 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe A Good Car

Hyundai Santa Fe


The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t get as much acclaim as the Korean brand’s broader SUV family, but it remains a distinctive member with desirable features. Situated between the compact Tucson and the three-row Palisade, the mid-size Santa Fe has two-row seating and multiple powertrain options. The standard powerplant is an uninspiring 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four; a stouter 277-hp turbo four is optional, and it’s our recommended buy.

Both engines are available with front- or all-wheel drive. Hyundai also offers the Santa Fe with a 226-hp hybrid setup and an EPA-rated 36 mpg in the city. The plug-in-hybrid model offers 260 horsepower, a combined 76 MPGe rating, and the ability to travel an estimated 31 miles on electricity alone. With a low base price and a satisfying ride, the spacious 2023 Sante Fe finds itself ranked mid-pack in the world of mid-size SUVs, which is primarily due to an especially snoozy base engine.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Santa Fe is available with a quartet of powertrains that now includes a hybrid and plug-in-hybrid. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower. Buyers can opt for the more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter mill that makes 277 horsepower. Both pair with an unobtrusive eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. The hybrid model makes do with a six-speed automatic, uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a pair of electric motors to make 226 horsepower, and comes standard with all-wheel drive.

The plug-in-hybrid’s powertrain consists of a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor, which together put out 260 horsepower combined. At our test track, a gas-fed XRT model with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder proved poky, requiring 9.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. If you're looking for a Santa Fe with a perkier acceleration, we'd suggest the turbocharged model. In our test drive of a loaded Calligraphy model with the turbocharged four-cylinder, we recorded a sprightly 6.0-second 60-mph time.

Otherwise, the Santa Fe provides a relaxed and stable ride during everyday duties and just enough agility and steering feedback to satisfy those who enjoy driving. Those looking for a more vivid driving experience in their SUV should consider the Chevy Blazer or Honda Passport. When towing is involved, the gas-fed Santa Fe can tug up to 3500 pounds; the hybrid and plug-in hybrid can only handle up to 2000 pounds.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates the Santa Fe with the non-turbo four-cylinder will earn up to 25 mpg city and 28 highway. The optional turbocharged version has ratings as high as 22 mpg city and 28 highway. The hybrid model earned ratings as high as 36 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, part of our comprehensive testing regimen, an all-wheel-drive Calligraphy test vehicle with the 2.5-liter turbo-four managed 27 mpg. For more information about the Santa Fe's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Santa Fe comes with a ton of standard driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the Santa Fe's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.


Is Hyundai Santa Fe a reliable car?

We expect the 2023 Santa Fe will have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2021 and 2022 models.

Does the 2023 Santa Fe have 3rd row seating?

Situated between the compact Tucson and the three-row Palisade, the mid-size Santa Fe has two-row seating and multiple powertrain options. The standard powerplant is an uninspiring 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four; a stouter 277-hp turbo four is optional, and it's our recommended buy.

Is Santa Fe better than Tucson?

With NHTSA evaluations, however, the Santa Fe comes out on top. The 2022 Tucson gets a five-star overall rating, but only for FWD models built in Korea on or after September 6, 2021, or American-made models built on or after September 27, 2021.

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