The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t get the same acclaim as the Korean brand’s wider SUV family, but it remains a distinctive member with desirable features. Located between compact Tucson and three-line palisade, the mid-size Santa Fe features two-row seating and multiple transmission options. The standard powerplant is an uninspiring 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four; the beefier 277-horsepower turbo-four is optional, and we recommend buying it. 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 city. The plug-in hybrid model delivers 260 horsepower, a combined rating of 76 MPGe and a range of approximately 31 miles on electricity alone. With a low base price and a satisfying ride, the roomy 2023 Sante Fe ranks in the middle in the world of midsize SUVs, which is primarily due to a particularly smoky base engine.

What’s new in 2023?

For 2023, the Sante Fe has no major changes, except for changes to the standard equipment. Hyundai removes the SEL Convenience package and changes the appearance of the front fascia, but it all depends on the trim level. The SE model and above now have front windows with acoustic laminate for increased soundproofing and puddle lamps that illuminate the ground near the doors. New standard equipment on the SEL includes a leather steering wheel, rear sunshades, navigation-based adaptive cruise control and a 10.3-inch center touchscreen. The latter is also standard on every hybrid model, along with a navigation system that receives over-the-air updates. Finally, the plug-in hybrid now comes standard with Hyundai’s Highway Driving Assist semi-autonomous driving mode and a larger touchscreen.

Pricing and which one to buy







Blue hybrid


SEL hybrid



SEL Convenience PHEV

$42,500 (estimate)

A limited hybrid




Limited PHEV

$48,000 (estimate)

The Limited is our pick of the lineup, and not just because it adds luxury features like leather upholstery, rain wipers, dual-zone climate control, and heated and ventilated front seats. They’re nice to have, but our main reason for recommending the Limited is that it’s the least expensive model available with the optional 277-hp turbocharged engine. Models equipped with the base four-cylinder really creep up to cruising speed, and for driving enthusiasts like us, that kind of performance—or lack thereof—just won’t cut it.

Engine, transmission and performance

The Santa Fe is available with a quartet of powertrains, which now includes a hybrid and hybrid. The standard engine is a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Buyers can opt for a more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged mill with 277 horsepower. Both are mated to an inconspicuous eight-speed automatic transmission and either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The hybrid model makes do with a six-speed automatic transmission, uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors to produce 226 horsepower, and comes standard with all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid’s powerplant consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that together produce 260 horsepower. At our test track, the gas XRT model with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder proved a paltry, it takes 9.6 seconds to reach 60 mphh. If you’re looking for a Santa Fe with more acceleration, we offer the turbocharged model. In our test drive of the loaded Calligraphy model with the turbocharged four-cylinder, we recorded peppy 60 mph time is 6.0 seconds. Otherwise, the Santa Fe provides a relaxed and stable ride during everyday duties and enough maneuverability and steering feedback to satisfy those who like to drive. Those looking for a more vibrant driving experience in their SUV should consider Chevy Blazer or Honda passport. When towing, the gas-powered Santa Fe can tow up to 3,500 pounds; the hybrid and plug-in hybrid can only handle up to 2,000 lbs.

Range, charging and battery life

According to the EPA, the Santa Fe plug-in hybrid is equipped with a 12.4 kWh battery that provides up to 31 miles of electric-only range.

Fuel economy and real mpg

The EPA estimates that the Santa Fe with the non-turbo four-cylinder engine will earn up to 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The optional turbo version is rated up to 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The hybrid model was rated up to 36 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. During our 75 mph highway fuel economy test, part of our comprehensive testing regime, Calligraphy’s all-wheel-drive test car with a 2.5-liter turbo-four that gets 27 mpg. For more information on the Santa Fe’s fuel economy, visit EPA website.

Interior, comfort and cargo

Hyundai interiors are best known for their solid build quality and decent features, rather than sharp design and premium materials. Still, the Santa Fe has an attractive interior that offers plenty of modern options, including a digital instrument cluster, head-up display, heated rear seats, front seat ventilation, and more. Last year, the Santa Fe received minor interior design changes that brought it closer to the larger and more luxurious Palisade SUV. Its most impressive attribute is the generous passenger space in both rows, which is a boon on long journeys. The Santa Fe also has ample rear-seat luggage space, where we fit 15 carry-ons and a total of 33 with the rear seats folded.

Infotainment system and communication

Equipped with an 8.0-inch or 10.3-inch touchscreen in-dash that includes convenient controls and desired functions, every Santa Fe provides a pleasant infotainment experience. It serves standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with optional wireless charging and a 630-watt 12-speaker audio system.

Safety features and driver assistance

The Santa Fe comes with a ton of standard equipment driver assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. For more information on the Santa Fe’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Road Safety (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:

  • Standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • Standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
  • Standard Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist

Warranty and maintenance

Hyundai has one of the best warranty plans on the market, highlighted by long transmission coverage. Company too now offers free scheduled maintenance which outperforms major rivals such as Toyota.

  • The limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • The transmission is covered by a 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty
  • Free maintenance covers three years or 36,000 miles

Technical characteristics

Technical characteristics

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT AWD

front engine, four-wheel drive, 5-seater, 4-door station wagon

Base / As Tested: $35,745 / $36,340
Options: Calypso Red paint, $400; carpet rugs, $195

DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 inches32497 cm3
Power: 191 horsepower at 6100 rpm
Torque: 181 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm

8-speed automatic

Suspension Front/Front: Strut/Multilink
Brakes, front/rear: 13.6-inch ventilated disc/12.0-inch disc
Tires: Kumho Crugen Premium
235/60R-18 103H M+S

Wheelbase: 108.9 inches
Length: 188.4 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 67.3 inches
Passenger volume: 112 feet3
Cargo volume: 36 feet3
Curb weight: 3,858 lbs

60 mph: 9.6 sec
1/4 mile: 17.2 seconds at 82 mph
100 mph: 26.9 sec
The results above are omitted 1 foot deployment 0.3 sec.
Start from 5 to 60 mph: 9.7 seconds
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.2 sec
Top speed (manufacturer’s claim): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 178 feet
Road grip, 300-foot pad: 0.85g

Observed: 21 mpg
Highway driving at 75 mph: 29 mpg
Highway distance at 75 mph: 540 miles

Combined/city/highway: 24/22/25 mpg


2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy AWD

front engine, four-wheel drive, 5-seater, 4-door station wagon

$43,440 (base: $43,285)

turbocharged intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
Water displacement
152 inches32497 cm3
277 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
311 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm

8-speed dual-clutch automatic

Suspension (F/R): Strut/Multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.6-inch ventilated disc/12.0-inch disc
Tires: Hankook Dynapro HP2, 235/55R-19 101H M+S

Wheelbase: 108.9 inches
Length: 188.4 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 66.3 inches
Passenger volume: 113 feet3
Cargo volume: 36 feet3
Curb Weight: 4,060 lbs

60 mph: 6.0 sec
1/4 mile: 14.5 sec at 99 mph
100 mph: 14.8 sec
120 mph: 23.1 sec
The results above are omitted 1 foot deployment 0.4 sec.
Roll start, 5–60 mph: 6.5 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.1 sec
Top speed (limited by governor): 131 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 175 feet
Road resistance, 300 feet in diameter: 0.81 g

Observed: 20 mpg
Highway driving at 75 mph: 27 mpg
Highway distance: 500 miles

Combined/City/Highway: 24/21/28 mpg

More features and specifications

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