2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Review: PHEV, XRT, Calligraphy

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With so many changes for the latest two seasons, we don’t know what else Hyundai can do to make Santa Fe even more attractive. The company redesigned the SUV in 2021. A year after that, they delivered the plug-in hybrid system. So, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe will have it all, even if it comes totally unchanged.

Still, small updates should fix issues with the first feedbacks report. Visibility, for example, should be better, improving overall safety. A performance edition is also a good idea. The base engine is not going to impress anyone, while a turbo-four is a pretty good option. The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT used it, although we expected a boost.

The ride could be better, though. But, the plug-in hybrid returns 33 mpg. For the mid-size SUV, this is quite impressive. However, there is room for many boosts all across the lineup.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe xrt

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior

The SUV is not a seven-seater anymore. The company made a few changes in the past. First, the Santa Fe was downgraded to the two-row model, while the third row was offered from the Santa Fe XL. Now, that model is in the past and the only seven-seater in the family is Palisade. The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe remains a cool option and a rival to the likes of Nissan Murano and Ford Edge. After the redesign, Santa Fe looks a bit bigger. The cargo space behind the second row is now 36.4 cubic feet, 2 more than the previous edition. With the rear seats folded, you can get up to 72 cu.ft.

The base model brings a list with cool features on it, such as cloth upholstery with stain-resistant technology, an 8-inch display with an infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a total of four USB ports. The SEL adds a blind-spot monitoring system, keyless entry, heated front row, with a power-adjustable driver’s bucket, and wireless charger. This makes the SEL a worth upgrade. The Limited edition brings some advanced features, such as ventilated seats, or a heated steering wheel. If you want a unique vehicle, then the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy is the best way to make something special.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe interior

Engine, Hybrid Model, Specifications

Hyundai is growing fast. The evolution of their vehicles is almost unbelievable. Still, the Korean company is not stopping with experiments. They downgraded the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe to the two-row SUV class to make more space for the Palisade. Since the vehicle is now smaller, a V6 is not the best option. The best performance comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It crunches 277 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is at a similar level with six-pot units. Santa Fe manages to save some gas, returning 25 mpg, either if you choose front- or all-wheel drive.

The entry-level configuration is equipped with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine. In this case, 190 hp and 180 lb-ft are not going to impress anyone. The SUV needs more power. It is a cheaper option, and also saves fuel when the FWD is being used. An all-wheel drive returns 22/25 mpg, which is definitely is not a good choice. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and the towing capacity of the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is 3,500 pounds.

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in hybrid is using a smaller displacement as the main source of power. A 1.6-liter four-pot plant is mated to an electric motor (13.8 kWh battery). The total output of the combined system is 260 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai didn’t want to make this vehicle a performance SUV. Instead, the focus was on the gas mileage. Santa Fe PHEV is good for 33 mpg while using AWD all the time. A six-speed auto is a power router. We expected to see the CVT, but this transmission is definitely a better solution.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe price

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Versions and Prices

Since there are no big changes on the 2023 Santa Fe, we’ll see the SE as the entry-level package. The price of the base model is $28,000. The SEL is going to cost you at least $2,000 more, but it is a more than worthy investment having in mind what you get. Plus, the SEL unlocks a few optional packages, such as Convenience (+$1,700) and Premium (+$4,000). The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT is something new in the lineup and the initial price tag was $33,000. Not worth, if you like us. On the other hand, it might be a good move to pick Limited edition. The Santa Fe becomes the premium SUV and it still costs under $40,000. Calligraphy will go over this mark.

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