Is the sophomore slump a real thing? If you’re a fan of NFL football, it seems to be. When it comes to the auto world, it shouldn’t be. The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is the sophomore year of this midsize SUV. Does this second-year Santa Fe bring anything new, or is it going through a sophomore slump?
How could the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe include more?
Hyundai has historically packed a ton of features into even the base models of its vehicles. The new generation 2022 version of the Santa Fe brought us the all-new Plug-in Hybrid version of this SUV. What does that leave for 2023?
The latest model year, Santa Fe focuses on minimal updates and more standard equipment. Some of the new features include:
- Highway Driving Assist
- A larger 10.25-inch touchscreen
- Dynamic voice recognition
- Over-the-air map updates
These four upgrades come in the SEL and higher trims.
Has the pricing of this SUV changed for 2023?
Every 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe trim level is a little more expensive than the 2022 version. This is expected every year, and most trims only rise slightly. Even with these price increases, the Santa Fe is one of the most competitively-priced SUVs in its class. Cars.com tells us the price increased by trim are:
- SE – $500
- SEL – $,2450
- XRT – $950
- Limited – $640
- Calligraphy – $640
- Blue (HEV) – $1,360
- SEL (HEV) – $1,160
- Limited (HEV) – $610
By comparison, the Kia Sorento Hybrid costs $37,885, while the Hyundai Santa Fe Blue Hybrid has a starting price of $36,955. The Nissan Rouge starts at $28,585, while the Santa Fe SE is $29,495, and the Hyundai SUV is larger than the Nissan.
Are the powertrains the same for the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe?
The powertrains from the 2022 Santa Fe carry over unchanged. The gas-powered modes use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine attached to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is found in the SE, SEL, and XRT models. These trims give you 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. FWD versions return 25 city/28 hwy mpg while AWD models offer 22 city/25 hwy mpg.
The Limited and Calligraphy trims use a turbocharged version of the same base powertrain. Adding this feature to the mix gives you 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy numbers for this powertrain are 22 city/28 hwy mpg for FWD models and 21 city/28 hwy mpg when AWD is added to the mix.
Hybrid versions of the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe use a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine plus two electric motors. This power system mates to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain provides 226 horsepower, 195 lb-ft of torque, and 36 city/31 hwy mpg.
The plug-in hybrid models of this midsize SUV use the same engine as the hybrid model but only one electric motor. This Santa Fe provides 31 miles of all-electric driving on a full charge and delivers 260 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The overall fuel mileage for the PHEV Santa Fe is 76 MPGe.
Is this SUV a good vehicle to drive?
The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe continues to build on over twenty years of SUV excellence in a highly-recognizable name. This new model takes the benefits of the 2022 version and adds a little more to the formula. There’s nothing wrong with only adding a little more flavor to the soup, and that’s precisely what you’ll find in the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.