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We have to admit that our week with the Hyundai Santa Fe was very enjoyable. This SUV is a strong contender against rivals like the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-50. However, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe isn’t perfect, and two areas could be improved. 

Is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe good for families? 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is a good SUV for adventures and families
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

Yes, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is a solid SUV for families to consider. It has a lot of advantages to consider against the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. For example, it’s comfortable, spacious, and has a long list of standard features. 

The 2023 Santa Fe has an average reliability rating and earned top safety awards with a competitive price. Check out a few things that stand out from our week of driving the Santa Fe around the mountains in Asheville, NC. 

1. PRO: The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is comfortable 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe can be an incredibly cozy place to spend time in the front and back seats. The large seats work on an ergonomic level to keep you energized with comfort and support. 

Plus, the rear seats are plush, with plenty of space for passengers to stretch out. The backrest sits at a relaxed incline and creates a peaceful environment where naps are possible. The Santa Fe has a smooth ride that quickly dampens impacts. 

Standard acoustic laminated windows to keep noise at bay. But you can also use the quiet mode to keep sound levels at bay. There’s hardly any wind or road noise at higher speeds, and the engine is mostly quiet. 

Our biggest gripe involves the optional ventilated seats. The seats are a bit loud while in use, and they don’t have much cooling power. 

2. PRO: The Santa Fe interior is attractive 

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe interior
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe interior

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe stands out from the competition with its high-quality, attractive interior. It has an elegant design with plush, soft-touch covered surfaces for a sense of premium quality. 

Large sections of black upholstery are broken up with eye-catching pops of silver trim pieces and black accent stitching. Plus, the interior ambient lighting has a subtle, inviting glow that’s noticeable during the day. 

The rear sunshades can cut down on brightness in the rear. But our favorite feature includes the massive panoramic sunroof. It provides an excellent sky view from the rear seats with enough tint to avoid bright rays. 

3. PRO: Cargo space in the 2023 Santa Fe is abundant 

2023 Hyndai Santa Fe cargo hold
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Storage is one of the areas where the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe shines. The space in front of the center console is open, providing the perfect place to place bags. There are also storage cubbies and trays for the driver and front passenger to take advantage of. 

The built-in cubby above the glove box is long and wide. But the glove box and center console are a bit narrow. The cargo hold has massive storage bins built into the floor. The cubbies are easy to access and are split into four different spaces. 

You can access up to 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear with up to 72.1 cubes total. The seats are power folding and lay flat to create a level cargo floor. If you need more room, the Santa Fe can tow up to 3,500 lbs. 

1. CON: The Santa Fe is thirsty 

A gray 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid midsize hybrid SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid | Hyundai

Our 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe came equipped with the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This is an excellent amount of power, and the Santa Fe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds

The turbo model is supposed to get an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and up to 28 mpg on the highway. But it fell short during our week on back roads, downtown city areas, and on the highway. 

We received between 14 to 17 mpg and could never get up to 18 mpg. Our model did have AWD and 20-inch wheels, which could have reduced its fuel economy by one or two mpg. Also, we could have used the Eco-driving mode more in an attempt to save fuel. 

2. CON: The Santa Fe could have more cup holders 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe feels limited due to a lack of cup holders. The two in the center console are narrow and short. There are cup holders on the sides of the door, but they feel tight with limited access. 

In the back seat, passengers may have to hold their drinks! What a first-world problem. You can fold the middle seat down to provide two cup holders or use the ones in the doors. However, you can’t see the sides of the door at night. 

Also, if you have three passengers in the rear, they will have to fight over the two cup holders in the doors. Perhaps the Santa Fe will add more cup holders to the back of the center console. 

We’re still processing and collaborating about our week with the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy trim. Stay tuned for our complete review.