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Get ready for the Hyundai Santa Fe to prove itself against the incredibly popular Toyota RAV4. The Santa Fe may feel like an underdog compared to the RAV4, but in reality, it could be the segment leader. See where the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe tops the 2023 Toyota RAV4. 

Is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe bigger than the 2023 Toyota RAV4? 

he 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe parked near trees
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscut

Yes, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is larger than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. It’s wider and longer than the RAV4 to provide more passenger and cargo space. Taller folks have complained about the space in the RAV4 and may be more comfortable in the Santa Fe. 

According to NewCars, the Santa Fe offers a few more inches of legroom and head space in each row, allowing passengers to stretch out more. 

Plus, the Santa Fe provides 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and up to 72.1 cubes overall. With the Toyota RAV4, you get 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, with up to 69.8 cubes total. 

The RAV4 may have a slightly larger cargo floor, but the Santa Fe also has built-in storage bins under the floor. The seats fold flat to create a level loading floor in both SUVs. 

Is the Santa Fe sportier than the RAV4? 

Yes, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe has a slight edge over the 2023 Toyota RAV4. It starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This is a nice start, but it might seem underpowered. 

Upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This engine helps the Santa Fe accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. 

With the RAV4, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds which is below the class average. 

Plus, the Santa Fe has responsive steering and feels well-planted around curves. It’s agile and easy to maneuver in tight areas. The RAV4 may have less body lean around corners, but it has vague steering. 

The 2023 Santa Fe has a longer wheelbase, so it’s a bit better at soaking up impacts for a smooth ride. It also provides more insulation to keep wind, road, and engine noise at bay. 

However, while the Santa Fe is more ideal for driving on the pavement, the TRD Off-Road model gives the RAV4 more off-roading capabilities. 

Is the Santa Fe nicer than the RAV4? 

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 driving on the road
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Both the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2023 Toyota RAV4 offer plenty of value. However, the Santa Fe provides a near-luxury interior with high-quality premium materials. The RAV4 has a few noticeable plastics. 

The soft-touch-covered plush materials provide an upscale feeling in the Santa Fe. The large seats are massive and supportive, while the seats in the RAV4 can feel a bit flat after long drives. 

Plus, the Santa Fe offers power-folding seats, an automated parking system, ambient interior lighting, parking sensors, and a head-up display. 

So, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers more space, comfort, engagement, and interior quality. But the RAV4 is due for a redesign soon and could return for vengeance.