Skip to main content

As SUVs gain popularity, automakers continue releasing new and improved models. Some, like Hyundai, offer multiple SUV models in various categories. For example, the midsize SUV segment sees the Hyundai Palisade and Santa Fe receiving honors as Car and Driver’s 2023 Editors’ Choice Award winners. However, other Hyundai models also earned spots on the awards list in their respective segments. 

Car and Driver’s 2023 Editors’ Choice

Car and Driver reviews and tests hundreds of new automobiles yearly, scoring them on a scale of one to 10 and ranking them to find the best models in each category. Hyundai had eight models in total on the 2023 Editors’ Choice Awards list.

First, let’s look at Hyundai’s subcompact SUV, compact SUV, and midsize SUV models on the list, and then we’ll cover Hyundai’s other award-winning models. 

2023 Editors’ Choice Hyundai SUVs 

The 2023 Hyundai Kona earned a spot on the Editors’ Choice list as a subcompact SUV with its “funky exterior styling” and valuable features list. While the Kona’s base 147-hp engine is sluggish when passing or merging onto highway on-ramps, upper trims feature a turbocharged 195-hp four-cylinder backed by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Car and Driver describes the Kona’s handling as “agile” and praises its suspension for its smooth ride. 

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson, a compact SUV, features a base engine with 187 hp, but it’s still underpowered. The available 226-hp hybrid and 261-hp plug-in hybrid models feature standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and a six-speed automatic transmission and are “worth the upcharge,” according to Car and Driver. Reviewers note, however, that other hybrid SUVs deliver better fuel economy. 

Of the two midsize Hyundai SUVs on the list, the 2023 Santa Fe is the least expensive. The Santa Fe seats five in its two rows and comes standard with an “uninspiring 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four.”

Car and Driver recommends the SEL Premium hybrid model featuring a turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain with 226 horsepower, but there’s also an option for a 2.5-liter turbo with 277 hp. 

The midsize 2023 Hyundai Palisade provides a “high-class cabin, a smooth ride, and space for the whole family.” All Palisade trims feature a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 that “provides adequate acceleration” and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In addition, Car and Driver’s recommended SEL trim with the Premium package provides “many of the SUV’s best tech and luxury features” and allows the option of adding AWD. 

Other notable Hyundai models that made the list

Hyundai also had its Ioniq 5 electric SUV on the list. Car and Driver reviewers found the Hyundai Ioniq 5 “entertaining to drive” and praised its quick charging capability, distinctive design, and ride quality. 

Hyundai’s Santa Cruz earned a spot on the list as a compact pickup truck. Reviewers found its “carlike handling and cushy ride” favorable, as well as its plush interior, “lockable cargo-box cover, and in-bed trunk.”

The Hyundai Elantra N earned a spot in the sport compact car class. The sporty sedan features “strong performance,” a “rowdy exhaust note,” and a “tenacious grip.” 

Finally, the Hyundai Sonata rounds out the list of Hyundai’s 2023 Editors’ Choice Award winners with a spot on the list as a family sedan. The Sonata offers excellent value for families thanks to its low MSRP and “impressive fuel economy.” However, the 290-hp N Line variant makes a grocery store run more rewarding than it should be.


1 Reason Why the Hyundai Nexo Is Failing Where the Hyundai Ioniq 5 Succeeds