Skip to main content offers a list of vehicles based on their best value, splitting up rankings based on the type of vehicle. These lists include various criteria that are important to buyers as they search for the perfect car for them. Let’s look at the five 2023 Hyundai models that make the list and find out why they are there.

1. Hyundai Kona SE

A light blue 2023 Hyundai Kona driving outdoors.
2023 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai Motor Company

According to, the Kona SE comes in second, starting at $23,475. You can get a heap of standard features, including some more luxurious ones like heated mirrors and rear cross-traffic alert. And the Kona SE is incredibly cheap.

The base SE, sporting a relatively uninspired 2.0-liter engine making 147 hp, handles like a car and manages to get 30 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Though the all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option, it’s easy to see why the Kona makes the list—especially when you factor in Hyundai’s excellent 5-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty along with the famous 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

2. Hyundai Elantra SE

The Elantra SE starts at $22,165. That price gets you the same goodies in the Kona SE, including extras like automatic high beams and lane departure steering assist. Though the Elantra has the same 147 hp 2.0-liter four cylinders as the Kona, the Elantra manages an impressive 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

It’s worth noting that the Elantra, like the Kona, can be optioned with adaptive cruise, digital gauge cluster, wireless charging, and a giant 10.25-inch infotainment screen. That said, the base trim seems more than necessary at an exceptional price.

3. Hyundai Santa Cruz SE

The Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick are the first entries into the compact pickup truck market. Though mid-size pickups like the Tacoma, Frontier, and Colorado occupied that segment of the market 20 years ago, they have gotten so large that the Santa Cruz and its competitors have taken their place.

The Santa Cruz starts at only $27,035 with destination and gives you a whole lot of utility for the money. According to Car and Driver, the base engine equipped on the SE is a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder making 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This means you can only tow 3500 lbs, but not bad for $27,000 when you consider the Santa Cruz comes standard with the same great features the Elantra SE does. The base engine in the Santa Cruz gets you 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive is a $1,500 option and reduces those figures by one. 

4. Hyundai Kona EV SE

The Kona EV SE starts at $33,150. The Kona EV manages 0 to 60 mph in only 6.4 seconds. All the features included in the gas-powered Kona are still here, but you are paying more for the 201 hp electric motors. Thankfully, the 258 miles of range should be enough for most people on their daily commute. predicts the average annual fuel cost to be only $600—a whopping $850 less than the gas Kona SE. 

5. Hyundai Tucson PHEV SEL

The Tucson PHEV’s lowest trim is an SEL which starts at $36,695 for this 2023 Hyundai model. Not having the SE does affect the starting MSRP, but it does add some extra features over the other SE models on this list. Key features include heated front seats and smart cruise control with stop & go.

In addition to the extra features, you get a 13.8 kWh battery combined with a Hyundai’s 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder for an output of 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Tucson PHEV SEL is rated at 80 MPGe and can travel 33 miles using just its electric motor. Combined with Hyundai’s excellent warranty, the 2023 Tucson PHEV SEL is a reasonably priced way into the very popular plug-in hybrid world.


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