The Lowest Ranking SUV in Hyundai’s 2023 Lineup
Hyundai SUVs consistently get above-average reviews from auto critics. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Palisade SUVs are reportedly the best in 2023. Both vehicles are praised for having comfortable ride qualities and an impressive offering of standard features.
Still, even a Hyundai can fall short compared to its siblings and peers. According to Edmunds, the Santa Fe has the lowest overall score in Hyundai’s SUV lineup. However, judging by its review, even the lowest-ranked Hyundai is still an excellent car.
Did Edmunds like the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe?
The Hyundai Santa Fe earned a total ranking of 7.7 out of 10, which is still considered “good” by the site’s standards. One of its best qualities is the quicker 277-hp turbo-four engine, standard for the Limited and Calligraphy trims. The base engine is a 191-hp four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Regardless of your chosen engine, the Santa Fe features a plush suspension that will mute most bumps with no trouble. Steering wheel inputs require minimum input, and the cabin is free from noise thanks to sound-deadening window panes. The interior also isn’t lacking for legroom in either of its two rows, plus backseat riders get to enjoy reclining seats.
The Hyundai Santa Fe also has many attractive standard features, including wireless smartphone integration and adaptive cruise control. Its expansive safety suite also includes several lane-keeping functions, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and driver distraction monitors.
The Santa Fe SEL is the most popular trim and carries an MSRP of $32,450 (per Hyundai). That’s just $3,700 compared to the base SE, and its extra features arguably make it an even better deal. The Santa Fe SEL has heated front seats, a wireless charging pad, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, and a few extra safety features.
Every Hyundai Santa Fe comes with the same competitive powertrain warranty for 100,000 miles or 10 years. It also includes a 60,000-mile or 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus three years or 36,000-mile of complimentary maintenance.
The Hyundai Santa Fe needs some improvements.
Even the Hyundai Santa Fe’s perks tend to come with some minor caveats. The suspension can sometimes be too soft for comfort, and the turbo-four engine doesn’t have the smoothest power delivery. While the steering is pleasantly light, testers also felt that the Santa Fe has too much body roll around corners. Similarly, the supposedly upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen showcases lackluster graphics, and the interface has sluggish response times.
The Santa Fe vs. the rest of Hyundai’s lineup
The Hyundai Kona, which is also competitively priced for all the standard features it provides, has a 7.9 rating on Edmunds. Thanks to its zippy handling and satisfying performance from the 195-hp turbo-four engine, it likely earned a higher score. Unlike the dual-clutch transmission inside the Hyundai Santa Fe, the one utilized by the Kona received high praise.
The Palisade has a ‘great’ rating of 8.3 out of 10, even though its performance isn’t exhilarating. However, test drivers had no complaints about this SUV’s ride quality and appreciated the spacious accommodations in the third row.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is technically better than one other Hyundai SUV, though it’s so small that Edmunds classifies it as a hatchback. The 2023 Hyundai Venue currently has an overall ranking of 7.4, losing points because of its cramped interior and a tiny 121-hp engine.
Still, Edmunds highlighted the Venue’s comfortable seats and intuitive control layout. No matter a Hyundai vehicle’s shortcomings, they all stand out for their value and impressive warranty coverage. The Hyundai Santa Fe may be flawed in some aspects, but we wouldn’t consider it the ‘worst.’