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Are you interested in a Hyundai SUV? Many are popular and well-rounded, with reviews to prove it. One, in particular, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, is a value-filled model growing in popularity. However, the Limited and Calligraphy trims might be slightly too expensive for many buyers. Did you know there’s an excellent and affordable Santa Fe alternative in the Hyundai SUV lineup? The 2023 Hyundai Palisade base models are a bigger, better, cheaper version of the Santa Fe.

Why buy a 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe alternative?

A white 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe midsize SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

Overall, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is an excellent selection for any midsize SUV buyer. However, it gets pretty costly in its most expensive forms. For example, the Limited trim starts at $41,345 and the range-topping Calligraphy costs $43,345 MSRP. Fortunately, these models are very well-equipped, with a long list of features included at this price. Highlights include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, premium leather seating, and much more.

According to Edmunds, these two models also use a more powerful engine than the rest of the lineup. The five-passenger SUV has a 2.5-liter fou-cylinder making 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque for the SE, SEL, and XRT trims. However, the Limited and Calligraphy models get the upgraded turbocharged version, capable of producing 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. In addition to a high price, the most powerful engine is only available to the more costly models. A good Santa Fe alternative will give owners a punchier engine at a lower price.

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade base model is a great Santa Fe alternative

A white 2023 Hyundai Palisade full-size SUV parked outdoors
2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

The best alternative for buying a 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is the bigger, better Palisade. First, the Palisade provides three rows of seating. More space is almost always a good thing for families buying a midsize SUV. How could one complain about extra room for passengers and storage? Next, every version of the Palisade comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. As a result, it’s far more potent with better acceleration than the Santa Fe, even in its most affordable form.

Speaking of affordable, the Palisade SE base model costs just $36,545. That’s cheaper than the Limited and Calligraphy trims for the Santa Fe. However, the standard features for the most basic Palisade are surprisingly plentiful. 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a digital key system, auto-dimming side mirrors, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, second-row bench seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an integrated navigation system, and front- and second-row USB ports are included.

On top of those features, the SE has a few valuable driving aids. For example, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

Even the Palisade SEL is more affordable

Next, the second-cheapest 2023 Hyundai Palisade trim is the SEL model. It also happens to be the model’s most value-filled trim level. Edmunds recommends the SEL because it doesn’t cost much more than the SE but provides several quality-of-life upgrades. More specifically, the SEL costs $39,545, using the same engine and three-row setup as the base trim.

Every Palisade SEL uses the features and driving aids provided with the SE trim. However, it also gains simulated leather upholstery, roof rails, proximity keyless entry, push-button ignition, a hands-free liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and second-row captain’s chairs. Although some are missing, this model shares many features with the most expensive versions of the Santa Fe.

Surprisingly affordable alternative to the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

In conclusion, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is a surprisingly affordable alternative to the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe. Even with the most basic trim, the Palisade engine provides more power, the three rows of seats offer more space, and the features are plentiful. Surprisingly, the premium trims for the Santa Fe are similarly equipped to the base models for the Palisade. Buying a Santa Fe makes more sense with the lower trims, as they are far more affordable than the other Hyundai SUV.

Are you more interested in a decked-out, expensive 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe or a well-equipped 2023 Hyundai Palisade base model?


What Will Be Different With the 2023 Hyundai Palisade?