Real World Comparision: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Toyota RAV4

You might not know how much the Hyundai Santa Fe has to offer against the Toyota RAV4. Both SUVs have tons of pros and cons to consider, but the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe could be a larger 2023 Toyota RAV4 rival than expected. 

Driven: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe has more space than the 2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe | MotorBiscuit, Allison Barfield

We’ve spent plenty of time behind the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2023 Toyota RAV4 to know how they stack up. While the RAV4 is the more popular and better-selling option, the Santa Fe deserves your attention as well. 

For example, the Santa Fe is considered to be more comfortable than the RAV4. Edmunds shared that the Santa Fe has a smooth ride and easily absorbs impacts, while road imperfections are noticeable in the RAV4. 

Also, the Santa Fe has more comfortable front seats because the RAV4 lacks a little padding, support, and adjustment controls. Plus, the seats in the back of the Santa Fe are also well-padded and can recline. 

There is noticeable wind and road noise at high speeds with the RAV4, and the engine sounds coarse. But each Santa Fe has standard laminated acoustic windows to reduce noise. 

Is the Santa Fe bigger than the RAV4? 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe is a little larger than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. As a result, the Santa Fe delivers more passenger space. The Santa Fe has 111.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, and the RAV4 maxes out at 98.5. Taller folks may appreciate the extra head space and legroom. 

You can access up to 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats in the Santa Fe and up to 72.1 cubes overall. The RAV4 features up to 37.6 cubic feet behind the back seat and up to 69.8 cubes in total. So the RAV4 has slightly more trunk space, but the Santa Fe is larger. 

The Santa Fe has more cubbies and storage trays available. Plus, the rear cargo hold has built-in storage bins. Both SUVs can tow up to 3,500 lbs when properly equipped. Also, child seats are easier to install in the Santa Fe. 

Is the Santa Fe or RAV4 sportier? 

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is more rugged than the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road | Allison Barfield, MotorBsucit

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 184 hp. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.1 seconds, which is behind the class average. You need to upgrade to the hybrid or PHEV model for more speed. 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Upgrade to the turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. 

While the RAV4 has vague steering, the Santa Fe may exhibit more body lean around curves. Both options are available with paddle shifters. The Santa Fe is more eager and prone to skipping gears at times. 

Also, the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road model has a little more off-roading grit than the Santa Fe XRT. The RAV4 gets a suspension lift, more off-roading driving modes, all-terrain tires, and off-road suspension tuning. 

But the Santa Fe XRT has side steps and a roof rack with cross rails. It has AWD lock, hill descent control, and a 360-degree camera display like the RAV4. 

So the RAV4 is a little more reliable and can be better equipped for off-roading than the Santa Fe. But the Santa Fe is more spacious, more comfortable, and sportier.