Review - 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

By Alexi Falson on 26 Jan 2024
image for Review - 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Outstanding cabin space
  • Tonnes of storage options
  • Fuel-efficient hybrid and diesel engine options
  • User-friendly and relaxed around town
  • Small infotainment display in base and Active variants
  • Some safety equipment reserved for higher-ranking members
  • Thirsty V6 petrol
  • Set to be replaced soon
Hyundai Santa Fe MPi (2WD) Specs
    • 67L
    • 244
    • 6400 / 5000
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
If you’re looking for a large, seven-seat SUV, the Hyundai Santa Fe has likely popped up in your search.

Designed with families firmly in mind, the Santa Fe range is billed as a super practical value proposition within the ever-competitive world of seven-seat SUVs.

One thing you should know is that the Santa Fe is set to be replaced in the middle of the year, which begs the question of whether you’re better off pouncing on the current-gen Santa Fe or waiting for the next generation.

Let’s take a closer look at the current-gen Santa Fe to help you with your decision.

Hyundai Santa Fe Competition

Hyundai Santa Fe

Kia Sorento
Isuzu MU-X
Toyota Kluger
Nissan Pathfinder
Mazda CX-90
Skoda Kodiaq
Hyundai Palisade

Starting Price: $46,050

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for the MY23 Hyundai Santa Fe range kick off from $46,050 for the entry-level Santa Fe FWD, while the Santa Fe Diesel 4x4 is priced at $49,550.

Stepping up to the Santa Fe Active FWD brings the price to $50,250, while the Santa Fe Active Diesel 4x4 is priced at $53,750. The Santa Fe Elite FWD is priced at $56,500 while the Santa Fe Elite Diesel 4x4 is priced at $60,000.

Hyundai’s Santa Fe Hybrid Elite receives a price tag of $63,000, while the Santa Fe Highlander FWD is priced at $63,050 and the Highlander 4x4 is priced at $66,550.

The Santa Fe Hybrid Highlander 4x5 is priced at $69,550 while the range-topping Santa Fe Hybrid Highlander 4x4 is priced at $69,550.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save money by using one of OnlineAuto’s car agents to assist you in finding the best car for you. As one of the leading car buying services in Australia, our team have access to a range of dealerships across the country to help find you the best deal.

Hyundai Santa Fe - MPi (2WD) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Series TM.V4 MY23
Variant MPi (2WD)
Transmission 8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 3470
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 24 valves
Engine RPM 6400 / 5000
Cylinders V6
Torque 331
KW 200
Fuel tank size 67.0
Fuel usage specs 10.5 / 0
CO2 244
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the Hyundai Santa Fe Have?

Hyundai’s entry-level Santa Fe comes riding on 17-inch alloys and receives LED headlights, fog lights and daytime running lamps, adaptive cruise control, cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel & gear lever, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, a wireless charging pad, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and a six-speaker sound system.

Stepping up to Hyundai’s Santa Fe Active adds a set of 18-inch alloys, leather upholstery,  dual-zone climate control, chrome highlights, front parking sensors, keyless entry & start and power-folding mirrors.

The Santa Fe Elite receives 20-inch alloys (19-inches for the Santa Fe Hybrid) as well as LED tail lights, a powered boot lift, power-adjustable and heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a 10.25-inch infotainment display, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and upgraded 10-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system.

Finally, Hyundai’s flagship Santa Fe Highlander receives LED projector headlights, Nappa leather upholstery with a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, ambient lighting, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and a surround-view monitor.

2023 hyundai santa fe interior

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  •  LED headlights, fog lights & daytime running lamps 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel & gear lever

  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Leather upholstery (Active)  

  • 20-inch alloys (19-inches for Hybrid) (Elite) 

  • Powered boot lift (Elite) 

  • 10.25-inch infotainment display (Elite) 

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (Elite) 

  • Projector LED headlights (Highlander) 

  • Nappa leather upholstery with heated & ventilated front seats (Highlander) 

  • Surround-view monitor  (Highlander)

Which is the Best Engine Option for the Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Santa Fe is offered with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol in the base model, while a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is also available higher up the range.

The 3.5-litre V6 petrol produces a healthy 200kW of power and 331Nm of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel kicks out 148kW of power and 440Nm of torque to an AWD system via an eight-speed dual-clutch unit.

Hyundai has confirmed that the next-gen Santa Fe will be arriving without a diesel engine option, so if you’re a fan, we’d encourage you to pounce before the current-gen bids farewell to Australia.

The best engine option for the current Santa Fe, though is the hybrid engine that pairs a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with an electric motor producing a combined 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Comfortable to Drive?

While the Santa Fe might be a pretty sizable package, Hyundai has done well to ensure it remains user-friendly around town and super comfortable on a mix of Aussie roads.

Acceleration from each member of the engine range is smooth, with the hybrid standing out, particularly thanks to the added torque from the electric motor and its refinement at lower speeds where the diesel can feel a bit thrashy.

Designed with families in mind, the Santa Fe performs remarkably well around town, with its lightweight steering rack making for simple manoeuvres around town and while parking.

2023 hyundai santa fe rear

The suspension underneath handles small and moderate bumps around town without a second thought, making for a refined ride while you’re whizzing through your school run or commute.

Pick up the pace and head out onto the open road and the Santa Fe is extremely well-mannered, offering a smooth and quiet ride that makes it a great long-distance family tourer.

All up, the Santa Fe is a great large family SUV that does well to disguise its size on the road, making for a super user-friendly package that is happy to dawdle around town and stretch its legs on the highway.

Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Efficient?

Fuel efficiency in the current Santa Fe range varies from unimpressive in the case of the base petrol engine, while the turbo-diesel and hybrid offer some serious efficiency for fuel-conscious buyers.

The 3.5-litre V6 is rated at 10.5L/100km on a combined cycle, making it by far the thirstiest member of the Santa Fe range, while the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is rated at 6.1L/100km on a combined cycle.

The fuel-efficiency king of the Santa Fe range is the hybrid engine, which returns fuel economy figures of 6.0L/100km that make it a super fuel-efficient seven-seat SUV.

Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Practical and Spacious?

As you might imagine, there’s no shortage of space inside the Santa Fe’s cabin which makes for a great family mover.

Up front, the driver and front passenger are treated to a super spacious cabin layout that feels quite imposing when you first climb aboard, though becomes your new best friend with all the storage options on offer.

2023 hyundai santa fe seats

The layout of the dashboard is clean, with the infotainment display sitting undisturbed atop the dash, while the majority of buttons sit on the bulky centre console.

The arrangement is quite busy, with buttons and dials competing for your attention but positioned with a reasonably ergonomic layout in mind and opens up a hidden layer of storage beneath the console for smaller bags and loose items.

The centre console houses a retractable storage tray in front of the gear selector, a cup holder, another storage area beside and acres of storage inside the large folding armrest, while the doors can swallow up even the biggest of bottles.

Move to the second row and there’s a tonne of legroom on offer, with absolutely no problem for any adults sitting in the second row, with the added bonus of a sliding and reclining design for added comfort.

The second row can be optioned with a bench or a pair of captain’s chairs, offering seating for families of six or seven, with a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats.

2023 hyundai santa fe rear seats

On the topic of children, the third row is fairly restrictive when it comes to legroom, though it is a great place for young kids to get cosy on a long holiday road trip.

Finally, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a boot measuring in at 130L with all three rows of seats standing, expanding to 785L with the second-row standing and slid forward, to a maximum of 1649L of cargo storage with both rows folded flat.

2023 hyundai santa fe boot

Is it Safe?

The current-gen Hyundai Santa Fe has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing in 2018 where it scored the following marks.

  • Adult Occupant Protection: 94% 

  • Child Occupant Protection: 86% 

  • Vulnerable Road User Protection: 67% 

  • Safety Assist: 78%

As standard, the Hyundai Santa Fe comes packed with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assist, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, rear occupant alerts and tyre pressure monitoring.

Stepping up to the Santa Fe Active adds front parking sensors and safe exit assist, while the Elite receives rear occupant alerts and the Highlander picks up a surround-view monitor, rear AEB, smart parking assist and a blind-spot view monitor.

Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Worth it?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a fantastic family car that offers a tonne of space, a comfortable ride quality and a generous range of features, even in the base model.

In terms of whether or not you should wait for the replacement, we think it’s worthwhile checking out the current Santa Fe before it bids farewell to Australia simply due to the price increases likely to accompany its successor.

If you’re looking to upgrade to a new car, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying experts who can help find you the best possible price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Six and seven-seat layouts available 

  3. 6.0 - 10.5L/100km fuel economy (Hybrid vs V6 petrol) 

  4. 130L boot expands to 785L with five seats standing  

  5. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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