The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) is a standout in the world of electrified midsize SUVs. Introduced in 2021, it has quickly earned its place among our top plug-in hybrid SUV choices. Hyundai’s regular Santa Fe was revamped in 2019, and the PHEV version continues the model’s success story.
What sets the Santa Fe PHEV apart is its electric-only range of 31 miles, allowing for everyday tasks without a drop of gasoline. Charging is a breeze, whether at home or a public station. Plus, if the battery runs low, the gasoline engine seamlessly takes over. For those looking to dip their toes into the electric vehicle realm, a plug-in hybrid is an excellent first step.
Competition in this category is sparse, but the Santa Fe PHEV holds its own. While the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid offer alternatives, they vary in size and price. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is another contender with a slightly longer electric-only range and an attractive starting price.
The 2023 model introduces new features, including Dynamic Voice Recognition, Highway Driving Assist, navigation, and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard in the lower trim. The Santa Fe PHEV offers a smooth and quiet ride in electric mode, transitioning seamlessly to regular hybrid operation when needed. The added electric motor boosts acceleration, making it quicker than the base Santa Fe model.
Comfort remains a hallmark of the Santa Fe, with minimal body lean during cornering. All-wheel drive comes standard, providing confidence in various driving conditions. Wide rear pillars can affect visibility, but blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control help mitigate this.
One of the Santa Fe PHEV’s strengths is its spacious two-row interior, with ample headroom and generous rear legroom. Cargo space remains unchanged despite accommodating a larger battery. Both cloth and leather upholstery options are available, with the Limited trim offering heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof.
Under the hood, a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor combine to produce 261 horsepower, driving all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The PHEV’s beefier battery allows for an electric-only range of 31 miles, making it a practical choice for short commutes.
In summary, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid offers a compelling blend of electric efficiency and practicality, earning its spot as a top choice among plug-in hybrid SUVs.