Hyundai’s Stalwart

A look at the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy 2.5T AWD

Courtesy Hyundai

by Isaac Bouchard

Hyundai’s Santa Fe is a stalwart of its lineup; a midsize crossover that has delivered great value over its multiple generations. The current iteration, topping out in the Calligraphy trim, upholds those attributes. Its exterior styling aligns well with the flagship Palisade—slim accent lights perched above the headlights, bold grill and lots of brightwork. Inside, the luxury quotient went up last year and the Santa Fe feels well screwed together of high-quality materials. Tech is shared with most vehicles across the Hyundai-Kia-Genesis triumvirate, which means clear, bold digital displays for the instruments and infotainment and generally easy to use menu systems. That the Palisade doesn’t use faux wood is to be applauded, and both the front and back are very spacious. The Calligraphy’s front buckets have quite a few adjustments, but none give them more than average levels of lateral support.

That is not really a problem, since the Santa Fe is not intended to be sporty; its dynamics prioritize ride quality and refinement over corner carving and driving involvement—no bad thing in this class. The Hyundai is soothing and pleasant, with low levels of noise and relative imperturbability to the unpleasantness passing underneath its wheels. One of its standout features of is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder. It is refined and power, with outputs of 277hp and 311lb-ft of torque. Turbo lag is minimal; there’s no need to put the Santa Fe into Sport mode, and with a 0-60mph time of 6-seconds, it’s fleet footed. Observed fuel economy hews near to the ratings, which isn’t bad for the size and performance. Overall, the Calligraphy comes across as very good value, as this Santa Fe has most every feature one might want and significantly more interior room than many crossovers near its price.

EPA Ratings: 21/28/24mpg

0-60mph: 8.5 seconds

Price as tested: $45,225

Rating: 4 Stars

Here is what Hyundai has to say.

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