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2023 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

1. Exterior Design

Hyundai Tucson stands shorter than Santa Fe at 176.4 inches long and 64.8 inches tall. The vehicle's front end also projects a sense of movement, with a wing-shaped appearance created by the bumper, the muscled lines of the hood, and the grille. High-tech, jewel-like projector headlamps complete the advanced design statement. From the rear, the Z-shaped side character line and muscular wheel arches create a chiseled, athletic form. Available 17-inch alloy wheels and available lower profile 16-inch tires express performance, while wraparound taillamps and dual exhaust provide a sporty touch. The new Tucson features a bigger and more powerful stature, giving drivers a sense of protection and convenience in various driving environments. This is something most consumers look for in an SUV. Tests will show that it is bigger in size compared to the previous model, namely the 2004 Santa Fe, and it is only inferior to the Santa Fe in terms of vehicle length and width. With that said, we can expect the new Tucson to attract those looking for an SUV but find the Santa Fe a bit too spacious for their needs. [1][2]

1.1. Tucson's exterior features

Further detailed in the lights department, the news doesn't stop there. Several additional innovative features have been included to Tucson's lighting system to heighten safety and visibility. A welcome feature means that the car detects your approach and activates the headlights, position lights, front and rear actuator and puddle lamps for ultimate visibility in the dark. Meanwhile, the aforementioned bending lights are angled 12 degrees either side of the car to enhance illumination during cornering. High beam assist detects oncoming traffic and leading vehicles so as not to dazzle other road users and in doing so flips from high to low beam and back again. This function is operational from 40-100mph. Finally, the optional LED rear combination lamps come complete with a static bending light and rear fog lights to further enhance the visibility and safety of the Tucson driver.

The new Hyundai Tucson is the latest example of a brand new design from the Korean carmaker. The new Tucson is constructed around its lights, with separate LED daytime running lights sitting right atop the grille of the car. Both standard headlights and optional LED items, which feature bending light and high-beam assist, are housed in a separate unit lower down. Tucson also includes a standard feature of rear LED light which enhances the car's aesthetics yet again.

1.2. Santa Fe's exterior features

18-inch alloy wheels are standard on the Santa Fe Sport while 19-inch wheels are found on the long wheelbase Santa Fe. The side profile of the SUV benefits from a long hood design which Hyundai claims gives the vehicle an 'athletic' stance and ties in well with the roof line. The back of the Santa Fe receives dual exhausts and new LED tail lights that "wrap" into the side of the vehicle for a more complete appearance. Step inside the vehicle and you're greeted with Hyundai's signature Blue Optiks interior lighting, a choice of aluminum or wood grain trim, stowable rear side window sunshades, and a bigger center stack. The primary objective here was to give the Santa Fe a more upscale identity, and there seems to be quite a bit of improvement over its predecessor. [3][4]

Bold lines covering the exterior of the Santa Fe help give it a much more muscular appearance compared to its predecessor. Hyundai has provided the SUV with a wider, hexagonal two-tier grille. The upper part of the grille is thinner than the lower part and sits atop a redesigned front bumper and LED daytime running lights. The Santa Fe's Butterfly Grille looks almost like that of the Ford Edge and the new fog lights and LED headlamps give it a rather refined look overall.

2. Interior Features

A low, flat floor means foot room isn't compromised and you can fit three abreast, although this will be a squeeze. The outboard rear seats are comfy and flexible, with long seat travel, reclining backrests, and armrests housing seat heating and ventilation controls. Fold and tumble middle row seats make it easy to get into the rear-most seats, which are only suited to kids, and multi-adjustable to create a comfortable space for passengers. The two back rows of seats split 60/40 and can be slid forward and back, with backrest angle also adjustable. Just as the home page works with a mix of digital and analogue controls, so does the Tucson's dash. Twin central dials and a trip computer LCD, straight out of the Elantra, team up with digital displays for the climate control and audio which are easier to read but not as much fun. The centre stack looks hi-tech, highlighted by a touch screen display and the glossy black plastic finish. Some people will like the clutter-free look, while others will find it over-styled. Audio controls are neither the buttons-and-dials variety of mainstream models, nor the confusing double-display secondary function buttons found in some luxury cars. Fingers crossed that the steering wheel controls are intuitive and well laid out. Twin dials and driver info LCD bring it all back to basics, which is a good move considering that Hyundai's technical prowess doesn't always equal best-in-class usability. A standout feature for the top-spec Highlander is the virtual blind spot camera display, but we think more Tucson buyers might be interested in the fact that now there's a sunglasses holder, instead of the detachable clips used in previous models.


2.1. Santa Fe's interior highlights

The Santa Fe’s interior, while it is smaller in comparison to the '21 model, provides a comfortable and cohesive cockpit feel. The center stack has been redesigned, removing the strange vent placement of the '22 and adopting a cleaner look furthered by a lower-placed, floating infotainment screen. New to the Santa Fe is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster which is clear and easy to read. This digital instrument panel can be customized with different views and theme colors in accordance with what would be seen in competitive makes. The Santa Fe still maintains the use of hard plastics in some areas, detracting from the upscale feel of the cabin, but makes up for it with the availability of premium features and spaciousness. A fully loaded Santa Fe would include features like Nappa Leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, memory driver's seat, and Bose premium audio. Dual-zone climate control is standard on all trim levels and all models, with the exception of the lowermost SE, come equipped with a panoramic sunroof. In terms of rear seating, the Santa Fe shines with an abundant 41.7 inches of legroom, with all but the tallest of passengers finding the rear reclining seats to be quite comfortable. A third row can be equipped on the higher trim Calligraphy models but is best suitable for children. These rear seats allow for adjustment in both back and forth travel, with an added reclining feature and the ability to fold and stow the center seats from the rear cargo area. Overall, the Santa Fe provides a comfortable and refined experience to its occupants but leaves some room for improved materials in cabin construction.

2.2. Comparison of cabin space and seating capacity

Both the 2023 Hyundai Tucson and the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs are built to accommodate families and groups of friends, offering generous interior space with a seating capacity of 5 and available 6-7 respectively. The Tucson provides a total interior volume of 133.2 cu ft, besting the Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and the Subaru Forester. The Santa Fe, which has been recently stretched by 3 inches in length and nearly 4 inches between the front and rear wheels, has gained significant increases in front head and legroom, rear shoulder and legroom, and cargo capacity. The Santa Fe provides 141.3 cu ft of interior volume which bests most mainstream midsize SUVs and premium compact ones like the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60. The Santa Fe's cargo space is also increased and is more usable than before. The Santa Fe now has a total luggage capacity of 31.5 cu ft and a total of 78.2 cu ft with the second row folded, which bests the Ford Edge, Toyota RAV4, and the Subaru Outback. Moving onto both first and second-row seating comfort, the Tucson provides a very good setting despite its compact size. The driver's seat is 6-way adjustable with standard lumbar support and the steering wheel tilts to six positions and telescopes to five. The front passenger seat provides a four-way adjustment. Second-row passengers are also not forgotten. They will enjoy an impressive amount of head and legroom along with adjustable seat back angles, cushioned for maximum comfort. The rear doors also open wide to improve entry and exit. The Santa Fe also provides a similar level of comfort in the first and second-row seats, but where it really shines is in the optional third-row seating. This is a feature that cannot be found in the Tucson and is very useful for families who carpool or have children that are often accompanied by friends. Access to the third row is also made easy with walk-in functionality of the second-row bench. This is a result from the seat's ability to roll, fold, and recline with and controlled by a mechanism strapped to it. Third-row passengers are also provided with not one, but two power outlets at the rear.

3. Performance and Engine Options

The Tucson offers two different engines, the first being a 2.0L GDI 4-cylinder engine that produces 164 horsepower at 6200 RPM and 151 pound feet of torque. The first engine is available with an all-wheel drive dynamic torque control system that enhances traction and cornering by automatically applying the correct amount of engine torque to the rear wheels. This system takes into account acceleration and degrees of wheel slip when determining how power should be distributed to the rear wheels. The second engine is a 1.6L Turbocharged, Direct-injection 4-cylinder engine that goes a different route, in focusing more on fuel efficiency by utilizing a turbocharger to improve gas mileage without reducing energy output. This engine provides 175 horsepower with an estimated 195 pound feet of torque. This engine comes with a more advanced all-wheel drive setup, with active cornering control to further improve the vehicle's cornering performance and traction at higher speeds. The Tucson is equipped with a 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission for smooth shifting, but the 2.0 GDI engine is available with an AWD Lock feature that holds a 50/50 torque split at the wheels for improved off-road and slippery road conditions. This is a very diverse package of powertrains that offers great performance in a few different aspects of driving, while still providing solid fuel efficiency. Overall, the Tucson has more of a focus on cornering performance and handling, and with the new AWD system, it also offers an improved driving experience in adverse road conditions.

3.1. Tucson's engine options and performance

This model includes three engine alternatives in the gas lineup. The bottom engine could be a 2.0-liter straight administered 4-cylinder engine. That runs on normal gasoline and generates 165 hp at 6200 rpm and 146 lb/ft of torque. This engine is only available in the entry-stage Front Wheel Drive GL model. Another engine is included in the best and second models, the GLS Top Quality Package and also the Limited with Navigation Bundle. This is a 2.4-liter version of the engine in the base design. It runs on standard fuel and provides an increase in power delivered to the wheels through the available All Wheel Drive system. This engine produces 176 hp at 6000 rpm and 168 lb/ft of torque. The 2.4 L 4-cylinder engine is also provided with an ECO process that adjusts the shift cycle and engine RPM to improve fuel economy. This engine option is suitable for customers who place a greater focus on covering a greater mileage in their car or traveling frequently at higher speeds with more power being available for overtaking. The third choice is another top-of-the-line Tucson model, essentially the Limited with Navi Package. This is a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine that is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is the most powerful Tucson engine option, delivering 175 hp at 5500 rpm and peak torque of 195 lb/ft delivered through a expanded RPM range from 1500 to 4500 rpm. This engine incorporates fuel efficiency and power delivery in mind and will suit those who are after the sportier of Tucson models. This engine can produce higher torque with an expanded RPM range than rivals who use a V6 engine. The 1.6L turbocharged engine is also offered with an Open Class Action variant of the same Tucson model. This engine will provide 200 hp and torque of 190 lb/ft using a higher RPM range compared to the 240 hp 2.0 and 2.4 liter V6 engines. This select edition can provide an alternative to buyers who want a different, stronger, and sportier Tucson with the latest technology at a lower price. This high-powered option is similar to when the second-generation Tucson crossed over the Santa Fe in 2005 when it offered V6 power until 2009.

3.2. Santa Fe's engine options and performance

As for Santa Fe, the car offers 2 options of engine - Hybrid, and Plug-in. The hybrid uses Smart stream 1.6 T-GDI HEV engine that offers an output of 180 PS and 265 Nm of torque. This car uses a 6-speed automatic transmission. This car is obviously more fuel-efficient than the Tucson but not as fast. The plug-in version, on the other hand, offers a more powerful engine with Smart stream 1.6 T-GDI HEV engine that offers an output of 265 PS. This engine combines with a powerful 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and offers maximum electric speed by disengaging the engine and using motor power and with hybrid mode. The fuel efficiency might not be as good as the hybrid engine but is still considered good for an SUV car. This car also offers HTRAC AWD for better handling and torque distribution. Both of these engines represent the Santa Fe as the bigger and more powerful car compared to the Tucson.

3.3. Fuel efficiency comparison

Since the fuel efficiency can be measured by comparing the fuel consumption rates between the cars, the more efficient car would be the one that uses less fuel. For the fuel efficiency comparison, the specific fuel consumption rates for the Tucson and Santa Fe are not available yet. However, based on the types of the engine on both cars, it can be implied that the Tucson would have better fuel efficiency than the Santa Fe. This is due to the fact that the Tucson has more types of 2WD engines (3 types) as compared to 1 type HTRAC engine, which are commonly known to use more fuel than 2WD engines, and 1 type 4WD engine. The Tucson also consists of smaller engine capacities for all types, which are 2.0/1999cc for the MPi engines and 1.6/1591cc for the T-GDi engines, as compared to 2.4/2359cc for all types of the Santa Fe's engines. From here, it can be implied that the Santa Fe would consume more fuel than the Tucson due to the engine type and capacity difference, and this has shown that the Tucson has better fuel efficiency than the Santa Fe.

The Tucson's fuel efficiency comes in 5 different types, which includes 2.0 MPi 2WD, 2.0 MPi 4WD, 1.6 T-GDi 2WD, 1.6 T-GDi HTRAC, and 1.6 T-GDi HTRAC with 8-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe comes in 3 different types, which are 2.4 MPi 2WD, 2.4 MPi HTRAC, and 2.2 CRDi with 8-speed automatic transmission.

4. Safety and Technology

4.2. Advanced Safety Features in the Hyundai Santa Fe The 2023 Santa Fe features updated safety features and has seen improvements to their safety features from the 2022 model. The newly updated Santa Fe includes a call feature for the Rear-Occupant Alert so the driver can receive a notification on their phone in case they leave someone in the vehicle. This also includes motion sensors or the In-Car Sensor that detects someone in the rear seat and it has the ability to sound the vehicle's horn and turn on the hazard lights indicating the driver to check the rear seats. Another update to the Santa Fe safety features is the advancement of the Safe Exit Assist which will lock the rear doors if it detects an oncoming vehicle, preventing rear passengers from opening the door and entering into oncoming traffic. This year's model saw improvements to the Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, a standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, a junction-turning detection for the Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Assist. This will all follow from the 2022 model that received a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It will be hard to evaluate the updated Santa Fe safety features until the official safety rating from the 2023 model is given from IIHS and NHTSA, but it can be predicted that these updates will increase the Santa Fe's NHTSA safety rating.

4.1. Advanced Safety Features in the Tucson All 2023 Hyundai Tucson come with advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The standard forward collision warning system has pedestrian detection and the Tucson has a driver-attention monitor that comes on every trim level. Hyundai has improved the Blind-Spot View Monitor with the Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, which will automatically adjust steering if the vehicle detects you are trying to change lanes into a vehicle in your blind spot. The safety features on the Hyundai Tucson are top-notch and it shows with the final overall safety rating of 4 ½ stars out of 5 stars.

4.1. Advanced safety features in the Tucson

The Tucson also comes standard with Rear Occupant Alert, which is an important system designed to prevent drivers from leaving children or pets in the car unattended. This system monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor, and if it detects movement on the rear seats after the driver has exited and locked the vehicle, it will provide an alert through the vehicle's instrument panel and also sound the horn. This system is a valuable addition by Hyundai, as it can prevent the unfortunate and potentially deadly scenario of leaving a child or pet in a hot car on a sunny day. The vehicle will not turn off this system until the driver opens the rear door when reaching the destination, ensuring that no child or pet is forgotten.

One of the most beneficial safety features Tucson has to offer is Lane Keeping Assist, which is designed to keep you in your lane and is especially useful on long road trips. If the system detects the vehicle is heading outside the lane lines without signaling, it will provide corrective steering assistance to help keep you in the lane. This feature becomes even more useful when paired with the Lane Following Assist system that is also standard on the Tucson. This system will automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in the lane. It functions even on highways with gradual curves, and can be turned on and off.

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with an excellent array of advanced safety features. It is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, making long drives on the highway much more manageable, as the vehicle will automatically adjust its speed to maintain a safe distance between cars and even come to a complete stop if necessary. Once traffic begins to move again, the car will automatically get back to the desired speed as well. Tucson also comes standard with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which helps to prevent accidents by detecting upcoming obstacles and providing an alert to the driver. If the driver does not react to avoid a collision, the system will apply emergency braking to mitigate collision and avoid impact.

4.2. Advanced safety features in the Santa Fe

In terms of occupant protection, the Santa Fe has been designed with a center console that does not intrude on the driver's right knee in the instance of a head-on collision, increasing the likelihood of minimal injury in said circumstances. A final point of mention is that the Santa Fe's H7.9 body was more crash-protective than the previous generation model. These features and enhancements are a testament to the Santa Fe's safety capability.

The Santa Fe is available with an optional feature called Smart Cruise Control. This system is able to maintain a predetermined distance from the vehicle in front and will adjust the speed of the vehicle to ensure traffic conditions are adhered to. A significant step up from standard cruise control, the Smart Cruise Control takes information from a front-mounted radar sensor to accurately interpret traffic flow. In line with the Smart Cruise Control system, the Santa Fe is also available with a safety feature called Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which is able to automatically apply the vehicle's brakes in the instance that a collision is forecast and the driver has not applied the required amount of force to avoid the collision. AEB is able to greatly reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, which often result in whiplash injuries for the driver and passengers of the affected vehicles. This is an ideal safety feature for the modern family. Automatic Post-Collision Braking is a further enhancement of this system. This feature applies the brakes, following a collision, in order to avoid the vehicle traveling into further danger or down say a steep incline. This can greatly reduce the risk of injury for the occupants of the affected vehicle/s.

Both the Santa Fe and the Tucson excel when it comes to safety. Designed with the modern family in mind, the Santa Fe boasts a range of advanced features aimed at collision prevention and maximizing driver and passenger protection. Similar to the Tucson, the Santa Fe features a standard Reverse Camera (from Active), aims to remind second-row passengers to belt up, and offers up to seven airbags.

4.3. Comparison of infotainment and connectivity options

The 2023 Tucson and Santa Fe have a variety of infotainment and connectivity options. The Tucson will offer the ability to turn the car into a second living space for the family, and the Santa Fe offers more features that the driver won't be able to interact with the family. The Tucson offers a 10.25-inch open cluster LCD that pairs with a 10.25-inch AVN (audio, visual, navigation) screen for a futuristic widescreen appearance. With some content, the main screen may be with only the cluster in use. This feature allows different media options for the front and rear passengers conducive to reducing family disputes. Hyundai's Audio Video Navigation (AVN) 5.0 navigation software supports HI assistant, 3D maps, expanded with a server-based search engine. Drivers can now enjoy Find my Car, which is now equipped in the user's smartphone, and a "Share my Car" feature that allows a short duration of navigation sharing between smartphones to the vehicle. This is something that the children won't be able to enjoy but should appeal to consumers of the Tucson. Dual Bluetooth support will allow two personal devices to be connected at the same time, and the driver and passenger can pick up calls on either of the two phones through the head unit. This feature can be useful for a personal and business phone. Phone connection just got easier with NFC feature that can connect the phone to the head unit by placing it near the radio. This feature has been expanded to smart keys in the Hyundai vehicles.


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[3] L. Brun, "The Metal Additive Manufacturing Value Chain," 2022. researchgate.net

[4] M. Ferré Gras, "Desarrollo de una web segura," 2023. ub.edu

2023 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

Comparing the 2023 Hyundai Tucson with the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe? Here are some resources to help you understand the differences and similarities between these two vehicles: