May 4

Car Comparison: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Honda Passport


Shopping for a new SUV in this crowded segment can challenge even the savviest buyers. If you’ve researched, you’ve probably come across the Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Passport, two well-respected vehicles. So, which one is better?

To help you make an informed decision, we asked our SUV experts to compare and contrast these two SUVs. Then, we’ll review the various trim levels, pricing, and features to make your selection easier.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Honda Passport: Trim Levels and Pricing

Hyundai makes the Santa Fe in five gas-powered models. For better fuel economy, you have three hybrid powertrain options and two plug-in hybrid trims. On the other hand, Honda makes the Passport in only three trims and no hybrid variants. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing by trim:

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe TrimMSRP2023 Honda Passport TrimMSRP
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SE$28,7502023 Honda Passport EX-L$41,100
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SEL$32,4502023 Honda Passport TrailSport$43,600
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT$34,2502023 Honda Passport Elite$46,560
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited$40,600
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy$42,600
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Blue$36,210
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid SEL Premium$40,070
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited$41,870
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid SEL Convenience$42,410
2023 Plug-In Hybrid Limited$47,670

As the table shows, you have more Santa Fe options at lower prices than Passport. 

Edge: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

With ten trim levels, half of which are hybrid or plug-in hybrid models, you have more chances to find a model to suit your taste and budget.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Honda Passport: Powertrain

Hyundai makes the Santa Fe gas models with two engine options. The lower three trims come with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and 16 valves with gasoline direct injection and multi-port fuel injection technology. Hyundai pairs this engine with its eight-speed automatic SHIFTRONIC transmission. As a result, this powertrain produces 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque.

The top-tier Limited and Calligraphy trims use a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a wet dual-clutch eight-speed automatic SHIFTRONIC transmission. This turbo engine boosts power to 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, and the vehicle tows up to 3,500 pounds.

Your hybrid and plug-in hybrid Santa Fe models all use a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that makes 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The regular hybrid trims add a 60-hp electric motor and a 1.49-kWh lithium-ion battery that produces 195 lb-ft of torque. Hybrid models achieve a total system 226 horsepower.

Plug-in hybrid Santa Fe models use a larger 90-hp electric motor and a 13.8-kWh battery that makes 224 lb-ft of torque. And plug-in hybrid trims get 261 total system horsepower. Plug-in hybrid Santa Fe models can drive in electric-only mode for up to 30 miles. 

Honda makes every Passport model with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain puts out 282 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Edge: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

Comparing the Hyundai’s turbo four-cylinder to the Honda V-6 shows Hyundai to have the more potent and efficient engine at a lower cost. And you get the industry’s best warranty from Hyundai if you ever need service.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Honda Passport: Performance

Every gas-model Santa Fe comes standard with a capable front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform. However, you can opt for Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive (AWD) on every trim. In addition, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Santa Fe SUVs come standard with AWD. 

With Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD, you get an advanced system that monitors 50 vehicle inputs over 100 times per second. Then HTRAC calculates the torque needed for each wheel for optimal traction and delivers it seamlessly. In addition, the system toggles power between the axles and uses subtle braking to help maintain control when it detects wheel slippage.

Every Hyundai Santa Fe has four drive modes that tune its driving dynamics to suit your mood and purpose. Select Normal mode for everyday driving, Eco mode for maximum efficiency, and Sport mode when you want a few thrills. 

Hyundai’s Smart mode allows you to improve your driving habits and starts to switch between Normal and Sport mode automatically when needed. AWD Santa Fe models have Snow, Sand, and Mud drive modes to further dial in your engine, shift points, and AWD torque distribution.

Honda makes the Passport with AWD standard and without the option for FWD. The Passport offers four drive modes — Normal, Snow, Sand, and Mud. These modes work like the Santa Fe drive modes, adjusting throttle, steering, and traction control systems to maximize control.

Edge: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

This might be the closest category to compare. In the end, having FWD models available for those drivers who drive mostly on pavement and live in temperate regions can save money. And if traction is important, the Santa Fe has a slight edge with the additional drive modes.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Honda Passport: Driver-Assist Technology

Now considered a must-have for most drivers, these advanced systems elevate your McKinney commute and help keep you safe. Hyundai has a suite of 15 driver-assist systems for the Santa Fe. 

The suite includes highway driving assist, remote smart-parking assist, lane-following assist, blind-spot view monitor, surround view monitor, driver attention warning, safe exit assist, ultrasonic rear occupant alert, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, cyclist and junction-turning detection, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, high beam assist, smart cruise control with stop and go, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, and parking collision-avoidance assist. 

You get Honda Sensing with the Passport, a suite of eight driver-assist technologies. This suite includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, blind-spot information with cross-traffic monitor, and auto high beam.

Edge: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe

Both vehicles have attractive driver-assist systems. However, the sheer number and ability of Hyundai’s suite gives the Santa Fe the edge.

Test Drive a Santa Fe in McKinney, Texas, today

If you’re ready to upgrade your ride with a capable SUV with the latest tech, we invite you to shop our virtual inventory. If you prefer a personal demonstration, visit our North Central Expressway location, and one of our staff will show you your preferred vehicles and let you take your favorite for a spin.


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