Compared: 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Five seats, distinctive styling, and available luxury features make these two SUVs worth cross-shopping.

Black 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and Silver 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross SportHyundai | Volkswagen

Article QuickTakes:

If you're in the market for a midsize SUV, there's a good chance the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are on your list. Both check many boxes for buyers, offering available all-wheel drive, plenty of passenger room, and ample cargo space. Here, we'll pit the two crossover SUVs head-to-head in three categories — price, features, and fuel economy — to help highlight their key differences.

Note that VW offers the Atlas not only as the two-row Cross Sport, but also as a three-row SUV. The Hyundai Santa Fe comes exclusively as a two-row SUV.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: Price

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport starts at a little over $37,000 in its base SE trim and tops out near $54,000 for a fully loaded SEL Premium R-Line model.

With the base gas powertrain, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at about $30,000 for a base SE model, about $5,500 less than the VW, and climbs to near $44,000 in its fully loaded Calligraphy trim, roughly $9,500 less than a loaded Atlas Cross Sport.

While VW doesn't offer a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the Atlas, Hyundai offers both when it comes to the Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Hybrid's entry-level Blue trim starts around $36,000, while a loaded Santa Fe Hybrid Limited comes in around $43,000. With its added tech and complexity, the Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid is the most expensive Santa Fe. The lower of its two available trim levels, the SEL, has a starting price near $42,000, while a fully loaded Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid Limited, the most expensive Santa Fe you can buy, starts around $48,000.

Brown 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe interior and dashboardHyundai

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: Features

The Atlas Cross Sport takes up more space than the Santa Fe. It's longer, wider, and taller. The Hyundai, however, offers more passenger headroom and legroom. The Atlas Cross Sport has about a 4 cubic feet advantage in cargo room behind its second row, offering 40.3 cu-ft to the Santa Fe's 36.4 cu-ft.

As for interior appointments, both vehicles aim for a premium feel. The Santa Fe offers an available 10.3-inch infotainment screen, while the largest you can get in the Atlas measures 8.0 inches. Additionally, the Santa Fe provides a nifty key-fob-operated automated parking system.

Both vehicles offer special appearance packages. The Santa Fe's XRT trim goes for a rugged aesthetic, while the Atlas Cross Sport R-Line keeps things sporty.

While the Hyundai Santa Fe and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport come with above-average warranties, Hyundai's five-year or 60,000-mile basic and 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain coverage bests Volkswagen's four-year or 50,000-mile basic and powertrain coverage. Both manufacturers also offer a complimentary maintenance program, but again, Hyundai's is better at three years or 36,000 miles versus VW's two years or 20,000 miles.

2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport open cargo space with back seats folded downVolkswagen

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: Fuel Economy

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport comes with four different available powertrain configurations. With the basic four-cylinder turbo and front-wheel drive (FWD), fuel economy comes in at 23 mpg. Add all-wheel drive (AWD) and those figures become 22 mpg. With the optional V6, the Atlas Cross Sport delivers 20 mpg for both FWD and AWD models.

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe returns 26 mpg with its basic gas engine. AWD models see figures drop to 24 mpg. Step up to the more potent turbocharged model and these figures become 25 mpg for FWD and 24 mpg for AWD. Across the board, the Santa Fe returns significantly better fuel economy than a comparable Atlas.

The Santa Fe Hybrid with standard AWD clocks in at 32 mpg. The efficiency-oriented Blue trim level offers slight improvements on those figures. The AWD Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid is rated at 76 MPGe and can travel up to 30 miles on electric power alone when fully charged, then gets 33 mpg after you deplete the battery.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
author photo
Chris O'Neill
I am an auto-industry veteran and a current MBA candidate at the University of Utah. After moving to Utah in October 2015 and being fascinated by the unique car culture of the region, I started an Instagram project highlighting the rare and distinctive vehicles I see in the Mountain West region. I enjoy sharing with others my unique perspective and passion for all things automotive. In my free time, when I’m not thinking and writing about cars, I enjoy photography, toying with my 2011 Volkswagen GTI and 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser, and exploring Utah with my girlfriend and two dogs.