The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the most popular mid-size SUVs in the world because it is priced relatively well, yet is really reliable, really well-equipped, and it looks great inside and out. The Santa Fe slots between the Hyundai Palisade, the big SUV, and the Hyundai Tucson, the small SUV, all of which are popular and are at the top of their respective segments.
The first Santa Fe model was introduced in 2001 and has been in continuous production ever since. The fourth generation was introduced in 2018 and was facelifted for the 2021 model year. We are likely going to see the 5th generation of the Santa Fe in two years or so which means that it is still a good time to consider buying the current generation.
However, in this article, we are going to list all the cars similar to the Hyundai Santa Fe and tell you what you get with each. The most similar car to the Hyundai Santa Fe is the Kia Sorento which shares most of its parts with the Santa Fe. Other notable cars from this segment are the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue, and the Toyota RAV4.
All five of these mid-size SUVs are popular because they all offer a really enticing package overall. However, they do differ in some regards, and if any of these are important to you, they are likely going to tip the favor to just one of these SUVs.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The current Hyundai Santa Fe starts at a $27,200 base price, but the price can go as high as $41,000 for the top-spec Calligraphy models. The Santa Fe uses a familiar 191hp 4-cylinder engine you can find in various Hyundai and Kia models and the equally familiar 280hp turbocharged 4-cylinder. You can also go for a hybrid if you want the best efficiency and power output.
Design-wise, the Santa Fe still looks incredibly fresh both inside and out because Hyundai really did a good job with the very latest Hyundai SUVs as they decided to go for a more attractive design throughout. All in all, the Santa Fe is one spacious, reliable, well-equipped, safe, and comfortable SUV which is why it is as popular as it is.
The Kia Sorento shares most of its parts with the Hyundai Santa Fe which means that these two SUVs are pretty much the same. The Sorento starts at $29,950 and can go up to $43,000 which is a bit higher than the Santa Fe. The Sorento is also a tad bit newer as the very latest Sorento model came out a year after the Santa Fe did.
The Sorento does offer a slightly larger trunk space which is pretty much the only difference as far as practicality is concerned. The Sorento interior is different with larger screens and a blockier design which is not as good-looking as the one in the Santa Fe. When it comes to exterior design, those who love boxy SUVs will prefer the Sorento while those who seek smoother lines will prefer the Santa Fe.
For a price between $26,800 and $36,600, the Honda CR-V is noticeably cheaper than the Hyundai is at the top end which is where most buyers of these SUVs tend to live. The CR-V also offers more space than the Santa Fe with 28MPG combined compared to 26MPG combined with both the Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento.
However, the CR-V lacks when it comes to engines as it offers a 190hp 1.5L 4-cylinder and a 2.0L 4-cylinder hybrid with 212hp which is not as sophisticated or powerful as the hybrid in the Santa Fe. The CR-V does get more stuff from the factory, yet it is a bit boring to drive and not as interesting to look at as the Santa Fe.
The price of a Nissan Rogue ranges from $27,150 to $36,930 which also puts it in a more affordable category when compared to the Santa Fe. With 30MPG combined, the Nissan Rogue is the more economical SUV compared to all the previous SUVs here. This engine also offers 201hp which is also an upgrade over all the previously mentioned SUVs.
A big drawback of the Rogue is that it does not yet come with a hybrid powertrain, so is the fact that it does not feel as special on the inside. However, it does get the best safety features palette out of all cars here.
Our last competitor is the Toyota RAV4 which costs from $26,975 to $36,915 which is also considerably lower than the Sorento or the Santa Fe. The RAV4 engine palette includes a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with 203hp or a 2.5L hybrid with 220hp. MPG ratings are 40MPG which is a really good number and Toyota is known to make good hybrid engines for years now.
The RAV4 is not as plush feeling as most cars on this list and it isn’t the best-looking one either. The interior of the RAV4 is nice and is laid with high-quality materials. It does beat the others as it is available with an off-road option, but it lacks behind the others when it comes to noise isolation.
Is the Hyundai Santa Fe the best car in its class?
Both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento are the two best mid-size SUVs mentioned here in most areas. They look the best inside and out and they are the most comfortable and reliable. The Nissan Rogue offers the most economical and most powerful base engine while the CR-V offers the most space.
Is the Hyundai Santa Fe a luxury SUV?
The Hyundai Santa Fe is one really well-rounded SUV with features that can only be seen on true luxury SUVs. However, the Santa Fe is no luxury SUV which is apparent the moment you compare it with the likes of the BMW X5, the Volvo XC90, the Audi Q7, or the Mercedes GLE.
Is the Hyundai Santa Fe the best Hyundai SUV?
Out of all larger Hyundai SUVs, I’d give the edge to the Santa Fe as it is perfect in size. Some might prefer the Tucson due to it being more affordable and more popular while others will go for the larger Palisade. However, the Santa Fe also offers seven seats as in the Palisade while being more reliable.
The Tucson is a really competitive SUV in its class, but it just isn’t as good as the Santa Fe is which is understandable considering the price difference, especially at the top end.