2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Santa Fe XL have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Santa Fe XL’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the Santa Fe XL.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the Santa Fe XL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Q7 weighs 551 to 1086 pounds more than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

99

140

Neck Injury Risk

25%

34%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

375 lbs.

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

103 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

189/318 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

224

Neck Injury Risk

44%

53%

Neck Stress

118 lbs.

165 lbs.

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

110 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 lbs.

337/263 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

128 G’s

147 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

612 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Santa Fe XL’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 39 more horsepower (329 vs. 290) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

89.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 45 TFSI 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe XL AWD (19 city/25 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Q7 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Santa Fe XL (22.5 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Audi Q7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe XL.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe XL:

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

11.9 inches

The Q7’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Santa Fe XL are solid, not vented.

The Q7 stops shorter than the Santa Fe XL:

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the Santa Fe XL (255/55R19 vs. 235/60R18). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Santa Fe XL (285/45R20 vs. 235/60R18).

The Q7’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe XL Ultimate’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Santa Fe XL’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Santa Fe XL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the Santa Fe XL (117.9 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q7 is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe XL.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Santa Fe XL AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe XL AWD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Q7 has .4 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear shoulder room and .2 inches more third row headroom than the Santa Fe XL.

Cargo Capacity

The Q7’s cargo area provides more volume than the Santa Fe XL.

 

Q7

Santa Fe XL

Behind Third Seat

14.8 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Q7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Hyundai Santa Fe XL is limited to 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Santa Fe XL. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 57% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

The Q7 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Santa Fe XL Ultimate, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Santa Fe XL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Q7 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Santa Fe XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Santa Fe XL’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the Q7 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Santa Fe XL’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Q7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Santa Fe XL offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q7 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q7 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Santa Fe XL is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe XL because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the Santa Fe XL, including $97 less for a fuel pump and $356 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q7 and the Hyundai Santa Fe XL, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Santa Fe XL has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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