2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.


GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Acadia. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Santa Fe.

There are over 2 times as many GMC dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.


The Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (193 vs. 185) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 75 more horsepower (310 vs. 235) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 260) than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Santa Fe 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:



Santa Fe

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

82.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Santa Fe (21.7 vs. 18.8 gallons).

The Acadia has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia’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 are solid, not vented.

The Acadia stops shorter than the Santa Fe:



Santa Fe


60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Santa Fe (255/65R17 vs. 235/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Santa Fe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Hyundai Santa Fe only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia 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’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Santa Fe (112.5 inches vs. 108.9 inches).

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Santa Fe Ultimate AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).


For excellent aerodynamics, the Acadia has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Santa Fe can only carry up to 5.

The Acadia has 33.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe (143.8 vs. 110.7).

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the Santa Fe 2.2D.



Santa Fe

Behind Third Seat

12.8 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


35.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet

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



Santa Fe

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


35.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

71.3 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the Santa Fe’s in almost every dimension:



Santa Fe

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Min Width







The Acadia’s standard front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Santa Fe’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Acadia’s optional front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches. The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Santa Fe’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Acadia’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate.

When the Acadia with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Santa Fe’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Acadia SLT/Denali 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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Acadia has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Santa Fe SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate.

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

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