2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear 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 Sport doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Terrain are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Santa Fe Sport doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Terrain and the Santa Fe Sport 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.

Warranty

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Terrain. 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 Sport.

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 Terrain’s warranty.

Engine

The Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe Sport’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (252 vs. 240) than the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe Sport’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

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

 

Terrain

Santa Fe Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

85.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe Sport:

 

 

Terrain

Santa Fe Sport

 

FWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/39 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/38 hwy

20 city/26 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe Sport:

 

 

Terrain

Santa Fe Sport

 

2WD

 

n/a

21 city/27 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

26 city/30 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

24 city/28 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

21 city/26 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Terrain’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 Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Terrain 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 Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe Sport.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops much shorter than the Santa Fe Sport:

 

Terrain

Santa Fe Sport

 

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

145 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Terrain’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate’s 55 series tires.

The Terrain 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 Sport doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate AWD pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe Sport (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Terrain 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 Sport doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .4 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Santa Fe Sport.

Ergonomics

The Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Santa Fe Sport does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Santa Fe Sport can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Terrain’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai charges extra for heated mirrors on the Santa Fe Sport.

When the Terrain 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 Sport’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Terrain 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 Sport offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Terrain (except SL) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Santa Fe Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Santa Fe Sport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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