2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

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 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

Both the Terrain 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Terrain the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Santa Fe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Terrain for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). 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 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’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (252 vs. 235) than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe with its standard engine:

 

 

Terrain

Santa Fe

 

FWD

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

 

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

 

 

Terrain

Santa Fe

 

2WD

 

n/a

22 city/29 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/30 hwy

20 city/25 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

 

n/a

21 city/27 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/28 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

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 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe.

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’s optional 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 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

The Terrain is 5.5 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Terrain 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 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 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 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

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 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Terrain’s front and rear power windows all 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 Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

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 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 only offers heated mirrors on the Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate.

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

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 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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