2019 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2018 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Rav4 Hybrid have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Santa Fe 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 Rav4 Hybrid’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.

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 Santa Fe SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate are reminded to check the back seat when a sensor determines the back seat is occupied. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Santa Fe has a standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Santa Fe’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Santa Fe and the Rav4 Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Santa Fe comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4 Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Santa Fe 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4 Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 41 more horsepower (235 vs. 194) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 206) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

The Santa Fe’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 116 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 206) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Santa Fe has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Hybrid (18.8 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Santa Fe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Santa Fe

Rav4 Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Santa Fe has larger tires than the Rav4 Hybrid (235/65R17 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Santa Fe offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Rav4 Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Santa Fe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Santa Fe has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the Rav4 Hybrid (108.9 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4 Hybrid.

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe 2.2D has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Rav4 Hybrid can only carry 5.

The Santa Fe has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 Hybrid (110.7 vs. 100.7).

Cargo Capacity

The Santa Fe 2.2D’s cargo area provides more volume than the Rav4 Hybrid.

 

Santa Fe

Rav4 Hybrid

Third Seat Removed

35.9 cubic feet

35.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

70.7 cubic feet

70.6 cubic feet

The Santa Fe’s cargo area is larger than the Rav4 Hybrid’s in almost every dimension:

 

Santa Fe

Rav4 Hybrid

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42.4”/77.4”

37”/74.1”

Max Width

53.7”

52.5”

Height

31.5”

n/a

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

The Santa Fe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Rav4 Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate 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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Santa Fe Ultimate 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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Santa Fe and the Rav4 Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Santa Fe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the 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 Rav4 Hybrid’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Santa Fe Ultimate’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rav4 Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Santa Fe’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4 Hybrid’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the Santa Fe and the Rav4 Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The Santa Fe Ultimate also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Rav4 Hybrid.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Santa Fe Ultimate keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Santa Fe Ultimate’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Santa Fe and the Rav4 Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Santa Fe has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Santa Fe Ultimate has a 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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Santa Fe is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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