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Both the Santa Fe and Passport 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 Passport’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 Passport 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 use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Passport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Santa Fe Ultimate has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The Santa Fe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Passport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Santa Fe and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, 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 and available all-wheel drive.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Santa Fe its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passport has not been tested, yet.
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 Passport’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 Honda covers the Passport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Passport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Passport’s (7 vs. 5 years).
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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.
The Santa Fe’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.
The Santa Fe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Passport’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 Passport doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Passport AWD’s (37.5 feet vs. 39.3 feet). The Santa Fe’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Passport’s (37.5 feet vs. 39.5 feet).
The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Honda Passport.
The Santa Fe 2.2D has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Passport can only carry 5.
The Santa Fe 2.2D has 23.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Passport (139.1 vs. 115.9).
The Santa Fe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport 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.
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 Passport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Santa Fe and the Passport 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 Passport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Santa Fe’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Santa Fe, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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