2019 Infiniti QX30 vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX30 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the QX30 and the Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 4 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 23 more horsepower (208 vs. 185) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the QX30 gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe:

 

 

 

MPG

QX30

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

Santa Fe

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

 

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Transmission

The QX30 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

The QX30’s standard 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 SE/SEL’s standard 65 series tires. The QX30’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Santa Fe’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX30 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Santa Fe SE/SEL.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX30 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The QX30 has vehicle speed sensitive 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 better maneuverability, the QX30 AWD’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Santa Fe’s (36.6 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The QX30’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Santa Fe’s (37.3 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Infiniti QX30 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 900 pounds less than the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The QX30 is 1 foot, 1.6 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the QX30 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The QX30 is 8.1 inches shorter in height than the Santa Fe, making the QX30 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

For excellent aerodynamics, the QX30 has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the QX30 is 1.6 inches lower than the Santa Fe (16.4” vs. 18”). The QX30’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Santa Fe’s (17.2” vs. 18.5”).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the QX30 easier. The QX30’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.1 inches, while the Santa Fe’s liftover is 31.2 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the QX30. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Santa Fe Ultimate, the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The QX30’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Santa Fe’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the QX30 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the QX30 Sport/Essential to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the QX30 Sport/Essential has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The QX30’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 QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Santa Fe’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The QX30 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 QX30 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.

The QX30 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional Intelligent Park 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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