2019 Lexus UX Series 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 Lexus UX Series 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.

The UX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The UX Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the UX Series 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, 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 blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

 

FWD

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

AWD

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 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

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The UX Series’ 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 UX Series’ tires are lower profile than the Santa Fe’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series 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 UX Series 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

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Santa Fe’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Lexus UX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 750 pounds less than the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The UX Series is 10.8 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the UX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 57% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

The UX Series’ front and rear power windows all 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. With the Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the UX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Santa Fe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The UX Series’ 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 UX Series 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 UX Series offers optional 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 UX Series 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.

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

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