2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-5 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the CX-5 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, 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, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Santa Fe has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (187 vs. 185) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 more horsepower (250 vs. 235) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-5 gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe:

 

 

CX-5

Santa Fe

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/31 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/25 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/30 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.5 Turbo/Auto

22 city/27 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-5 has engine 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 CX-5’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Santa Fe’s (36 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The CX-5 is 8.7 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the CX-5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the CX-5 has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.2 inches, while the Santa Fe’s liftover is 31.2 inches.

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Santa Fe’s in almost every dimension:

 

CX-5

Santa Fe

Max Width

57”

53.7”

Min Width

41.3”

42.3”

Height

32.4”

31.5”

Ergonomics

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature 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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The Santa Fe has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Hyundai Santa Fe by 20% during the 2018 model year.

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

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