2020 Cadillac XT6 vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The XT6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 XT6 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XT6 offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the XT6 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the XT6 and the Santa Fe XL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Engine

The XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (310 vs. 290) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XT6 gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe XL Ultimate:

MPG

XT6

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

Santa Fe XL Ultimate

FWD

3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.3 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT6’s fuel efficiency. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XT6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The XT6 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Santa Fe XL (22 vs. 18.8 gallons).

The XT6 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac XT6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe XL.

Brakes and Stopping

The XT6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Santa Fe XL are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XT6Sport’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Santa Fe XL (265/45R21 vs. 235/60R18).

The XT6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe XL SE’s standard 60 series tires. The XT6Sport’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Santa Fe XL Ultimate’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT6 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Santa Fe XL SE. The XT6Sport’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Santa Fe XL Ultimate.

The Cadillac XT6’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Hyundai Santa Fe XL only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The XT6 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Santa Fe XL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XT6’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Santa Fe XL (112.7 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT6 is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe XL.

Chassis

The XT6 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The XT6 has .3 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more third row headroom than the Santa Fe XL.

Cargo Capacity

The XT6’s cargo area provides more volume than the Santa Fe XL.

XT6

Santa Fe XL

Third Seat Folded

43.1 cubic feet

40.9 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT6’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

The XT6 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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The XT6 offers an optional 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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XT6’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Santa Fe XL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the XT6’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Santa Fe XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XT6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Santa Fe XL’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

When the XT6 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 XL’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XT6 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 XL offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The XT6 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel is only available on the Santa Fe XL Ultimate.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac XT6 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The XT6’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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