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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 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q3 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 Q3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
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 Q3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Santa Fe and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
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 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 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 Q3’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Santa Fe 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 3 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Santa Fe’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Q3 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (235 vs. 228) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Santa Fe has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q3 (18.8 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Santa Fe has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q3 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the Q3 (108.9 inches vs. 105.5 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Q3.
For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Q3’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Audi Q3.
The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q3.
Rear Seat Up
35.9 cubic feet
23.7 cubic feet
Rear Seat Folded
71.3 cubic feet
48 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When different drivers share the Santa Fe Limited, the memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Q3 doesn’t offer memory seats.
The Santa Fe Limited 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 Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Santa Fe’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Santa Fe has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
Both the Santa Fe and the Q3 offer available heated front seats. The Santa Fe Limited also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Santa Fe Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Santa Fe Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Santa Fe Limited has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Santa Fe is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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