2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Q5 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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Santa Fe and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Santa Fe is safer than the Audi Q5:

Santa Fe

Q5

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

34%

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

134 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Santa Fe is safer than the Audi Q5:

Santa Fe

Q5

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

60

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

185

Hip Force

648 lbs.

817 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

15 inches

HIC

179

219

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Q5 was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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 Q5’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 Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 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.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Santa Fe has a 140-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Santa Fe has a standard 800-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Santa Fe’s reliability 20 points higher than the Q5.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Q5 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Santa Fe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q5 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Santa Fe higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi Q5 (3). This means the Santa Fe produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Hyundai Santa Fe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops much shorter than the Q5:

Santa Fe

Q5

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Santa Fe has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Q5’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Audi Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q5.

Santa Fe

Q5

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

25.1 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

53.1 cubic feet

Ergonomics

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 Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Santa Fe’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Santa Fe is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Q5, including $406 less for a water pump, $318 less for a muffler, $88 less for front brake pads, $460 less for a starter, $184 less for fuel injection, $157 less for a fuel pump, $186 less for front struts and $247 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Audi Q5 by 67% during 2018.

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

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