2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 BMW X1

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Santa Fe are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Santa Fe and X1 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Santa Fe has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X1’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

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 X1 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Avoidance Assist in the Santa Fe as “Superior.” The X1 scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 X1 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Santa Fe Limited has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X1 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Santa Fe and the X1 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 and available all wheel drive.

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 BMW X1:

Santa Fe

X1

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

32%

Neck Stress

167 lbs.

360 lbs.

Neck Compression

35 lbs.

60 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.5 inches

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

175 lbs.

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

68 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

309/268 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 BMW X1:

Santa Fe

X1

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

143

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

141 G’s

154 G’s

Hip Force

401 lbs.

486 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

193

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

65 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

13 inches

HIC

179

278

Hip Force

649 lbs.

815 lbs.

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 X1 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

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 X1’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 BMW covers the X1. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the X1 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Santa Fe’s warranty.

Reliability

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 50 points higher than the X1.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X1 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine

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 X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Santa Fe has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the X1 (18.8 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the X1:

Santa Fe

X1

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Santa Fe has larger tires than the X1 (235/65R17 vs. 225/50R18).

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 X1 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the X1 (108.9 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the X1.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Santa Fe AWD is quieter than the X1 xDrive28i:

Santa Fe

X1

At idle

37 dB

40 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 9.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X1 (110.7 vs. 101.2).

Cargo Capacity

The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the X1.

Santa Fe

X1

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

27.1 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

58.7 cubic feet

The Santa Fe’s cargo area is larger than the X1’s in almost every dimension:

Santa Fe

X1

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42.4”/77.4”

35.1”/69”

Max Width

53.7”

51.5”

Min Width

42.3”

39.5”

Height

31.5”

33”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X1 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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 X1 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 X1 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Both the Santa Fe and the X1 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 X1.

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 X1 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 X1 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Santa Fe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Santa Fe will cost $45 to $1075 less than the X1 over a five-year period.

The Santa Fe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Santa Fe will retain 45.92% to 47.83% of its original price after five years, while the X1 only retains 43.17% to 43.84%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the X1 because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the X1, including $484 less for a water pump, $474 less for a muffler, $73 less for front brake pads, $430 less for a starter, $268 less for fuel injection, $186 less for a fuel pump, $180 less for front struts, $767 less for a timing belt/chain and $107 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Santa Fe will be $893 to $10908 less than for the BMW X1.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Santa Fe, based on reliability, safety and performance. The BMW X1 isn't recommended.

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the BMW X1 by over four to one during 2018.

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

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