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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 X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Santa Fe and X4 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 X4’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 X4 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Both the Santa Fe and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, 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 X4 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 X4’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 X4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the X4 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.
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.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Santa Fe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Santa Fe has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (18.8 vs. 17.2 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 X4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 1.3 inches wider in the front than the average track on the X4.
For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the X4’s (37.5 feet vs. 40 feet).
The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 550 pounds less than the BMW X4.
The Santa Fe has 12.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (110.7 vs. 97.8).
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Santa Fe’s middle row seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the X4.
Rear Seat Up
35.9 cubic feet
18.5 cubic feet
Rear Seat Folded
71.3 cubic feet
50.5 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Santa Fe’s liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The X4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
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 X4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
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 X4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Santa Fe is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Insurance will cost less for the Santa Fe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Santa Fe will cost $2895 to $5985 less than the X4 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 X4 only retains 42.31% to 43.29%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Santa Fe will be $23988 to $26359 less than for the BMW X4.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Santa Fe, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the BMW X4 by over 27 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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