2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Journey 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 Journey’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 Journey doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Santa Fe has standard Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 Journey doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Santa Fe’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

The Santa Fe’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Journey only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or 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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Santa Fe and the Journey have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, 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 Dodge Journey:

Santa Fe

Journey

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

244

321

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

52%

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

164 lbs.

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

49 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

631/373 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Hyundai Santa Fe is safer than the Journey:

Santa Fe

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

1.9/.1 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.7/.38

.8/.83

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 Dodge Journey:

Santa Fe

Journey

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

97

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

648 lbs.

972 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

16 inches

HIC

179

250

Hip Force

649 lbs.

712 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 Journey was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 Journey’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Santa Fe 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Dodge covers the Journey. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Journey ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Journey’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Santa Fe has a standard 800-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-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 51 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Journey 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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 8th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 54 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 11 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

The Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (185 vs. 173) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (178 vs. 166) than the Journey’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Santa Fe gets better fuel mileage than the Journey:

MPG

Santa Fe

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Santa Fe’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 Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Dodge Journey (3). This means the Santa Fe produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey 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 six-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

Tires and Wheels

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

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 Journey doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Journey.

The Santa Fe handles at .78 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Journey SE’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.5 feet). The Santa Fe’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Journey GT/Crossroad’s (37.5 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Dodge Journey.

The Santa Fe is 4.6 inches shorter than the Journey, making the Santa Fe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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

Santa Fe

Journey

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

n.a./42.4”/77.4”

16”/41.5”/75”

Max Width

53.7”

55.5”

Min Width

42.3”

41.4”

Height

31.5”

33.1”

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Santa Fe’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Santa Fe’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Journey doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Santa Fe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Santa Fe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Journey’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Santa Fe’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Journey’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 Journey’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Santa Fe Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Santa Fe detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Santa Fe and the Journey 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 second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Santa Fe has a standard Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Santa Fe, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Santa Fe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Santa Fe with a number “5” insurance rate while the Journey is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

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 Journey only retains 39.45% to 41.24%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Journey, including $117 less for a water pump, $859 less for a muffler, $52 less for front brake pads, $117 less for a starter, $300 less for a fuel pump, $85 less for front struts and $392 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Santa Fe will be $2980 to $3382 less than for the Dodge Journey.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Dodge Journey by 24% during 2018.

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

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