2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Honda Passport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Passport 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 Passport’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 Passport 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 Passport 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 Passport 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’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 Passport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Santa Fe and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems 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 Passport has not been tested, yet.

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 Passport’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 Honda covers the Passport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Passport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Passport’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Santa Fe has a standard 140-amp alternator. The Passport’s 130-amp alternator 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 Passport.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Passport 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Passport

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the Passport:

Santa Fe

Passport

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Santa Fe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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

The Santa Fe AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Passport Elite AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Passport AWD’s (37.5 feet vs. 39.3 feet). The Santa Fe’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Passport’s (37.5 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Honda Passport.

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

Santa Fe

Passport

At idle

37 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

65 dB

Servicing Ease

The Santa Fe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport 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

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 Passport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Santa Fe and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Santa Fe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Passport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Santa Fe’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Recommendations

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

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

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