2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Kia Sorento

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Sorento 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 Sorento’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 Sorento 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 Sorento doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 Sorento 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 Sorento 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, 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 Kia Sorento:

Santa Fe

Sorento

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

244

245

Neck Injury Risk

33%

43%

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

179 lbs.

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

124 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

227/253 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 Kia Sorento:

Santa Fe

Sorento

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

71

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

58 G’s

Hip Force

648 lbs.

818 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

12 inches

HIC

179

261

Hip Force

649 lbs.

689 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sorento’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability

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

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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Kia Sorento 4 cyl.:

Santa Fe

Sorento

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.3 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Sorento

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

19 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 Sorento doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the Sorento:

Santa Fe

Sorento

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 Sorento’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 Sorento doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Kia Sorento.

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 Sorento 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 Sorento’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Santa Fe’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sorento doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Santa Fe Ultimate’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sorento’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 $380 less than the Sorento over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because typical repairs cost less on the Santa Fe than the Sorento, including $42 less for a fuel pump and $16 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 $641 to $5080 less than for the Kia Sorento.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Kia Sorento by 9% during 2018.

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

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