2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Lincoln MKC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and MKC 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 MKC’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 MKC 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 MKC scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

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 MKC 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 MKC 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.

Both the Santa Fe and the MKC 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 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 Lincoln MKC:

Santa Fe

MKC

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

244

377

Neck Injury Risk

33%

47%

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

152 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

667/277 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, results indicate that the Hyundai Santa Fe is safer than the Lincoln MKC:

Santa Fe

MKC

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

60

Hip Force

401 lbs.

404 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

338

Hip Force

648 lbs.

778 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 MKC 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 MKC’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Santa Fe 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lincoln covers the MKC. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the MKC ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

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

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 20 points higher than the MKC.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The MKC was rated second 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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked fifth.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 10 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

MKC

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Santa Fe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKC 2.0 Turbo.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Santa Fe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKC with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Santa Fe has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKC (18.8 vs. 15.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 MKC.

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 MKC doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the MKC (108.9 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the MKC.

Chassis

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

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

Santa Fe

MKC

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 12.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKC (110.7 vs. 97.9).

Cargo Capacity

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

Santa Fe

MKC

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

25.2 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

53.1 cubic feet

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

Santa Fe

MKC

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42.4”/77.4”

34.4”/67”

Max Width

53.7”

47.6”

Min Width

42.3”

40.3”

Height

31.5”

32”

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

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 MKC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 MKC is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the MKC because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the MKC, including $251 less for a water pump, $219 less for a muffler, $29 less for front brake pads, $451 less for a timing belt/chain and $175 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Lincoln MKC by over four to one during 2018.

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

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