2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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, 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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport:

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

29%

Neck Stress

167 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

35 lbs.

90 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

43%

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

221 lbs.

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

91 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

394/494 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 Outlander Sport:

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

28 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.9/.1 kN

3.43/.93 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport:

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

163

Abdominal Force

141 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

401 lbs.

518 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

349

Hip Force

648 lbs.

794 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

17 inches

HIC

179

365

Hip Force

649 lbs.

807 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 Outlander Sport was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Santa Fe’s 7 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Outlander Sport runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Santa Fe’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Santa Fe has a standard 140-amp alternator. The Outlander Sport’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Santa Fe has a standard 800-amp battery. The Outlander Sport’s 530-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Outlander Sport 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (185 vs. 148) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (178 vs. 145) than the Outlander Sport ES/SE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Santa Fe’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (185 vs. 168) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (178 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 67 more horsepower (235 vs. 168) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Outlander Sport 2.0 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.3 MPH

78.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Santa Fe has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander Sport AWC’s standard fuel tank (18.8 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Santa Fe has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander Sport FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.8 vs. 16.6 gallons).

Transmission

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Outlander Sport.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Santa Fe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander Sport:

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.9 inches

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the Outlander Sport:

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Santa Fe has larger tires than the Outlander Sport (235/65R17 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Santa Fe 2.0T has standard 19-inch wheels. The Outlander Sport’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Santa Fe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the Outlander Sport (108.9 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 4.1 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander Sport.

The Santa Fe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.3% to 42.7%) than the Outlander Sport’s (59% to 41%). This gives the Santa Fe more stable handling and braking.

The Santa Fe AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Outlander Sport SE 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Santa Fe AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Outlander Sport SE 4WD (28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 13.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander Sport (110.7 vs. 97.5).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Santa Fe’s middle row seats recline. The Outlander Sport’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Santa Fe

Outlander Sport

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

21.7 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

49.5 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the Santa Fe and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outlander Sport’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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

The Santa Fe has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Santa Fe has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Santa Fe and the Outlander Sport 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 rear seats aren’t available in the Outlander Sport.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Santa Fe Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Santa Fe (except SE)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Santa Fe and the Outlander Sport offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Santa Fe has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Outlander Sport because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Outlander Sport, including $228 less for a water pump, $224 less for a starter, $72 less for fuel injection, $253 less for a fuel pump and $29 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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