2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

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 Crosstrek Hybrid only offers a rear monitor.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Santa Fe’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has a metal gas tank.

Both the Santa Fe and the Crosstrek Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’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 Subaru covers the Crosstrek Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Crosstrek Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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

There are over 33 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Santa Fe’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (185 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 87 more horsepower (235 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Santa Fe has 5.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Crosstrek Hybrid (18.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Santa Fe

Crosstrek Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

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

The Santa Fe has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Crosstrek Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the Crosstrek Hybrid (108.9 inches vs. 104.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Crosstrek Hybrid (110.7 vs. 100.7).

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Santa Fe

Crosstrek Hybrid

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

43.1 cubic feet

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

Santa Fe

Crosstrek Hybrid

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42.4”/77.4”

28.9”/63.1”

Max Width

53.7”

53”

Min Width

42.3”

43”

Height

31.5”

30”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Santa Fe and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Santa Fe and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Hyundai Santa Fe (except SE) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Santa Fe is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

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

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