2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2019 Toyota C-HR

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and C-HR 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 C-HR’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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Santa Fe offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The C-HR doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 C-HR only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Santa Fe and the C-HR 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Toyota C-HR:

Santa Fe

C-HR

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

80

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Hip Force

401 lbs.

419 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

333

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

58 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

13 inches

HIC

179

243

Hip Force

649 lbs.

714 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 C-HR was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Santa Fe has a standard 800-amp battery. The C-HR’s 520-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 C-HR 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 41 more horsepower (185 vs. 144) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (178 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 91 more horsepower (235 vs. 144) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Toyota C-HR:

Santa Fe

C-HR

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.3 MPH

77.4 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 C-HR doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Santa Fe higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Toyota C-HR (3). This means the Santa Fe produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the C-HR every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Santa Fe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-HR:

Santa Fe

C-HR

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.75 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

The Santa Fe stops much shorter than the C-HR:

Santa Fe

C-HR

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Santa Fe has larger tires than the C-HR (235/65R17 vs. 215/60R17). The Santa Fe SE/SEL’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-HR (235/65R17 vs. 225/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Santa Fe 2.0T has standard 19-inch wheels. The C-HR’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 C-HR’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 C-HR doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the C-HR (108.9 inches vs. 103.9 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 C-HR.

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 26.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-HR (110.7 vs. 83.8).

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

Cargo Capacity

The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the C-HR.

Santa Fe

C-HR

Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

19 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

36.4 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Santa Fe’s optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The C-HR 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 C-HR 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 C-HR 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.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Santa Fe to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-HR.

Ergonomics

The Santa Fe SEL/Limited/Ultimate has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The C-HR doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Santa Fe’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The C-HR’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 C-HR doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Santa Fe and the C-HR 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 C-HR.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Santa Fe has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The C-HR doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Santa Fe and the C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 C-HR doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota C-HR, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Toyota C-HR by over two to one during 2018.

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

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