2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 Buick Envision

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Envision 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 Envision scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 Envision doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 Envision doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Santa Fe and the Envision 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, daytime running lights, 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 Buick Envision:

Santa Fe




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

167 lbs.

271 lbs.



5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

120 lbs.

170 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

256/146 lbs.

230/563 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 Buick Envision:

Santa Fe


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

141 G’s

155 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

12 inches




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 Envision has not been fully tested, yet.


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 Envision’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 Buick covers the Envision. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Envision ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Envision’s (7 vs. 6 years).


J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Envision 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 Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 9 places higher in reliability than Buick.


The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (235 vs. 197) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 192) than the Envision’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Santa Fe 2.0T AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Envision Premium AWD turbo 4 cyl. (20 city/26 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Santa Fe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Envision Premium requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Santa Fe has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Envision (18.8 vs. 17.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the Envision:

Santa Fe


60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Santa Fe has larger tires than the Envision (235/65R17 vs. 225/60R18).

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 Envision doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the Envision.

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 10.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Envision (110.7 vs. 100.6).

Cargo Capacity

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

Santa Fe


Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

26.9 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

57.3 cubic feet


The Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Envision’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

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 $550 less than the Envision over a five-year period.

The Santa Fe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Santa Fe will retain 45.92% to 47.83% of its original price after five years, while the Envision only retains 39.59% to 40.17%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Envision because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Envision, including $142 less for a water pump, $22 less for a muffler, $109 less for front brake pads, $156 less for a starter, $46 less for a fuel pump, $521 less for front struts and $261 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 $8308 to $8816 less than for the Buick Envision.


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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Buick Envision by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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