2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Santa Fe and Acadia 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 Acadia’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.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Santa Fe and the Acadia 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, 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 GMC Acadia:

Santa Fe

Acadia

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

244

403

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

37%

Neck Stress

120 lbs.

152 lbs.

Neck Compression

48 lbs.

186 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 GMC Acadia:

Santa Fe

Acadia

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

106

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

141 G’s

155 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

263

Hip Force

648 lbs.

896 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

8 inches

14 inches

HIC

179

319

Hip Force

649 lbs.

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

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (7/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Santa Fe has a standard 800-amp battery. The Acadia’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 42 points higher than the Acadia.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Acadia 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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 12th, 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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 15 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Santa Fe stops shorter than the Acadia:

Santa Fe

Acadia

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better maneuverability, the Santa Fe’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Acadia’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Santa Fe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the GMC Acadia.

The Santa Fe is 5.6 inches shorter than the Acadia, making the Santa Fe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 3 inches more rear hip room than the Acadia.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

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 Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 $260 less than the Acadia 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 Acadia only retains 35.93% to 45.86%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $236 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Acadia, including $169 less for a water pump, $28 less for a muffler, $106 less for front brake pads, $94 less for a starter, $23 less for fuel injection, $70 less for a fuel pump, $624 less for a timing belt/chain and $57 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Santa Fe will be $4778 to $8026 less than for the GMC Acadia.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the GMC Acadia by 32% during 2018.

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

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