2020 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2020 Volvo XC40

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 XC40 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Santa Fe and the XC40 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.


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 XC40’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Santa Fe 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC40. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the XC40 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Santa Fe’s warranty.


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 40 points higher than the XC40.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Santa Fe first among midsize SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The XC40 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th, 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 80 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 19 places higher in reliability than Volvo.


The Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (235 vs. 187) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Santa Fe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Santa Fe has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (18.8 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Suspension and Handling

The Santa Fe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC40’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Santa Fe’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the XC40 (108.9 inches vs. 106.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Santa Fe is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the XC40.


As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Santa Fe AWD is quieter than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD:

Santa Fe


At idle

37 dB

43 dB


72 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Santa Fe has 12.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XC40 (110.7 vs. 98).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Santa Fe’s middle row seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Santa Fe’s cargo area provides more volume than the XC40.

Santa Fe


Rear Seat Up

35.9 cubic feet

20.7 cubic feet

Rear Seat Folded

71.3 cubic feet

57.5 cubic feet

The Santa Fe’s cargo area is larger than the XC40’s in every dimension:

Santa Fe


Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width







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 XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 XC40 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 XC40 because typical repairs cost less on the Santa Fe than the XC40, including $93 less for a water pump, $2 less for a muffler, $32 less for front brake pads, $102 less for a starter, $189 less for a fuel pump and $100 less for a timing belt/chain.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Santa Fe, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC40 isn't recommended.

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Volvo XC40 by over 9 to one during 2018.

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

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