2020 Infiniti QX60 vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The QX60 Luxe’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX60 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Hyundai Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The QX60 Luxe offers an optional Backup Collision Intervention that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the QX60 and the Santa Fe XL 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, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Infiniti QX60 is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

QX60

Santa Fe XL

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

103 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

33%

53%

Neck Stress

137 lbs.

165 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

110 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 Infiniti QX60 is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

QX60

Santa Fe XL

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

147 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

102

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

51 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

48 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 4 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The QX60’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 5 more horsepower (295 vs. 290) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the QX60 gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe XL:

MPG

QX60

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Santa Fe XL

FWD

3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

Ultimate 3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

Ultimate 3.3 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Infiniti QX60 higher (5 out of 10) than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL (3). This means the QX60 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Santa Fe XL every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The QX60 has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The QX60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Santa Fe XL are solid, not vented.

The QX60 stops much shorter than the Santa Fe XL:

QX60

Santa Fe XL

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX60 Luxe offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Santa Fe XL’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX60’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the Santa Fe XL (114.2 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the QX60 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe XL.

The QX60 AWD handles at .76 G’s, while the Santa Fe XL AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The QX60 has 2.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe XL (149 vs. 146.6).

The QX60 has .8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room, 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room, .8 inches more third row headroom and 3.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Santa Fe XL.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the QX60’s middle and third row seats recline. The Santa Fe XL’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The QX60’s cargo area provides more volume than the Santa Fe XL.

QX60

Santa Fe XL

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

The QX60 has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically raises the QX60’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in service department satisfaction. With a 60% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

The QX60 offers a 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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The QX60’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Santa Fe XL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the QX60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Santa Fe XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The QX60’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 Santa Fe XL’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The QX60’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Santa Fe XL’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The QX60 Luxe’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

Consumer Reports rated the QX60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Santa Fe XL’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

When the QX60 Luxe is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Santa Fe XL’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The QX60 Luxe offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Santa Fe XL offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages

The QX60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the QX60 will retain 54.7% to 54.76% of its original price after five years, while the Santa Fe XL only retains 43.93% to 52.44%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX60 is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe XL because typical repairs cost much less on the QX60 than the Santa Fe XL, including $68 less for a water pump, $4 less for front brake pads, $89 less for a fuel pump and $213 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Infiniti QX60 and the Hyundai Santa Fe XL, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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