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Both the Discovery Sport and Santa Fe XL have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport 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 Santa Fe XL’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.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Santa Fe XL.
The Discovery Sport’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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Santa Fe XL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe XL AWD (19 city/24 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Discovery Sport’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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe XL.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe XL:
Santa Fe XL
The Discovery Sport’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe XL Ultimate’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery Sport offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Santa Fe XL’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Santa Fe XL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Santa Fe XL AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe XL AWD (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot shorter than the Santa Fe XL, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport 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 Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Santa Fe XL Ultimate, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Discovery Sport’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Santa Fe XL’s parking brake has to released manually.
The Discovery Sport’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 Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Santa Fe XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Discovery Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Santa Fe XL’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer headlight washers.
When the Discovery Sport with available tilt-down mirrors 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 Discovery Sport 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.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Land Rover Discovery Sport offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Discovery Sport’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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