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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.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (246 vs. 185) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 more horsepower (246 vs. 235) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 260) than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 51 more horsepower (286 vs. 235) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 260) than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe:
The Discovery Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe SE/SEL’s standard 65 series tires. The Discovery Sport’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Santa Fe SE/SEL. The Discovery Sport’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Santa Fe 2.0T.
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’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Santa Fe AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
The Discovery Sport is 6.8 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For excellent aerodynamics, the Discovery Sport has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The Discovery Sport offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Santa Fe can only carry 5.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Santa Fe Limited, 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’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’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
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 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’s standard 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 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Santa Fe SEL/Limited.
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’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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Discovery Sport has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning costs extra on the Santa Fe and isn’t available on the Santa Fe SE.
The Discovery Sport’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Santa Fe SE doesn’t offer automatic air-conditioning.
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 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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