2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

The NX Series’ 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 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the NX Series and the Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe:

NX Series

Santa Fe

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

209

454

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

35 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, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe:

NX Series

Santa Fe

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

352 lbs.

401 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

303 lbs.

648 lbs.

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

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 NX Series’ reliability 18 points higher than the Santa Fe.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 9 more horsepower (194 vs. 185) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 178) than the Santa Fe’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lexus NX Series is faster than the Hyundai Santa Fe:

NX 300h

NX 300

Santa Fe 2.4

Santa Fe 2.0T

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.9 sec

8.9 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.3 sec

16.7 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.5 MPH

91 MPH

84.3 MPH

82.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

On the EPA test cycle the NX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe:

MPG

NX Series

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Santa Fe

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The NX 300h 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 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the NX Series’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe:

NX Series

Santa Fe

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The NX Series stops much shorter than the Santa Fe:

NX Series

Santa Fe

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

The NX Series 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 NX Series 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 NX 300h handles at .80 G’s, while the Santa Fe AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The NX Series is 5.1 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the NX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the NX Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the NX Series. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 63% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Santa Fe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series 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. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Santa Fe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The NX Series’ standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Santa Fe’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to .”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series 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 NX Series 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 NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

The NX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the NX Series will retain 50.95% to 51.77% of its original price after five years, while the Santa Fe only retains 45.92% to 47.83%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe because typical repairs cost much less on the NX Series than the Santa Fe, including $32 less for front brake pads, $4 less for front struts and $587 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

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

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

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