2020 Toyota Sienna vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Sienna Limited Premium FWD’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 and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sienna 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 seat belts.

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

Both the Sienna 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, 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, 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 Toyota Sienna is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:


Santa Fe XL



5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

260 lbs.

375 lbs.

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

103 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.3 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

80 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 Toyota Sienna is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:


Santa Fe XL

Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

144 G’s

147 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

586 lbs.

612 lbs.

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


Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sienna for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Santa Fe XL.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sienna’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sienna third among minivans in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Santa Fe XL isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

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


The Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 6 more horsepower (296 vs. 290) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sienna FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe XL FWD (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

The Sienna has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Santa Fe XL (20 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Sienna, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Santa Fe XL.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sienna’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe XL:


Santa Fe XL

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The Sienna stops shorter than the Santa Fe XL:


Santa Fe XL

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Sienna SE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe XL Ultimate’s 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Sienna can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sienna’s wheelbase is 9.1 inches longer than on the Santa Fe XL (119.3 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sienna is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe XL.


The design of the Toyota Sienna amounts to more than styling. The Sienna has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Santa Fe XL (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sienna get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Sienna offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Santa Fe XL can only carry 7.

The Sienna has 17.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe XL (164.4 vs. 146.6).

The Sienna has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 5.6 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 10.7 inches more rear hip room, 6.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom, 5.4 inches more third row legroom, 6.2 inches more third row hip room and 7.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Santa Fe XL.

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

The front step up height for the Sienna is 1.1 inches lower than the Santa Fe XL (16.7” vs. 17.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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


Santa Fe XL

Behind Third Seat

39.1 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded


40.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

87.1 cubic feet


Second Seat Folded

117.8 cubic feet

80 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

150 cubic feet

80 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Sienna easier. The Sienna’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 23.6 inches, while the Santa Fe XL’s liftover is 29.5 inches.

The Sienna’s cargo area is larger than the Santa Fe XL’s in almost every dimension:


Santa Fe XL

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






The Sienna has a standard Split & Stow 3rd Row 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 lowers or raises the Sienna Limited FWD’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.


The Sienna (except Base/SE/LE) 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 Sienna’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.

The Sienna Limited Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Santa Fe XL’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

When the Sienna Limited 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 Sienna Limited has standard 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

Insurance will cost less for the Sienna owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sienna with a number “5” insurance rate while the Santa Fe XL is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sienna is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe XL because typical repairs cost much less on the Sienna than the Santa Fe XL, including $22 less for a muffler, $25 less for front brake pads, $48 less for front struts and $415 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Sienna 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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