2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

The Atlas has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses 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 Atlas and the Santa Fe XL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

Atlas

Santa Fe XL

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

34%

34%

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

103 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

33/218 lbs.

189/318 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

224

Neck Injury Risk

33%

53%

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

110 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

156/231 lbs.

337/263 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 Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Hyundai Santa Fe XL:

Atlas

Santa Fe XL

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

57

96

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

147 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

51 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Santa Fe XL’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Atlas has a standard 680-amp battery. The Santa Fe XL’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

The Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe XL’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ 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.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volkswagen Atlas, 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

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

Atlas

Santa Fe XL

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The Atlas’ 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas has larger standard tires than the Santa Fe XL (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18). The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Santa Fe XL (265/45R21 vs. 235/60R18).

The Atlas SEL Premium’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 Atlas SEL Premium offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Santa Fe XL’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 7.1 inches longer than on the Santa Fe XL (117.3 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe XL.

The Atlas SE handles at .81 G’s, while the Santa Fe XL AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Atlas SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Santa Fe XL AWD (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Atlas has 7.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe XL (153.7 vs. 146.6).

The Atlas has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room, 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom, 2.8 inches more third row legroom, 1 inch more third row hip room and 1 inch more third row shoulder room than the Santa Fe XL.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

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

Atlas

Santa Fe XL

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

40.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

80 cubic feet

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

Atlas

Santa Fe XL

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

23.8”/53”/85”

17.6”/47”/84”

Max Width

61.6”

50.7”

Min Width

45”

44”

Height

37.5”

n/a

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

The Atlas (except S) 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 Atlas’ 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 Atlas’ 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 Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Santa Fe XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas’ 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 Atlas’ 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Santa Fe XL’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Santa Fe XL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s 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.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/13

Insurance will cost less for the Atlas owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Atlas 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 Atlas is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe XL because typical repairs cost less on the Atlas than the Santa Fe XL, including $106 less for a fuel pump.

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

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