Toyota Highlander vs Hyundai Santa Fe

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Toyota Highlander vs Hyundai Santa Fe

While shopping for a sport utility vehicle can be an exciting experience, it can also become confusing and even overwhelming when confronted with all the models available on the market. However, taking an analytical and scientific approach to the endeavor may help you narrow down your choices as you’re browsing online or surveying potential choices on the auto dealership lots. To make things a little simpler for yourself, comparing two similar models side by side is a useful way to see their features and value in relation to each other. For example, a match-up of the Toyota Highlander vs. the Hyundai Santa Fe reveals that the Highlander comes out on top in several ways.

More Interior Room for the Highlander

The 2016 Toyota Highlander and the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe are fair comparisons with each other, considering that they sport similar exterior dimensions have close to the same seating capacity—useful considerations for the average shopper for midsized SUVs. They’re also pretty close in price, with the Highlander averaging around $30,490 and the Santa Fe at $30,400. Nevertheless, the Toyota edges out the Santa Fe in a few key areas. For one thing, the Highlander boasts more cargo room, clocking in at 83 cubic feet when the seats are folded down. Those seeking to balance seating capacity and cargo volume can leave the second row of seats up and still win, with 42 cubic feet available for luggage, groceries, equipment and other odds and ends. In comparison, the Hyundai SUV features 80 cubic feet with folded down seats and 40.9 cubic feet when its second row is left unfolded. It’s a slight difference, but it could mean a lot when trying to pack in extra gear. Moreover, the Highlander seats up to 8 while the Santa Fe seats up to 7.

The Toyota Has Better Fuel Economy

If you’re going to spend thirty grand for an SUV, why not squeeze out some extra gas mileage gains for your dollar? In this face-off, the Toyota model wins in both city and highway MPG ratings. The Highlander boasts 20 MPG in the city, in contrast to the Santa Fe’s 18 MPG. While both vehicles sport an average 25 MPG rating for the freeway, the better fuel economy for in-city driving makes the Toyota the superior model in this category.
Moreover, those seeking a hybrid SUV will be happy to discover that the Highlander does indeed come in a more fuel-efficient version. The hybrid version of the same model year prices in at $47,870, seats 7 and features 27 city MPG and 28 freeway MPG. These are clear advantages over the Hyundai, in which no equivalent hybrid version is available for the 2016 Santa Fe.

The Highlander Comes Out on Top

Unsurprisingly, the 2016 Toyota Highlander may be a better deal for most midsize SUV shoppers. The gains in gas mileage, interior room and seating are well worth the dollars spent on this model. Additionally, the availability of a hybrid edition makes the Toyota a prime choice for those seeking better fuel economy. Smart car owners would do well to invest their dollars in the Highlander instead of the Santa Fe.

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