Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe VS 2018 Kia Sorento Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2018 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

The Hyundai Santa Fe has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Sorento doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Santa Fe has a standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sorento doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Santa Fe and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Santa Fe its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 20 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sorento was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Santa Fe’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sorento’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Engine Comparison

The Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6 produces 105 more horsepower (290 vs. 185) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (252 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6 produces 50 more horsepower (290 vs. 240) than the Sorento EX’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Santa Fe is faster than the Kia Sorento:


Santa Fe

Sorento 4 cyl.

Sorento EX

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

9.1 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.9 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.3 MPH

82.7 MPH

83.4 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Santa Fe stops much shorter than the Sorento:


Santa Fe



60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Santa Fe SE’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 Sorento L/LX’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Santa Fe SE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Santa Fe has .4 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom, .3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.7 inches more third row hip room and 1.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Sorento.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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


Santa Fe


Behind Third Seat

13.5 cubic feet

11.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

40.9 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80 cubic feet

73 cubic feet

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


Santa Fe


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



Max Width



Min Width



Ergonomics Comparison

The Santa Fe’s front power windows 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 Sorento’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Santa Fe’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Sorento’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Santa Fe Ultimate detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Santa Fe’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sorento doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Santa Fe 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 Sorento and isn’t available on the Sorento L.

The Santa Fe’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sorento L doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The Santa Fe’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sorento’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Santa Fe is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because typical repairs cost much less on the Santa Fe than the Sorento, including $141 less for a water pump, $102 less for an alternator, $176 less for fuel injection, $63 less for a fuel pump, $9 less for front struts and $1339 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Hyundai Santa Fe outsold the Kia Sorento by 34% during 2017.

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