Car Buying

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe: A Comparison

Hyundai's capable Tucson and Santa Fe SUV twins once resembled one another. Discover which model best suits your style with an all-out toe-to-toe match-up.

Read time

10 minutes

Date

02.06.2024

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Key takeaways

  • Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe offer distinct styles, capabilities, and reliability within Hyundai's SUV lineup.
  • The Santa Fe typically features more space and a higher towing capacity, while the Tucson offers a more fuel-efficient option.
  • Interior and technological differences exist between models, with specific trims providing unique amenities and safety features.
  • Choosing between the Tucson and Santa Fe depends on individual needs for space, technology, and budget considerations.

Among available imported SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe platforms stand out for their potent mix of capability, style, and reliability. The Hyundai Santa Fe predates the Tucson, but both stand as prime examples of what the brand offers. Choosing between them can seem nearly impossible, especially if you don’t have the chance to drive either one for an extended period. 


FINN’s available car subscriptions include the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe. Each model comes with a minimum of six months of drive time, giving you plenty of time to determine if the platform suits your needs. Your monthly FINN car subscription also includes registration, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance. Plus, FINN delivers your subscription car straight to your doorstep. 

What’s the difference between the Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe?

Finding the Hyundai that fits your lifestyle can feel challenging. Below is a table summarizing the main differences between the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe to help you determine which model best suits your lifestyle, regardless of where you’re at: 


Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Santa Fe

  • Slightly more fuel-efficient 

  • Lower average repair costs

  • More affordable pricing  

  • Bose premium audio system 

  • Refreshed for 2024 

  • Higher reliability ratings 

  • Tows up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped 

  • Harman Kardon 12-speaker audio system available on Limited trim


Hyundais aren’t all they seem at first glance. Read on to learn more about the Santa Fe and Tucson and how to choose between them to find your next vehicle. You can also reach out to FINN to subscribe to a Tucson or Hyundai and test-drive both models before you make a purchase. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe price

Only $1,500 separates the MSRP of the 2024 Hyundai Tucson from the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe. The 2024 Hyundai Tucson SE starts at $27,250, with prices increasing with the corresponding trim levels: 

  • SEL$29,400
  • XRT: $34,075
  • Limited: $36,510
  • Blue: $31,350
  • SEL Convenience: $34,310
  • Limited Hybrid: $39,110
  • Plug-In HybridSEL$38,475
  • Plug-In Hybrid Limited: $45,200


The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe SE has an MSRP of $28,750. The additional eight trims available include: 

  • SEL: $32,450
  • XRT: $34,250
  • Limited: $40,600
  • Calligraphy: $42,600
  • Blue: $36,210
  • SEL Premium: $40,070
  • Limited Hybrid: $41,870


If you’re wondering how to get out of a car loan to purchase a new car or a Hyundai, such as the new Hyundai Tucson, consider comparing trims between the Santa Fe and Tucson to see how much car—and what corresponding features—you can get for what you pay. You might be surprised by what you find. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe reliability

RepairPal reports that the Hyundai Santa Fe ranks second out of 26 midsize SUVs, with a four-out-of-five-star reliability rating. The Santa Fe visits the shop an average of 0.2 times annually, with a 10% chance of severe repairs. The Santa Fe costs $515 annually to repair, lower than that of its segment and all vehicle models. 


In contrast, the Hyundai Tucson earns fifth place out of 26 compact SUVs from RepairPal. Repairs cost only $426 annually, with a similar 10% chance of severe repairs. However, the Tucson does visit the shop 0.3 times annually for repairs. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe size

The Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson seat up to five passengers. Comparing the 2023 Tucson and 2024 Hyundai Tucson models, the Santa Fe is longer by 6.1 inches at 188.4 inches from bumper to bumper. The Santa Fe’s wheelbase measures 108.9 inches, and the model measures 74.8 inches at its widest. SE models are 66.3 inches tall, while SEL models and up are a full inch taller. 


In comparison, the Tucson has a wheelbase of 108.5 inches, with 73.4 inches in width at its girthiest. The front-wheel drive models measure 65.6 inches tall, while all-wheel drive models are 66.3 inches tall. The measurements between these two Hyundais will also vary when comparing the 2024 models. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe interior features

The Hyundai Tucson incorporates impressive standard interior features. Examples include heated front seats and a hands-free tailgate on SEL trims and up, leather seats available on the XRT and higher trims, and a panoramic sunroof standard on the Limited trim. The Limited variants also include ambient interior lighting, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and a heated steering wheel. 


Heated front seats come on the Santa Fe SEL model, along with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The XRT model includes leather, heated side mirrors, and a hands-free tailgate. You must upgrade to the Santa Fe Limited trim level for heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. 


The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe cargo area measures 72.1 cubic feet behind the front seats. With the second-row seats in play, that cargo volume dips to 36.4 cubic feet. The 2024 Tucson offers more cargo space, with up to 80.3 cubic feet of space with the second-row seats folded down. With them up, the cargo area shrinks to 41.2 cubic feet

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe exterior and towing capacity

Although the 2024 Hyundai Tucson features little in the way of model refreshes, the Hyundai Santa Fe breaks the mold with a stunning new design. Rounded corners and winged headlights are replaced by a squared-off set of headlights surrounding a grille reminiscent of more expensive British luxury SUVs. Whether Hyundai customers can expect the same treatment for the Tucson remains to be seen. 


The 2023 Hyundai Tucson can tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped. The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe matches that number with the base engine. However, the Santa Fe can tow up to 3,500 pounds with the 2.5-liter powerplant.  

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe engine and fuel economy

If you can’t figure out if you should lease versus finance a car, reviewing the engine options and fuel efficiency can help. After all, if you choose a vehicle with a hybrid powerplant, you can turn some of your monthly savings into contributions toward your monthly car payment. Below are the engine options and fuel efficiency ratings for the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2024 Hyundai Tucson


Model

Engine

Horsepower and Torque Ratings

Fuel Efficiency Ratings (FWD)

Fuel Efficiency Ratings (AWD)

Tucson 

2.5-liter four-cylinder

187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque

25 city and 32 highway MPG 

23 city and 29 highway MPG

Santa Fe

2.5-liter four-cylinder

191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque 

25 city and 28 highway MPG

22 city and 25 highway MPG

Santa Fe (Limited and Calligraphy trims)

2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque 

22 city and 28 highway MPG

21 city and 28 highway MPG


The Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe rely on an eight-speed automatic transmission to put power to the ground. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on all Santa Fe and Tucson models, with optional all-wheel drive (AWD) available at an additional cost. Plug-in hybrid and hybrid models are available for both nameplates and provide better fuel efficiency ratings than those listed above. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe technology and safety features

Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Tucson models are brimming with technology. The Santa Fe offers a panoramic sunroof on Limited and Calligraphy trims. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also available, a trait the Tucson shares. Base Tucson models incorporate an eight-inch touchscreen on the SE and SEL models, while the Convenience Package unlocks the larger 10.25-inch screen on the SEL


Additional features are available with higher trims. For instance, the Tucson XRT includes dynamic voice recognition and over-the-air updates. The Tucson Limited model also offers a Bose premium audio system, ventilated front seats, and a memory driver’s seat. 


The exact Hyundai SmartSense advanced safety features vary based on the model, trim level, and package you choose. Prominent features include:

  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Lane Following Assist 
  • Rear Occupant Alert
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go Curve Control
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian, Cyclist, and Junction Turning Detection
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist
  • Safe Exit Warning 
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist


The 2024 Hyundai Tucson and 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe earn high marks from the IIHS. Both earned “Good” ratings in all categories and were 2023 Top Safety Pick+ winners. While the NHTSA has yet to rate the 2024 Hyundai Tucson and 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe variants, both earned five-out-of-five-star overall safety ratings for the 2023 Tucson and Santa Fe models. 

Who is the Hyundai Tucson for?

The Hyundai Tucson fits several types of potential buyers, from working professionals to growing families. The Tucson offers families an affordable SUV with plenty of features to keep everyone happy. Hyundai also equips the Tucson with several standard safety features and provides plenty of trims. For those not entirely sold on the new Santa Fe look, the Tucson offers an alternative. 

Who is the Hyundai Santa Fe for?

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe model certainly showcases the brand’s direction moving into refreshes with new styling and design elements. Customers looking for more from the import brand may appreciate the forward-thinking Santa Fe, which features several advanced technologies, safety systems, and creature comforts to delight all audiences. However, the Santa Fe does come with a slightly higher price tag than the current Tucson. 

Hyundai Tucson or Hyundai Santa Fe: Which is better?

Picking between the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson presents a polarizing debate, particularly with the newly refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe. Those buyers who favor cutting-edge features will enjoy the spin the 2024 Santa Fe puts on the midsize SUV segment. However, the Tucson distills what it means to be a Hyundai SUV, with plenty of respectable features to appreciate. With Hyundai’s trend-setting warranty and a potent package of value, there’s no right or wrong answer between the Santa Fe and Tucson. 


Subscribe to a FINN vehicle to avoid choosing between the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe. With a FINN car subscription, you can easily spend six months or more behind the wheel of both Hyundai SUVs without committing to ownership. FINN incorporates registration, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance into your monthly payment so you can easily budget for car-related expenses. Plus, FINN delivers your new subscription to your doorstep for the ultimate convenience in car ownership. 

Hyundai Tucson vs Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Tucson vs Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Tucson or Hyundai Santa Fe: Which is better?

Picking between the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson presents a polarizing debate, particularly with the newly refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe. Those buyers who favor cutting-edge features will enjoy the spin the 2024 Santa Fe puts on the midsize SUV segment. However, the Tucson distills what it means to be a Hyundai SUV, with plenty of respectable features to appreciate. With Hyundai’s trend-setting warranty and a potent package of value, there’s no right or wrong answer between the Santa Fe and Tucson. 


Subscribe to a FINN vehicle to avoid choosing between the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe. With a FINN car subscription, you can easily spend six months or more behind the wheel of both Hyundai SUVs without committing to ownership. FINN incorporates registration, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance into your monthly payment so you can easily budget for car-related expenses. Plus, FINN delivers your new subscription to your doorstep for the ultimate convenience in car ownership. 

Hyundai Tucson vs. Santa Fe FAQs

Finding out what roadside assistance covers or what you need to buy a car takes a similar knack for research as determining whether the Hyundai Tucson or Santa Fe suits you better. Read on to find out more about these models. You can also compare them to the Toyota RAV4 or Highlander, Kia Telluride, Honda CR-V,or Kia Sorento to see how they stack up.  

Between the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson, the Santa Fe is bigger. The model recently received a refresh and promises to be a capable midsize SUV. Whether the Tucson will resemble the new Santa Fe remains to be seen. However, the Hyundai Palisade is bigger than both nameplates. 

The Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe post similar fuel-efficiency ratings, even when comparing the turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the Santa Fe’s higher trim levels. However, it’s the Tucson that wins out overall, with 25 city and 32 highway MPG in front-wheel drive configurations. 

Some main differences between the Hyundai Tucson and the Hyundai Santa Fe include styling, capabilities, and technology. The Tucson will cost you less than the Santa Fe, but the latter has just been refreshed and tows more. The Santa Fe also includes a Harman Kardon audio system that rivals the Bose system found in the Tucson. 

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