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Honda CR-V vs Hyundai Santa Fe

stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
I'm replacing my 2001 Forester with either a crv-4wd ex or Sante Fe SE. Do lots of local driving.
Have owned Honda products for 25 years. Has anyone out there done a similar comparison and what was the outcome. Any ideas would be welcomed.


  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    I am comparing the CRV-EX-4WD & Santa Fe SE also. I've owned 3 Honda cars since 2002 & had problems on all of them (failed transmissions, bad struts, tie rod ends, & a droning defect on my newest '06 Odyssey).

    That being said, I am looking at other manufacturers including Nissan & Hyundai. IMO, the Toyota products are very boring and outdated.

    I test drove both CRV & Santa FE...

    Hyundai Pros:
    1. Extremeley quiet on the highway compared to the CRV.
    2. Nice exterior styling

    Hyundai Cons:
    1. The seat material on the Santa Fe seemed cheap and gets dirty easy. Many of the delaer's Santa Fe's had soil marks on the fabric.
    2. Hyundai resale value not as good.
    3. Throttle lag on acceleration.
    4. Need expensive option packages to get basic features like steering wheel controls.
    5. High MSRP for SE with Premium compared to CRV-EX.

    CRV Pros:
    1. Excellent Honda interior ergonomics, seat position, dash & control layout.
    2. Reasonable MSRP
    3. Good EPA gas mileage
    4. Excellent resale value
    5. Smooth Honda Engine & with great transmission reponse.

    CRV COns:
    1. Ugly front end underbite
    2. Road noise
    3. Choppy Honda ride on highway.

    If you do a lot of local driving the CRV is probably the winner unless you need a 3rd row seat. I am hesitant to buy a Hyundai yet...they need to establish a better residual value before I buy one.
  • brianjandreaubrianjandreau Member Posts: 67
    I just bought an 07 CRV, and I looked momentarily with at the Santa Fe. Three words made my look brief... reputation, reliability, and resale. Also, as a side note, I heard an NPR story where the CEO (or some higher up Hyundai executive) was in prison for something, and I was concerned about the long range health of the company.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Thanks for your very insightful response. While the msrp pf the Hyundai is higher, with the $1000 rebate and dealers willing to deal, it isn't too big a difference.
    I absolutely agree with you about the seats, lag, resale. You must get the SE for an even up on the EX.
    Your pros on the crv really hit the nail on the head.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Thanks. You both have just saved me a lot of time.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    Test drive both and see which one fits you best.

    Personally I would pick the Santa Fe, it's more practical for my needs, and the 3rd row is actually comfortable, for once in a SUVs/crossovers. The build quality is fantastic and the vehicle is much enjoyable to drive with the elegant exterior/interior. It was a looker too during the time I test drove the car.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The chairman's conviction has had an impact on Hyundai and may get worse as he tries to further reduce his sentence.

    Hyundai Chairman Convicted (Inside Line)
  • brianjandreaubrianjandreau Member Posts: 67
    Thanks for that link. I knew I heard something about that. I don't know why anyone would by a car from a company with such a dreary future. Honda's future looks very bright... of course anything could change.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    We shall see how things turn out. While it's unfortunate and this could have an impact on the bottom line, it's absurd to even suggest stop buying cars from a company that produces a competitive and quality lineup.

    Good products speak and will sell themselves. Hyundai’s got a bright future, in the US and the world, as it continues to climb up the ladder (#6 largest automaker at current stage behind GM, Toyota, Ford, VW, and DCX). File these corruptions with the shareholders.
  • brianjandreaubrianjandreau Member Posts: 67
    Perhaps your right... that the moral of the company won't suffer and that they'll produce quality vehicles. But I don't think it's absurd to suggest that people not buy cars from Hyuandai because of the corruption charges. The CEO of my former cable company was recently charged with the same crime, and this cable company was subsequently bought out by its competitor because it was about to go under.

    Personally, I didn't like the Hyundais, and the news only solidified that for me.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Mitsubishi operated under a big cloud for years in the 90's for their major US sex discrimination case and followed that mess with an admission of hiding defects from regulators in Japan. The latter scandal almost sunk the company.

    Lots of people (buyers and investors) do pay attention to that kind of stuff, even if much of it is just "perception."

    In Hyundai's case, the damage to its reputation is also worldwide. The CEO sentencing negatively affected the stock of Kia as well as Hyundai. Forbes is covering the story and the various scenarios.

    Honda was #14 overall in a recent Harris Interactive/Wall Street Journal ranking of the world's best and worst corporate reputations, beaten only by #9 Toyota among car companies. Microsoft was #1 (thanks in large part to Bill Gate's charitable efforts).
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    Hyundai is not going to go down just because some execs became too greedy. Make no mistakes, Hyundai can be ran without them, it's a VERY big company. Plus its subsidiaries such as HMA are very independent when comes to decision-making.

    I strongly disagree with you about your belief people would stop buying Hyundais as a result of this unfortunate event. As long as there are quality products to satisfy consumers, business as usual (unless, unless the company are no longer able to sustain, which we know that won't the case here). If the CEO of Starbucks, for example, entered into similar scandals, I would continue to buy its coffee as long as there are still quality products they can sell me ;)

    I am actually more worried about the constant strikes in the home market, which has severely delayed production, in turn, sluggish sales. Fortunately, non-union workers remedy such problem, and robots never call in sick :) - reference to the Hyundai US plant, one of the most sophisticated plants in the North America, with lots and lots of robots.

    I am looking forward to the exciting products Hyundai plans to debut during the next two months, at Geneva and New York Auto Shows. The fire power is coming!!
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    In all fairness, the woes resulting from Mitsubishi's locker-o-defects were felt most at home. My understanding is that they tanked in Japan (which is a significant market for the company). The loss of that revenue made it hard for them to operate in markets where they were not so strong.

    To the best of my knowledge, Hyundai's home market is not as significant for them.

    That being said, to think that Hyundai America can simply shrug this off is pure folly. I doubt it will impact the average buyer of a car today, but it will likely prevent them from achieving the kind of growth they could have experienced.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Good point and it's interesting to look at "local" sales now and then. Toyota has been scrambling against Suzuki at home in the minicar market and Nissan has tanked there. Honda is up and just passed Nissan in Japan for #2. (link)

    Mitsu had a good quarter (link). Over in South Korea, Hyundai sales fell a little bit last month due to strikes, but they are still the dominate carmaker there. (link)
  • davesuvdavesuv Member Posts: 149
    I think either car would be an excellent choice.

    I own a 07 Santa Fe Limited with the third seat and sunroof options. I can honestly say I really love this car. It's not just one or two things about it, but the entire package. It feels solid with no rattles or squeaks. It is extremely quiet and has the kind of smooth ride I really like. It's got plenty of power and is just fun to drive. Our other vehicle is a Lexus RX350. I prefer driving the Santa Fe because it has more "personality", something that's hard to put into words.

    I noticed a comment about "throttle lag" when accelerating. I have never experienced this. I can't comment on the cloth seats. My standard leather seats on the Limited are very comfortable and easy to keep clean. Also, when comparing the various cars, look at what people are actually paying for the car rather than MSRP. (prices paid discussion on the Hyundai Santa Fe forum). The Santa Fe's are generally going for significantly less than MSRP.

    Bottom line: I'm really glad I bought the Santa Fe. I'm sure you can find many who feel similarly about the CR-V. It's a win-win decision for you!
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Thanks for a very honest answer. In the last two weeks I have come up the that conclusion. I'm going to test drive both cars one after the other to get a head to head comparison. The only problem is finding the time.
    Right now the only difference is that one gets about 19 or so mpg, while the other is well into the 20's.
    The Hyundai, however, has a warranty that is longer than I will keep it. Of course, I won't even bring up resale values because that will open a can of worms. You can't buy a car based soley on what it will be worth when you are ready to sell. If that were the case, everyone would be driving Hondas and Merecedes.
    Thanks again.
  • suv4betsysuv4betsy Member Posts: 38
    I'm facing a dilemma to help decide on a replacement for a 1998 Honda Passport (aka Isuzu Rodeo), wife's car, mine when it snows!

    We test drove the 2007 CRV, the new Honda model much improved over prior year's model which seemed a bit cheap inside. Interior of full trim is very nice, we like'd it. The major downside in our evaluation is 4-cyl vs 6. Lots of hill climbing here and we occasionally take long road trips 2-8 hours driving fully loaded. Don't want the road noise too and I don't blast the radio to drown it out, baby sleeping. We wish we could find Honda with something inbetween the Pilot and CRV with AWD. One of our criteria is the rear cargo cap - Passport is 33cuft, CRV 35.7, Pilot 47.6, Santa Fe 34.2. We pack that rear cargo comfortably on trips to ocean or costco with the Passport (we have a 3yo), don't want to give an inch back, Pilot is technically very capable but we put it in the large over the top bin for SUV. So when you are in the "middle section" of SUVs it sometimes feels like a hard sell from the makers wanting to go long or short and stay away from the middle, I think buyers in this group but seems to be the minority.

    Alas the Hyundai Santa Fe on paper seems to match very close to our aging Passport attributes (I know not the same as Passport 4WD). My wife more than I shares the sentiments from prior comments regarding Hyundai image, I at least got her to take a close look at one today where she just laughed at me before. I on the otherhand am evaluating 9 different makes of SUVs which must at least be AWD, with 33-40cuft cargo aft 2nd row with rated city EPA >= 18 among other things...today the short list is the Santa Fe, Highlander, and Outlander.. I really liked the Outlander, but it was definetly not targeted towards the typical over-40 female driver...paddle shifter what? ;) and I think it lacks the essential lighted mirror sunvisor! I'm really learning to appreciate how men and women look at cars differently...and the Passport was her purchase before we were married.

    We hope to test drive soon..
  • davesuvdavesuv Member Posts: 149
    For what you're looking for, I agree with your list of Santa Fe, Highlander, and Outlander. The Outlander wasn't out yet when I bought my 07 AWD Santa Fe Limited, so my main alternatives were the Highlander and RAV4. RAV4 did not have as nice a ride and was not as quiet as the Santa Fe. I already own a 04 Highlander and prefer not to have two of the same car. The Highlander is very nice and I consider it comparable to the Santa Fe (but I like the looks of the SF much better). The new 08 Highlander will be bigger, more like the Pilot in size, but should be a very safe car. Safety was my number one priority and the Santa Fe meets that need quite well.

    I get between 18 and 19 mpg in city driving (24 to 26 highway). We just got back from a trip to Florida with a stopover in the Smokies and the Santa Fe had power to spare going up the mountain roads. It was also a lot of fun driving on the winding roads.

    I never would have considered a Hyundai until just recently. Reading extensively on the company and their new models, it seems they are finally getting their act together as far as quality. The Santa Fe was designed in California, engineered in Ann Arbor, and build in Alabama in one of the newest and most automated assembly plants in the country. After living with it for 4 months, I consider the Santa Fe to be the equal in quality to the Toyota's and Honda I have owned in the past. In a few years, I'm sure the resale value will increase to reflect that. It just takes time to change an image.

    The Outlander looks great on paper, but I haven't really compared it to the Santa Fe, yet. The CRV is also a great vehicle, but it seems a bit smaller and I needed a third row seat. Good luck in your search for your "perfect" vehicle. I'm sure you'll be very happy with whatever you decide on. Cars just seem to have gotten better lately.
  • swvswv Member Posts: 7
    Its funny you'd be deciding between those two vehicles. This family bought a 1999 CR-V for me (new) and it is still going strong at 148,500 miles. We bought a fully loaded Santa Fe for my husband a year and a half later in early 2001. He put over 160,000 miles on it before finally parting with it recently to get a Honda Accord with traction control and other bells and whistles.

    We live in a very hilly area with lots of snow, and both drive a LOT for work and for our extracurricular stuff. Both vehicles were great for our purposes, although the Santa Fe started having various mechanical quirky problems about two years ago, and it has been touch and go ever since.

    Santa Fe- larger, more luxurious than my CR-V, so his car was our long distance trip car. He got an Accord instead, because towards the end he was unhappy with the service he got from the dealer, and the car itself was not dependable in the past few years. His new Accord has essentially all the things he liked about the Santa Fe, as well as a few additional things the Santa Fe lacked (better mpg, a better reputation for the long haul, and that seems to be about it).

    The MPG was 19 or less all of the time though, compared to my 23-24 mpg average.

    I never ever expected us to buy a Korean car, as I had no ongoing sense of Wow they make great cars! the way I do with Japanese cars, but the Hyundai Santa Fe was a good one for us up to a point.

    My CR-V is still going strong, and I wonder how many more thousands of miles I'll still have it. I am seriously considering a Toyota Camry Hybrid, which is not alas a small SUV like I've come to love, but which has more comfortable seats than my car, and which has an average gas mileage of around 37, compared to 23.5 (see greenhybrid.com for great info about all sorts of good cars). We'll probably hand my car on to a college age daughter, as it appears to have a good many more miles left on it.

    My CR-V has had essentially no problems. It is dependable, great in bad weather and on snowy hills. It is boring and utilitarian on the inside, and the drivers seat is not as comfortable as I have come to realize I'd like, but boy oh boy is it lasting well.

    Hope that was of some value to you. Best wishes in your ultimate decision!

  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Thanks swv. It seems that once people get passed the idea of buying a Hyundai, it performs as well as mostly any Japanese brand.
    Since our family has been driving Hondas and Acuras since 1981, we have a strong preference.Not being too old to change, I appreciate your comments.
    One reason we would like something slightly bigger than our reliable Subaru is that we would like to have something for trips that has four wheel drive to take instead of our Acura sedan.And more importantly, safe for our grandchildren in their car seats.(air bags, etc)

    both crv and sante fe meet those goals.
  • suv4betsysuv4betsy Member Posts: 38
    Thanks for the insightful reply, enjoy the discussions on Edmunds, I'll share your comments with my wife. She loves Hondas and has owned a couple, but simply found the Pilot too much and we don't need or want the 3rd row seating becoming the latest hot selling point. The Passport saved me in a snow storm recently so I'm unwilling to give up on some form of AWD to give us a chance of making it home. Rare that we get that much snow here, but if only hits a few days of the year, it's worth the extra expense.

    I do own a 2004 Toyota Tacoma dblcab, it's my transport to work and back a whole 5 miles, weekend chores, light object transport, etc. I'm completely happy with it for those tasks but it is not for cross-country travels...and it is not 4WD, so we need at least one vehicle to tackle a snow day.

    I like all the gimmicks into the Outlander, but I also know a lot of that stuff breaks - any car pumped with a lot of technology, not to pick on Outlander. I learned that lesson with my 96 VW Passat wagon, it was loaded with everything, but it all started to fall apart way too soon, those german parts are expensive. Too add a final insult 2 weeks before I got rid of it another door handle snapped the latch in my hand..arghh..another annoying trip to the dealer and day in the shop, it was small, but I and others could write a book on history of Passat problems, enjoy the VW marketing, but completely done with ever owning another.

    I looked at a Highlander 06 last summer, when I should have bought it before replacing the rear-bearings on the Passport.

    The Santa Fe like you said looks like it might have that spark of fun to drive over the otherwise competent to our needs Highlander. I haven't priced them out yet, but I'm sure the Toyota is going to be more $$ loaded.

    By the way, I looked at the new Mazda CX9, it is probably the nicest of the lot in a loaded model that I've seen..lots of wow to me, the price climbs over my limit and there's a severe mpg penalty for the AWD version.

    My parents bought a Hyundai Elantra loaded as a 3rd vehicle for mpg commuter car, overall they've been happy with it, and my dad has always been a hardcore GMC or Chevy truck owner and has a GMC diesel truck loaded, there's some contrast in driving. The Elantra has been good, but it did develop a bad window (water) leak that turned out to be some fault in missed seal area of the window, dealer fixed it and fine.

    What about the cabin noise in your Highlander vs Santa Fe, same?
  • swvswv Member Posts: 7
    Forgot to mention that the car I'm likely to get to replace my CR-V, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, has traction control as does my husband's Honda Accord (which he got to replace the Santa Fe). His traction control seems like a sufficient alternative to my Honda's AWD. I've already read tons of posts on various forums relating to hybrids to know that the Toyota Camry Hybrid (or TCH as many call it) has traction control that will suit my purposes just fine in this land of snow and hills. Just wanted to point that out in case you're interested.

    My brother in law just got a Prius and loves it. It too has traction control. His wife my sister has a Toyota Highlander and I believe it too has that. She's thrilled with hers.

    I just want something that is roughly the same size not enormously bigger, but with more bells and whistles and better gas mileage, so TCH here I come!

    I've found it really useful to use the edmunds.com comparison charts when trying to decide between vehicles. You can see right there in black and white what exists or doesn't on each one that interests you. Much easier than trying to compare the elaborate car booklets the carmakers publish, glossy though they are.

    Best wishes with your car choice!

  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "My brother in law just got a Prius and loves it. It too has traction control. His wife my sister has a Toyota Highlander and I believe it too has that. She's thrilled with hers."

    Traction Control is not the same as AWD. For one thing, it only operates at slow speed (in general).

    The Prius had problems in the snow (there were reports a couple of years ago). It seems that the TC would cause the car to refuse to move when the front wheels were on ice or packed snow. I think they updated the computer on the Prius, but I would ask about the Camry hybrid before I bought if I were you.

    I have used TC very successfully in snow, but I would have preferred AWD. My previous vehicle was a 2003 CR-V EX, and I had the AWD kick in quite a lot. It was especially valuable at speed in rain storms, where TC would not be engaged. My current cars is a Ford Freestyle, FWD only. I had it in Albuquerque last month in heavy snow. I only got stuck once, but I slid around a lot more than my CR-V did in similar circumstances.

    My opinion is that TC is OK for occasional snow, but if you live in a "snow belt" area, AWD is preferable.
  • suv4betsysuv4betsy Member Posts: 38
    Santa Fe test drive today... impressions.. overall I liked it better than the CRV and Outlander, CRV was out on other counts, Outlander I held some promise for as I like all the technology and gadgets but those are not a good fit I know for my wife. I enjoyed the QUIET ride a marked improvement over the road noise, I heard too much noise both in the CRV and Outlander, a major item for me. It felt more responsive on the freeway and climbing up a steep hill no struggles. Overall happy with the ride and I think would be completely comfortable with 2-8 hrs driving. Controls easy reach and read, uncluttered, seat warmer buttons could be closer but not a big deal. I've never owned a car with electric seats, so it was comfortable, all adjustable including lumbar support, my wife a bit shorter so she can pump it up high and has a similar stance to the Passport command view. Plastics are a bit hard side, remind me a lot of Ford plastics. I think in tan interior might be hard to keep clean or scratch free plastic. I think we would go for an all black interior but the car in black paint or dark colors didn't look good to me, I was driving a red one, I need to review what options on exterior/interior color. I saw posting elsewhere about the Bridgestone Dueller tires, I talked a little bit about removing those, didn't like them had them on the Passport. If we were to get this, I'd have to look into the Michelin LTX M/S tires which where were a dramatic improvement on the Passport and added an even more quiet ride well worth the extra $. I wonder if any other makes sell vehicles with Michelin standard?

    Next up, wife needs to take a test on her own, and then a Highlander test drive. So far we've driven CRV, RAV4, Outlander.
  • swvswv Member Posts: 7
    A few posts ago I mentioned that I thought both the Prius and the Highlander were equipped with traction control. I was wrong. The Prius has it, as does our new Honda Accord which replaced a Santa Fe, and as will my new Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Highlander has AWD as does my CR-V.

    If switching from a vehicle with AWD to one with traction control, apparently the type of tires one buys makes a difference, as does one's willingness to learn to drive a little less aggressively if driving a hybrid.

    So just wanted to correct my mistake about the Highlander.

    If there were a small or really small SUV with AWD, fab mpg (37 or better), low emissions, and lots of fun bells and whistles such as moonroof, heated seats, dual climate controls (I like it cozy, my husband likes it arctic), optional satellite radio, and other stuff, I'd be seriously considering that. There are vehicles that have some but not all of those features. The vehicle that comes closest for me is the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which I have every reason to believe will be as good as or better than my CR-V has been.

    Happy auto purchasing! Best wishes, SWVSINGS
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    I like all of the requirements that you listed. The Camry hybrid is a terrific choice, except it doesn't have 4 WD or the space of even a small SUV. Once you list high mpg, it eliminates mostly everything. You may want to consider the highlander hybrid. Pricewise it's significantly more costly than the Camry Hybrid, but it gets good gas mileage and it has the other requirements.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "The Highlander has AWD as does my CR-V. "

    2007 Highlanders have optional AWD; 2008 models all have AWD standard.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "If there were a small or really small SUV with AWD, fab mpg (37 or better), low emissions, and lots of fun bells and whistles such as moonroof, heated seats, dual climate controls (I like it cozy, my husband likes it arctic), optional satellite radio, and other stuff, I'd be seriously considering that. There are vehicles that have some but not all of those features."

    A fully equipped Ford Escape Hybrid would come close, but would probably yield only early 30's MPG. I have seen some reports of 35-38 for this vehicle. Unlike the Highlander, it has an I4 instead of a V6 engine. However, the Escape would vastly beat the Camry Hybrid for cargo room. I think the Camry has 10 Cu ft, where the Escape has around 30+ cu ft.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    I started this discussion over a week ago. Considering Hyundai is willing to deal and has a $1000 rebate you could get a 4WD Ltd with no extras for somehwere under 25k. A similarly equipped CRV w/O Nav, a 4wd ex-L is selling for sticker 26,500. Except for the fact that the CRV is a Honda, has a higher resale value and gets better gas mileage, the Hyundai makes a very compelling value.
    Thanks to all of you for your input.
  • LDegrelleLDegrelle Member Posts: 74
    I'll just throw in a quick caveat. I am a Santa Fe owner and we really like ours (2005). We got a great deal on it because it was at the end of 2005 and they had to make room for 2006. It has 17k miles on it with no problems ever and has performed admirable with two toddlers in the rear.

    I am very much a 'drive it until it dies' kind of owner, so the resale value meant nothing to me. HOWEVER - someone else had a great deal and I decided to just see what the car is worth now. Shockingly, it's resale value plummeted. I know you folks will say 'what do you expect, its a Hyundai?' but this is still a new experience for me (first new car). Tradein is about 12.5k. Similarly equipped CRV from same year is 16.2k. Thats pretty amazing difference.

    So keep eye on long term - if you will drive this car for a long time and plan to get 150k miles out of it - go for it. If you know that you will want something else down the road and plan to trade it in after 6 years or so - the CRV will retain much better value.

    I think the Santa Fe rides better, but there's a price to pay for that. Good luck with your decision.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    You make an excellent point. I've been buying cars for 40 years(yes I'm that old) We tend to lease. Our Subaru which we are trading has 48k miles and is 6 years old. it's worth a couple of thousand less than a comparable CRV from 2001. However, we did not like the CRV of that year.
    If we expect to keep it forever, it doesn't matter. I agree that the reason the Honda retains its value is there are very little discounts and that retains its value.

    Tahnk you. I can learn something from someone who purchased their first car.

    By the way, we want a more substantial car to tote around our two under 5 year old grandchildren.
  • drive62drive62 Member Posts: 637
    A similarly equipped CRV w/O Nav, a 4wd ex-L is selling for sticker 26,500.

    Everywhere? Or just in your market? Even a hot selling vehicle like the CR-V can be purchased for less than MSRP. Check the posts.
  • suv4betsysuv4betsy Member Posts: 38
    Update on my quest for our midsize SUV...

    I took a second test drive on the Santa Fe tonight and had a test drive in the Highlander last weekend. Up front, we may have found a deal-killer on the Santa Fe that I would not have noticed or looked for if it weren't for comments on Edmunds or elsewhere... the rear lamp pods, in particular the turn signals. I would not usually consider looking at the lights on a car, stand behind an 07 Santa Fe and turn on the blinkers. I live in a northern latitude dark most of the year. My opinion for conditions and crazy drivers where I live, the turn signal lamps are marginal at best to be seen directly from the rear. As well, I can't seem to find any standard followed by makers, yellow or red blinkers at the rear and size of lighting surface area. Unrelated, I found the translucent red color of the lamp pod bezel to clash with dark paint colors on the body. The paint part is subjective, but the lamps are a safety issue for us. What do you think? Just advise for others to take a close look at the back of the car. Does anyone know (the legal) hand signals?

    Having said that, I really like the Santa Fe, drove the SE model and it was just as nice as the Limited for ride and quiet inside. Others had written about the 2nd row seat a bit too low to the floor, leaving knees up, I agree but it is not severe, I'm well under 6', a tall person probably wouldn't be comfortable but it's ok. I only have a mostly compliant 3y/o to park in child seat back there, far enough to keep from kicking the back of the driver.

    Highlander test drive - drive was fine and comparable, I'm tainted a bit on the Highlander in that I'm part of that group that views the exterior skin as one of the most plain boring looking station wagons on the road. Maybe someday it will be considered a classic like the box cut Volvo 240, which good ones sell used at a premium nowadays (a friend of mine special ordered a used one from a broker)...I can only hope! Rear seats were more comfortable (slide back) and there is more space in the rear cargo over Santa Fe. I really don't like the now dated center obnoxious controls either on the Highlander, Santa Fe Limited dash has much more refined and modern look. I don't want to generalize on Toyota to fault their dash boards, but they are not the highlight of design, the clock on my 04 Toyota Tacoma truck is mounted in direct line of sight view of wiper/turn control, only the passengers can tell the driver what time it is.

    I'm reconsidering my vehicle list, Highlander is still there, I'm probably going to start looking at upsizing to the expense of poorer fuel economy and higher cost :confuse:
  • mikes2mikes2 Member Posts: 43
    Just thought I'd throw in the impressions my wife and I had from back to back test drives. We were lucky enough to have a Honda dealer and a Hyundai dealer willing to let us have a CRV EX-L and the GLS 5 seat (which in the US is the Limited I think - i.e. all the bells and whistles) out for a couple of hours, by ourselves.

    I'd highly recommend it - nothing like having both vehicles sitting in your driveway, side by side, with no one hovering around, or trying to point out features to you! ;)

    Our impressions are as follows:

    - CRV: Interior well put together, but much more basic - not even mildly luxurious. That said, everything feels very solid and substantial (way better than the Rav 4 which looked and felt cheap in a number of places IMHO). Didn't have a lot of features the Hyundai did (e.g. auto. climate control, Homelink, power seats, etc.). Seats may not be comfortable - the jury is still out for us - (and from another forum seem to be the one thing that everyone wishes had lumbar support and were available as power seats). I'm skinny as a rail and found the seat side bolsters cut into me somewhat. Grey leather did not look good (other colours may be fine of course!). Very Smooth, typically buttoned-down Honda drive (well, that's our impression from owning a number of Hondas). Engine noisier since it's 4 cyl. Struggles a little to accelerate, but does the job. Fully loaded with people and stuff, I can see it struggling a little on hills. (That said, it's pretty flat where we are, so that is perhaps more of a hpothetical ;) ) No real surge power to be found on tap, but OK (again, not surprising since it's 4 cyl. That said, we're used to more with our current cars (Maxima and RSX Type S). Car seems very well put together. My wife felt it was easier to see what was around, and that the pillar between the front passengers and back seat didn't block the view as in the Santa Fe. Shelf in the back, while neat, not very practical - it would mean having items parked right behind the heads of the backseat passengers. In our case, that means the kids, and we're not going to be doing that. So, we see it as more of a privacy cover. We drove on an extremely windy day, and really didn't notice any buffeting. Maintenance Minder a very neat feature, and one that really speaks to us (presuming it's not set up to rip us all off - don't mind my paranoia). If it works as advertised, it would be great for us, since we drive way under the usual mileage it seems. Overall, it appears to be a solid, well built and designed, smooth, somewhat more economy feel car.

    Santa Fe: Larger, more SUV like. Softer, much more quieter ride. Ride a little too soft perhaps - not too hard to induce some swaying. Engine also very smooth, but as a 6 cyl, more power on tap. Has all the bells and whistles, many of which are missing from the CRV. Very nice interior. Quite nice leather on seats, and seats seem more comfortable. As others have mentioned, to sole ceiling light behind the Sun roof a bit annoying. Could feel some buffeting on very windy day. Overall, a more luxurious feel, interior and ride. No privacy cover, though one can be purchased for about CDN$250(!). The 5 seat does have that nice shelf hidden under the cargo floor, however.

    Overall, this is going to be a very tough choice :cry: . Costs are very close (except Hyundai has 3 year 0% financing here in Ontario). Other factors we're pondering: resale value, and our belief that the Hyundais will depreciate much faster; Insurance cost actually a little higher on the Honda (at least for us, in our locale, etc., etc.); Gas mileage noticeable worse in Santa Fe, but it will be very nice to have regular and not the premium our current cars call for; and Hyundai 5 year warranty (on the other hand we've never had anything go wrong in our Honda/Acura's within 5 years (knock on wood!!) so, not sure how important this is.

    We'll see what happens in the coming days.....
  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    The Hyundai Dealer gave you that price?

    I traded in my 2003 Santa Fe GLS 2.7 with 37000 miles to get the 07 Limited and the Hyundai dealer gave me 11,500.00.
  • LDegrelleLDegrelle Member Posts: 74
    No, Hyundai dealer did not budge. They are notorious for not making great deals - but they are good customer service wise. If he had cut me a deal perhaps I would have gotten a 2007 Santa Fe.

    As it stands now I will see what the Saturn people have to say with their 0% financing deal tomorrow. I know they have the set pricing but they have been known to make up for that in agressive tradein offers. So maybe a 2006 V6 Vue will be in my driveway soon.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    I'm glad I started this comparison. I thought I was the only one comparing these two.
    I stopped in at Open Road Honda on the way home Saturday and made a decent deal on trading my 2001 Forester for a crv exl with navi. Got a decent deal considering am trading a 6 1/2 year old car. Could have done slightly better, but was happy not to try to sell privately and got what edmunds said I should get on a trade. While I felt hyundai was a better price, we have been driving Hondas and Acuras since 1981 and there was a comfort factor there.I still feel the comparison is subjective. In our mind, what tipped the scales was my 30 year old daughter who said"you'll be happier with another Honda". Also gas mileage, considering lots of local driving was a concern.

    Thanks again for all of your advice.
  • swvswv Member Posts: 7
    Hello again,

    Yes, I did consider the Ford Escape Hybrid, and its siblings by Mercury and Mazda, but decided gas mileage was of greater importance to me than still getting to have an SUV. I am the happy owner of a new Toyota Camry Hybrid as of two days ago.

    There are many FEH owners who are thrilled with their cars, but I seem to remember reading about a tip up in government tests that caused Consumer Reports to be a bit reserved about recommending those three related cars, so that was another reason for me to pass on them. I have an aquaintance who just got a regular Ford Escape, and it seems like Ford's version of the Honda CR-V. It seems very nice inside, and as a passenger, I felt it was pretty similar to the CR-V too.

    I know I'll probably occasionally miss all the space our CR-V and our Santa Fe had, compared to the space in our TCH and Honda Accord (non hybrid. As a short person, I 'll miss sitting up higher. Otherwise we ended up with two fabulous cars in all other ways. Our children are both old enough, and living away from home so much of the time it is not as though we need the space for hauling them or their things very often anymore.

    My new TCH has a whole host of features that I have never had, and really like. I seem to be be getting about the mpg that I anticipated, in the cold and snowy midwest. The mpg should improve quite a bit in warmer weather. Also, by then I'll have become a more efficient driver, through intentionally improving my driving skills and habits as a result of reading about the subject online, and responding to the huge amount of feedback my new car offers on the subject of ongoing mpg.

    Elsewhere on this site, on greenhybrid.com and on cleanmpg.com I'll probably be posting an item about the car salesmen who were the most helpful and professional to me during my research/weighing my options phase, in case anyone wants to know the names of people who were nice to deal with.

    I just recently learned about cleanmpg.com, which is out there for all drivers interested in getting more miles to the gallon, no matter what type of vehicle one drives.

    Best wishes to all! Probably the last time I'll post on the CR-V versus Santa Fe section of this site. Adios!
  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    "While I felt hyundai was a better price, we have been driving Hondas and Acuras since 1981"

    Yet you traded in a Forester. So what type of Honda/Acura's have you been driving? Did you not consider a Acura/Forester?
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Good point. We didn't like the first generation crv's so we had bought a Forrester in 01. When gen 2 came along, we didn't find it what we wanted. When the current one came out, we liked it for many reasons including size, safety and gas mileage. The forrester was the only non honda car we've had in many years. Just a bias towards them.
    Good question that deserved an explanation.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    "2008 models all have AWD standard."

    You sure about that?
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    Sorry about that, I was referring to the Highlander Hybrid...
  • travlertravler Member Posts: 138
    With the CRV take into consideration its low maintenance schedule. Mine has 8600 miles on it, and I still don't need even an oil change. Be sure to ask your sales person to show you how their information system works. It'll tell you what percentage of oil life you have, and will light up when you're at 15%. I'm still at 30%. That'll save some $'s in the long run.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    I'm still not sure I want to adhere to their schedule. I have 900 miles in a month and I'm used to adhering to the 3-4,000 mile schedule.What has people's experience been?
    The old way or the new Honda way?
  • pegwinkspegwinks Member Posts: 13
    I recently attended a "new-owner seminar" at my Honda dealer. The service guy said that if you were to come in with 40% oil life left they wouldn't change the oil.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    Thanks for the info. I'll get with the program.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "I recently attended a "new-owner seminar" at my Honda dealer. The service guy said that if you were to come in with 40% oil life left they wouldn't change the oil."

    Oh, I suspect that if you cross their palms with $$, they will go ahead and change the oil for you... they are in business to make $$, and there is no law against more frequent oil changes. :shades:
  • pegwinkspegwinks Member Posts: 13
    If they only want to make money, that seems an odd statement to make. I would think they would tell you to disregard the manufacturer's maintenance schedule and come in more often. Of course, if you insist on having it changed, I'm sure they would do it.
  • jski1jski1 Member Posts: 5
    I thought I'd speak of my experiences shopping for a mid-sized SUV. I too am right smack in the middle of shopping and have test driven:

    Santa Fe

    I wish one of them would really shine in all categories but of course that would be too easy. Right now I have narrowed my search to the Santa Fe, Escape and Outlander. I was not impressed with the CRV's 4 cyl. engine. I don't care what people say about that engines power-the fact is it does not adequately power that car which is too bad because the gas mileage is great. So, right now my picks are narrowed down to the Escape, Santa Fe 3.3 and Outlander. The interior feel, cabin noise and comfort of the Escape exceeds the Santa Fe and Outlander but the drive is better in the Santa FE and Outlander. The difference is noted in power, smoothness, firm ride and tight steering. The Ford has a slower response and spongy ride and the output of the 3.0 is not as impressive. The Santa Fe needs the 3.3 and for the price is unbeatable. The Outlander actually performed the best on the road. Another plus, the Outlander and Santa Fe have the same great warranty-5Yr/60,000K BTB.

    In the next month or so I hope to make a decision. Oh by the way, anyone out there have any comments on the Saturn Vue??? I was thinking of giving it a test drive.
  • stevecarstevecar Member Posts: 148
    In the current issue of Consumers report which just came out(please take consumers with a grain of salt), they rate the new Sante Fe number two just below the Rav 4 and above the forrester and crv. In the article they point out that reliability is unknown being a new model and poor gas mileage.

    Worth a look. However, remember it is Consumers Reports and I didn't post that to start a bashing of that magazine. it's just an interesting article how high they rate the Sante fe.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Member Posts: 2,798
    I was not impressed with the CRV's 4 cyl. engine. I don't care what people say about that engines power-the fact is it does not adequately power that car which is too bad because the gas mileage is great.

    Typical American infatuation with power. So, unless you are Jeff Gordon who races, or you tow a 3500 lbs boat, then you don't really need all that power. I don't have the 07, but I have an 05 with stick, and I leave pretty much every one in the dust racing from light to light in the everyday race to and from work. Often I see these cars that weigh as much as CR-V that have V6's and they are not even using half the engine power, while wasting gas.

    You have to decide whether fuel economy is important to you. Honda gives you the best of both. CR-V auto is just as fast to 60 mph as the V6 powered Escape, and CR-V manual is 1-2 seconds faster to 60 than Escape, while getting close to 30 mpg.
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