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Honda CR-V vs Hyundai Santa Fe



  • drive62drive62 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.
  • 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 Posts: 47
    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.....
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 and on 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, 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!
  • "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 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 Posts: 2,248
    "2008 models all have AWD standard."

    You sure about that?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Sorry about that, I was referring to the Highlander Hybrid...
  • travlertravler 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 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 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 Posts: 148
    Thanks for the info. I'll get with the program.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 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 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 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 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 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.
  • jski1jski1 Posts: 5
    Yes, that statement sounded like I have to have a muscle car but I am actually pretty low key when it comes to that otherwise I'd be looking at a totally different class of vehicles. I certainly wouldn't be looking for a mid-sized SUV if it was all about HP. The fact is I believe the 4 cyl. is undersized for that class of automobile and am willing to bet they come out with a 6 cyl. option in the next year or so.

    Certainly there are those very satisfied with the 4 cyl. and before I test drove it I was pretty convinced I would purchase it.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    The Escape is a pretty old design. It's been updated but even the '08 isn't really new. IIWM I'd steer clear of that one.

    You touched on one of the problems I find with Hyundai vehicles in general; they seem to get too low MPG. $4 and $5 per gallon is in the future. IIWM I'd make MPG a priority unless you have money to burn or get reimbursed for your gas expenditures.

    If it's not going to be a CR-V (and it seems as if it won't) the Mitsu seems like a good choice. The brand really has been beaten back in the last few years by poor sales in the US. Hopefully it hasn't effected the vehicles or their dealer network. Good luck.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    and am willing to bet they come out with a 6 cyl. option in the next year or so.

    And I am betting that you will never see a V6 in the CR-V. But you may see a 4 cylinder Diesel in the near future, mated to a 6 speed manual. The EU gets diesel CR-V with 6 spd stick which yields about 40 mpg in mixed driving with 250 ft. lbs of torque.
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132
    Ok, I realize there are some SUVs that get better gas mileage than others, but not by much. I drove home after filling up my SF Limited FWD tank and reset the average miles per gallon. I started out in the city with traffic lights. I got to highway for the ten mile drive home. I got 27.4 mpg going from 35-62. The speed limit on the highway is 65 and people were flying past me. I don't care. I want to save some money, get better gas mileage and show the oil companies a thing or two. But from the looks of it, I may be the only one. Better gas mileage can be had!
  • technikaltechnikal Posts: 14
    As of today, we own both. We've had a CR-V EX for a while, and just purchased the Santa Fe SE today.

    I was surprised by the Santa Fe - in terms of standard features, ride quality, warranty and reliability reports from CR, JD Powers, etc. We've been pretty much a Honda/Toyota family forever, so risking a Hyundai was hard for me to do. However, it just 'felt' right. I know the resale value isn't there (though with the deals Hyundai is making, I should be 'even' after a few years), and the 10 year warranty helps ease my concerns as well. The Salesman asked for the number it would take to close the deal today, I gave him one I didn't think he'd meet - and he did - so I'm now a Hyundai owner!

    I think both are excellent vehicles out of the gate. The CR-V has been one of the best cars I've ever owned - smartly designed, safe, reliable, practical, superb resale value... The only dislike I have is the 'flip-forward' rear seats, which suck up 1+ feet of cargo length. The Santa Fe just 'feels' like a much nicer and more expensive vehicle, even though it's cheaper with current deals. It's quieter, smoother and a bit nicer all around. The v6 is nice, though the fuel economy sucks comparatively. I can only hope that reliability holds up to the stuff I'm seeing in CR and JD Powers. If not, I guess I'll chalk it up to learning, head back to Toyota or Honda, and stay there...
  • smlpkg611smlpkg611 Posts: 15
    I've test driven several smaller suv models. I thought I had it narrowed down to an Outlander. Started looking again and am almost sure I'll get a Sante Fe. I liked the Outlander's handling and exterior styling. We didn't like the flip foward seats and some of the interior quality. The carpeting is pieced in the second row. I want a sun/moonroof and power driver seat so I would have no choice but to get the leather option. The Sante Fe with the 3.3 is nice for the money and it handles well also. Add the rebate/lower interest rate and it becomes a pretty attractive sale. I'm not looking to spend a ton of money on a new car.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I'm not looking to spend a ton of money on a new car.

    Are you looking to spend a ton keeping a car then?

    Purchase price is just part of the equation. Look for 5 year cost of ownership and the resale values if you are not going to keep it for over 10 years.

    Gillete model was always to sell the handles for cheap, or give away, but charge a lot for cartridges. Same for inkjet printers.

    Don't focus on just one part of the equation.
  • I test drove the Hyundai Santa FE Limited and the Mitsubishi Outlander LS a few days back. In my opinion the Outlander was a much better ride, very smooth and the suspension was great, seats were very comfortable, very good driving position. Meanwhile the Hyundai felt sluggish and in the highway the seats were shaking somewhat, I mentioned this to the sales person, got another hyundai SF limited to drive and it felt the same way, I was not very impressed with the ride. The only thing that I did not like about the Outlander was those yellow instrumentation lights.
  • Well, I cannot stand the dash in the Outlander, FUGLY....

    As far as quality, my sister works very high up the food chain at Honda, when I told her that Hondas were too expensive for what you get, even the used ones. I told her that I was looking at the SF and she said that Hyundai makes great cars... I was like wow, why would you a ranking person at Honda tell me that. She said that really all of the car companies are very close on quality and reliablity. Also, that Hyundai will not have poor trade-in values for much longer. In 3 years by Hondas estimation Hyundais will only be 2-3% lower in trade-in than Honda. In 5 years it will probably be 0-1%. So all things considered Hyundais are no longer a risky buy. I figure that most people that go on message boards to bash a company have investments in competing companies, or they have other issues with that company. It's really sad actually, that some of you would waste your time posting negatives about Hyundai and have nothing to back it up with. Oh well to each their own...
  • gizzer777gizzer777 Posts: 335
    I share your opinion of the outlander's interior but that makes horseracing. Mits always did some strange stuff to their vehicles. When I first saw the Outlander's exterior, I was attracted to it....turned off when I entered it but it did drive ok...then I went and bought the 07 regrets either so far. The SF just felt so much more solid to me (got the SE AWD)

    A friend is pretty high up in the Toyota org said their last corporate meeting was spent with a lot of time devoted to hyundai and their increasing quality as well. Apparently Toyota has also cast an eye at the Hyundai company as being a potential LARGE threat! Interesting.
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