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Honda CR-V vs Hyundai Santa Fe



  • In general, Honda the company are snobs. They still believe that they have a far superior product. I own a Honda Prelude and a Hyundai SF and the Honda is a nice, good quality car, but so is the Hyundai. I do like how Honda has the navi and backup camera in thier CRV. Overall, though I felt that they Hyundai was a better vehicle for the money. I liked the safty features and when I read the crash test results, the Hyundai was the only suv/crossover that had no actual injuries to the dummies. I think Toyota and Honda are keeping a sharp eye to their rear and watching Hyundai move up the ladder quickly.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    compaing the CRV against the Hyundai SantaFe??? Shouldn't it be compared against the Hyundai Tuscon?????
  • ejonavinejonavin Posts: 36
    From my point of view CR-V is competing with the Santa Fe. Cargo space is similar and price is similar (at least in Canada).

    As I see it,
    CR-V Advantage
    - better fuel economy
    - aux audio port
    - better handling (not so tipsy)
    - 2nd row seats can slide
    - optional Navi with backup camera
    - driver window auto-up

    Santa Fe
    - power drivers seat with lumbar support *
    - dual zone climate control *
    - smooth and powerful V6
    - optional 3rd row seats

    * will be available in 2008 models on CR-V

    The other stuff is mostly subjective (looks) or equivalent (safety, features, and to a lesser extent interior which an edge to the CR-V, although the leather on the Santa Fe seems like it's "better").
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Navigation will be available on the 2008 Santa Fe

    Sound system, comfort and interior volume, among others, I would give the nod to the SF.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I agree that the CR-V competes more closely with the Santa Fe than with the Tucson. After looking very closely at all 3 before ultimately buying a Santa Fe Limited AWD, I'll add a few things to your comparison.

    Santa Fe Limited's 3.3 liter V6 is much more responsive than the CR-V's 4 cylinder. To me, the CR-V felt significantly under-powered.
    The Santa Fe's 3.3 liter V6 is also extremely smooth and quiet; it feels like a very refined engine.
    CR-V's 2nd row seats don't fold flat.
    CR-V's center stack-mounted shifter is quite unappealing IMO.
    I didn't find the CR-V to be the least bit fun to drive. The Santa Fe Limited is IMO extremely enjoyable to drive.
    Santa Fe's interior lighting is an absolute kick, especially the illuminated cup holders!
    Honda can't come close to Hyundai's warranty.
  • ejonavinejonavin Posts: 36
    I'm still undecided.

    While the CR-V's interior is very nice, it's "over-rated". I found the Santa Fe's leather much more appealing. CR-V also lacks an intermittent wipers on the rear and wiper heats on the front.

    2nd row not folding flat isn't an issue for me as the second row will be occupied by baby seats and will never be folder. This leaves the usable cargo space about the same in both vehicles.

    My current cars are the Honda Fit and Acura RSX, so you can see why I would think that the Santa Fe is a bit tipsy. OTOH, I'm kind of tired of engine and road noise on long trips and wouldn't mind having a nice, smooth hwy cruiser.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    Have you driven a Santa Fe Limited? If not, I recommend that you do. A test drive could make your decision much easier; it certainly did for me.
  • ejonavinejonavin Posts: 36
    Yes, I test-drove the top trim available in Canada, which is a GLS (equivalent to Limited?) with 3.3 V6, AWD, 18" alloys, leather, fully loaded.

    You can really feel the weight during quick lane changes, and body sway on tight on-ramps. But the steering feel was excellent and the engine was a delight.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Have you driven a Santa Fe Limited? If not, I recommend that you do. A test drive could make your decision much easier; it certainly did for me."

    What's the real-world MPG on the Santa Fe?
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I'm getting around 23 MPG on the highway and 16 - 18 in stop and go traffic. I have a Limited AWD (3.3 liter) with around 3500 miles on it.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    I started this thread last spring. I just got 28.8 mpg on an all highway trip twith the new CRV this weekend. Also, the NYTimes did a comparison that showed that the CRV has as much, if not slighly more space than the Sante Fe.
    The Sante Fe is certainly a good car and we debated this a few months ago. It's really personal preference. With incentives, the Sante Fe comes out the same if not cheaper, in some trim lines than the CRV. They are both good choices.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    It's not really fair to compare fuel economy between I4 (CR-V) and V6 (Santa Fe) but I can tell you both do well in that category.

    By the way, the Santa Fe is larger:

    Passenger Volume: CR-V 100.9 / Santa Fe 108.3
    Maximum Cargo Volume: CR-V 72.9 / Santa Fe 78.2

    On Honda's website, they list Tuscon as one of its competitors on the Compare Vehicles section - fyi
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    My mistake on the passenger volume. I still feel they are both good coices and personal preference will play a part.
    As far as fuel economy, some people want better mpg, while others would like to have more highway power. I think the only reason I was comparing the CRV to the Sante Fe to begin with was that they were both new models, while the Tuscon was older.
  • ejonavinejonavin Posts: 36
    If you don't fold down the 2nd row, the CR-V actually has a tad bit more room behind the 2nd row. Something to consider if you have young children with baby seats, and therefor won't be folding down the 2nd row.
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Posts: 130
    The CR-V and the Tucson are comparable vehicles; the Santa Fe is considerably larger, and competes against the Pilot.

    For example, the CR-V and Tucson have essentially the same wheelbase (103.1 for the CR-V vs. 103.5 for the Tucson), which the Santa Fe's is longer (106.3). The CR-V and Tucson are the same width (71.6 and 72.1) while the Santa Fe is wider (74.4). The CR-V and Tucson have almost identical curb weights (3549 and 3548) while the Santa Fe is heavier (4022). Front and rear shoulder room are, likewise, identical in the CR-V and the Tucson, while the Santa Fe is larger. The CR-V and Tucson are both 5-passenger vehicles, whereas the Santa Fe can seat 7. The CR-V and Tucson have similar horsepower availability (max of 166 for the CR-V and 173 for the Tucson), whereas the Santa Fe is a lot more powerful (242 hp).

    About the only place that the Santa Fe and CR-V are directly comparable is the price tag. A loaded CR-V will cost about the same as a loaded Santa Fe, while the Tucson will be $2-4,000 less.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    I asked that same question originally and got shot down.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    As I said before, I started the thread when I had been shopping or both last winter. IMO the Sante Fe was a similar price as the CRV. Both cars were newly changed, while the Tuscon was out a few years. Actually, you are correct. The comparison should be Tuscon vs. CRV.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Thanks, stevecar, I sort of thought they (the CRV and Tuscon) were more of the same size to compare than against the SantaFe.
  • ejonavinejonavin Posts: 36
    Tucson has about 1/2 the cargo space as the CR-V. Santa Fe has more similar utility. For this reason alone, the Tucson doesn't even make my short list that includes CR-V and Santa Fe.

    I'm reading and posting in this thread because I'm curious what others think of two, and to see if there are any non-obvious things to consider that's not easily seen by a quick test drive.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I looked closely at the CR-V EX AWD with leather and navigation and actually took it for a test drive. On paper it looked like the ideal small SUV for my wife and me:

    Honda quality
    Overall nice appointments
    Available navigation (not common in this class)
    Leather seating (heated)
    Ideal size for our needs

    In short, I went into the test drive wanting to be impressed with the CR-V. Unfortunately, I wasn't. It was boring to drive. (It's tough to articulate exactly what was missing. Steering was numb, engine was on the anemic side, acceleration was weak.) I felt like I was driving a tired appliance. Admittedly, the navigation was nice but it didn't make up for the fact that the CR-V was just plain dull. I also didn't care for the fact that the rear (2nd row) seats don't fold flat; they fold forward and rest against the front seat backs. The arrangement is nowhere near as tidy as the Santa Fe's flat-folding 2nd row seats. Another thing is the CR-V's gear shifter - it's mounted at the bottom of the center stack rather than on the console. It's no big deal, I suppose, but just didn't care for it.

    We ended up buying a Santa Fe Limited AWD and I couldn't be happier with it. The only thing it gives up to the CR-V IMO is the lack of an available navigation system. (Even that will be corrected later in the 2008 model year.) With its 242 hp V6 (compared with the Honda's 166 hp I-4), power driver's seat, 18" wheels (vs. the Honda's 17"), dual zone electronic climate control, HomeLink, front fog lights, and auto-dimming inside mirror, it was a simple choice. Add to that the very cool blue interior lighting (including the front cup holder!), illuminated steering wheel audio and cruise control buttons (also in blue), and the best warranty in the business.

    In fairness, the CR-V has some things that are missing on the Santa Fe e.g. a flip-up liftgate window, engine immobilizer, rearview camera (on navigation-equipped models), rear reading lights, multi-disc CD changer (in-dash), MP3 input, RDS, and a memory card slot. These are all cool features but IMO not enough to make the total package as desirable as the Santa Fe.

    We've had our Santa Fe Limited AWD with Premium Package (power moonroof) for 3.5 months and couldn't be happier with it. It's remarkably enjoyable to drive. I'm impressed by a lot of things on the Santa Fe but I think the most impressive part is the outstanding drive train. It's smooth, powerful, and whisper-quiet. The entire vehicle is well-built; it reeks of quality. I'm sure a few issues will crop up over time but it definitely looks as though Hyundai has done their homework with the Santa Fe.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The only thing it gives up to the CR-V IMO is the lack of an available navigation system."

    And about 20% less MPG (23 highway vs. 27 highway). I had a 2003 CR-V, which would actually produce around 30 MPG at 65 MPH (pure highway), and that was with only a 4 speed and AWD. The current CR-V has a 5 speed and is available with FWD in the higher trim models. In town, one cannot really expect better than 22 MPG (with very careful driving).

    The CR-V is not really a competitor of the Santa Fe; it is being compared simply because Honda did such a good job of packaging a lot of interior space into a small exterior. But the Santa Fe is designed to compete with the Honda Pilot (which, BTW, gets almost exactly the same MPG).

    Honda and Hyundai have very different engineering standards; they have different expectations for the engines and the ride. It is a matter of preference which one is preferred.

    Congrats on your purchase!
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Posts: 88
    RE: "The CR-V is not really a competitor of the Santa Fe; it is being compared simply because Honda did such a good job of packaging a lot of interior space into a small exterior."

    I think what makes people compare the two is price. As many others did, we also started out looking at the CRV, but when we saw how much more you can get with the Santa Fe for less money, it was a no-brainer.
  • zebzeb Posts: 57
    I was considering a CRV also, but I went to some of the forum boards/user reviews and it seemed like it was nothing but bad experiences - anyone else see this?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    People tend to post more when there's a problem so take that into account. The consumer ratings at the top show that both the CR-V and Santa Fe are close in customer satisfaction (but you have to read those too - some people rate their car before they peel the Monroney sticker off the window).
  • I have a 2007 and have had zero problems. I get 25 MPG in real world driving(everyday mix with no air cond). I've got the 2wd model with leather. My tires track true and the engine has plenty of power. Everything works like it is supposed to. It is comfortable and roomy. Try out the rear seat. You can fit real adults comfortably(thigh support & leg room). This is only my second auto transmission in 38 years of driving, and it works great. I love the button for instant power and slowing. I'm sure there are thousands of others with the same opinion. People post problems on the forum. There is nothing wrong with that. All info(good or bad) is GOOD info, in my opinion.
  • My wife initially wanted the CR-V but after checking out the Santa Fe decided to go with the Hyundai. If the CR-V offered a power driver seat we probably would have gone with the Honda, but they're both great small sport utes and I think that they are definitely competing for many of the same customers. They were in our case at least.
  • If the CR-V offered a power driver seat we probably would have gone with the Honda

    For 2008, they do, along with dual climate control, the uplevel stereo w/o having to get NAVI, and a rearview camera with the NAVI. These are a few of the changes made for 2008
  • The CRV is a really nice car with great mileage (for it's size) a nice ride and Honda durability baked in.

    We just bought a Santa Fe Limited while they were clearing out the '08's. We feel we paid 2 to 3 (000) less than the Honda and received many interior upgrades. Most important for my wife (primary driver) were the power drivers seat (I don't get that one but she constantly pointed it out), higher driving position (liked that about the old minivan), Good handling and tight turning radius (hated those about the old minivan), and larger size without feeling it when driving.

    If the CRV and Santa Fe were the same price, it'd be a toss up for us and depend on whether we wanted to go bigger or smaller on size. However, the money we saved will buy a lot gas over the next few years and we don't feel we skimped to save a few bucks, quite the contrary.
  • Have owned an '07 CR-V EXL for just over 2 years -- previously owned an '03 Accord EXL V-6 model. Love the CR-V except for the tires. My wife's vehicle was an '02 Toyo Highlander Ltd -- great vehicle. Looked at the '08 Highlander and '08 SF and, for $9000 less bought the Santa Fe Ltd AWD -- we love it!! More for the money in the SF -- no doubt. However, Honda doesn't have to buy it's customers and, at present, Hyundai is having to do that and is making great progress. Once our economy gets back to normal, there will be a price differential between the CR-V and the SF -- if you are in the market for a Santa Fe, better take advantage of the Hyundai pricing in the near future. The unknown -- will the Hyundai provide the proven trouble free ownership experience I have had with Hondas for the past 30 years?
  • we had an 07 CRV nav. The car of my dreams until last week when a drunk driver hit us. The interior cabin was intact. But when we saw the outside of the car, it's a wonder we are alive.

    The next day we get a rental, it's a santa fe. LOL Similar enough to the crv but I find it goofy for lack of a better word. Some things are placed similar and others seem counterproductive when driving, having to look to see where they are. The ride is choppier. A good alternative I suppose if you need to save a few dollars, but nothing beats the real deal.

    Right now waiting on insurance checks and running to buy a 2011 Crv. I have no doubt it protected us in that crash
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