Used Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Honda CR-V: The Better Budget Family SUV

Even though the Hyundai Santa Fe is considered a mid-size SUV and the Honda CR-V fits into the compact SUV market, they compete well with one another.

If you find a used Hyundai Santa Fe, it is on the smaller size for a midsize vehicle, and the CR-V is one the largest models in its class. Which of these is the better budget-friendly family SUV? Let’s take a look.

Let’s Start with How Much Power You Get

If we’re looking at the non-hybrid versions of both of these vehicles, the base engines have almost the same horsepower. A used Hyundai Santa Fe SE uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower, and the CR-V has a turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 190 horsepower. If you like a traditional transmission, you’ll get an eight-speed automatic with the Santa Fe, but the CR-V comes with a CVT.

Looking for some extra pep in your step? The Santa Fe Limited gets power from a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with 281 horsepower. You can get some extra horsepower with the CR-V, too, but it’s the hybrid engine. It lags just a little behind the Santa Fe with its 204 horsepower.

Let’s Talk Cabin Comfort

Both a used Hyundai Santa Fe and the Honda CR-V have two rows of seats and room for up to five people. The Santa Fe starts with stain-resistant cloth upholstery in the SE trim, and it has a 60/40 split rear seat to make it easier to switch up the space to accommodate people or cargo. Just one step up to the SEL gets you some extra features, such as heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The CR-V starts off with cloth upholstery, and just like the Santa Fe, one step up from the base LX trim adds heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Safety Comes Standard

No matter which of these budget-friendly, family-friendly SUVs you choose, it will come with a suite of advanced safety features. Every late model used Hyundai Santa Fe has forward collision warning, automatic braking, and lane-keep assist for more confidence behind the wheel. Adaptive cruise control also comes standard. When you look at a comparison of the Honda CR-V, all of these safety features also come standard if you have a late model used one or a new one.

Infotainment Technology for Everyone

An eight-inch touchscreen houses the infotainment system in both the Santa Fe and the CR-V. You’ll get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with the Hyundai, and a wired version in the Honda. You have to take a few steps up to the EX-L trim to get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the CR-V, but it also comes with a nine-inch touchscreen. This is also the trim that adds a wireless charging pad and an upgraded eight-speaker stereo. If you like your music loud, go for the Premium Package for the Santa Fe. It has a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.

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