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Today’s midsize crossover segment is loaded with great options. However, the 2021 Ford Edge continues to stand out. Drivers love the Edge’s good looks and family-friendly interior design. Another highly recommended pick is the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, with has received a long list of big updates. Let’s find out which SUV wins this head-to-head comparison.
The Ford Edge returns for 2021 with the same engine lineup as before. Its standard turbo four-cylinder engine generates an ample 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. While most drivers won’t need any more muscle, a turbo six-cylinder engine is found on the sporty Edge ST. Ford tunes it to push out a smile-inducing 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This year, the Hyundai Santa comes standard with a more potent four-cylinder engine. A total output of 191 horsepower gives the SUV a slightly stronger kick. Power is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Drivers can also step up to a new turbo four-cylinder engine, which cranks out 277 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. To help take performance to the next level, Hyundai pairs this engine with a special dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In real-world driving conditions, expect the Edge’s base powertrain to feel more muscular. Tests clock the Edge with a 0-60 mph time of around 8.0 seconds. By comparison, the Santa Fe posted a 0-60 mph time of 8.9 seconds. While the Santa Fe doesn’t accelerate as quickly, it’s responsive enough to keep most drivers happy. Drivers will also be able to conserve more fuel.
Drivers who are willing to sacrifice some gas mileage should consider the Edge ST. This high-output model can reach 60 mph in a brisk 5.9 seconds. Although the turbocharged Santa Fe’s official 0-60 mph time has yet to be revealed, experts estimate it’ll hit the mark in around 6.6 seconds. Most test drivers describe the turbocharged Santa Fe as being quick and gutsy.
Despite packing more power, the Edge can’t tow a bigger load than the Santa Fe. Both SUVs have a 3,500-pound maximum towing capacity. Drivers will be able to haul ATVs, small trailers, and bass boats.
The Santa Fe is more engaging to drive than before. Drivers will certainly appreciate the extra power. Competent handling makes the Santa Fe great for daily commuting. Not only does the turbocharged model’s sport mode prompt the transmission to shift quicker, but it also gives the SUV a sportier steering feel.
Expect the Edge to bring a bit more driving fun. This is especially true for the rather exhilarating ST model. An upgraded sport suspension and a performance steering system ensures athletic handling. Owners will enjoy driving the Edge ST on a winding back road. However, the other Edge models are engaging enough for the daily grind.
Neither SUV is recommended for folks who plan to travel on rugged terrain. They lack the required off-road upgrades, including trail-rated shock absorbers and skid plates. However, available all-wheel drive helps ensure good traction on snowy streets.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the 2021 Ford Edge can deliver up to an EPA-calculated 21 mpg town/29 mpg freeway. However, fuel economy drops to 19 mpg town/26 mpg freeway for the more powerful Edge ST. Expect the Santa Fe to save drivers even more money at the pump. Hyundai’s new base powertrain has increased the SUV’s efficiency to 25 mpg town/28 mpg freeway. Opting for the turbocharged Santa Fe results in a fuel economy rating of 22 mpg city/28 mpg freeway.
When it comes to braking, the Edge takes around 129 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph. However, upgraded brakes further enhance the fun-to-drive Edge ST’s stopping power. While the Santa Fe’s 60-0 mph braking numbers are not available, test drivers had no complaints about the SUV’s ability to stop quickly.
The Ford Edge receives a 3.5 out of 5.0 rating in reliability, which is just a step above average. A 4.5 reliability rating puts the new Hyundai Santa Fe among the segment’s most dependable models. This is a big advanage for drivers who are looking for a long-term vehicle.
Drivers will also appreciate Hyundai’s superior warranty protection, which covers the powertrain for 100,000 miles. A 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty is included as well. By comparison, Ford gives the Edge a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Both of these SUVs offer a pleasant ride. Even when equipped with upsized wheels, the Santa Fe still effectively soaks up imperfections in the road. Expect the Edge’s ride comfort to be just as good. However, sportier suspension tuning does cause the Edge ST’s ride to be a bit stiffer.
Like the 2021 Ford Edge, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is considered to be a quiet SUV. However, passengers will hear some road noise when driving over rough asphalt. Expect the Edge to have an especially noise-free cabin. New acoustic glass helps filter out unwanted sounds. While the Edge is not a luxury vehicle, it’s just as quiet as one.
The Edge gets a mediocre rating in terms of outward visibility. Because of the SUV’s small rear window, drivers may have trouble spotting other motorists. Meanwhile, thick A-pillars hinder the Edge’s forward sight lines. Most car reviewers agree that the Santa Fe offers the best outward visibility. Aside from helping to ensure easier parking, this quality also gives drivers more security when changing lanes.
Both of these family haulers have a spacious interior. While the Edge has a slightly higher passenger volume, some families will appreciate the Santa Fe’s extra 1.1 inches of rear legroom. There’s also an additional 1.5 inches of legroom in the Santa’s front seat, which will help accommodate tall people.
When it comes to overall seat comfort, the Santa Fe wins this category. According to some automotive journalists, this SUV’s front seats rank among the most comfy in the class. There’s not as much support in the Edge’s standard seats. Fortunately, higher trim levels receive upgraded seats with more bolstering. Massaging front-seat functions and heated second-row seats are only offered on the Santa Fe’s new Calligraphy trim.
In regard to cargo space, the Edge has a small advantage. It provides nearly 40 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seat. Meanwhile, there’s 34.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the Santa Fe. However, families can take advantage of the Santa Fe’s under-floor storage compartments.
A driver-friendly infotainment system is found in the Edge. Ford’s SYNC 3 interface now comes standard with a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen. Users will enjoy its HD graphics and fast processing. Navigation is optional.
While the Santa Fe’s standard 8.0-inch touchscreen is smaller, operating the system is easy. There’s a convenient rotary dial in the console, which enables drivers to navigate the interface while on the road. This year, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been added. Although Hyundai’s optional 10.1-inch touchscreen is nice, it does not feature wireless smartphone integration.
Only the Santa Fe has a head-up display on its list of optional equipment. This feature benefits drivers by projecting the speedometer’s key information onto the lower windshield.
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The 2021 Ford Edge received a five-star overall safety rating from the federal government. It was among the few models to receive a flawless rating in every impact test. While the Edge was named a 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick, this SUV’s standard headlights received a” poor” rating. Even the Edge’s upgraded LED headlights only earned an “acceptable” rating.
While the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has yet to receive an official NHTSA crash rating, last year’s model took home a five-star overall rating. The Santa Fe’s optional headlights are also superior to those found on the Ford Edge.
Accident-avoidance technologies come standard on these crossovers. Among these advanced driving aids include blind-spot warning, automatic panic braking, and active lane control. While smart cruise control comes standard on the Santa Fe, it’s offered on the Edge’s higher trim levels.
A few exclusive safety features are available for the new Santa Fe. Many drivers will want Hyundai’s blind-spot camera system. Live video of oncoming videos can be displayed on the infotainment screen, which proves to be a big help on congested freeways. Meanwhile, Hyundai’s Safe Exit Assist helps prevent kids from opening their door into traffic. Like its America rival, the Santa Fe also offers an automatic parking system. While the Edge’s rearview camera is beneficial, Santa Fe buyers can upgrade to a surround-view camera.
Evasive Steering Assist is exclusively available on the Edge. When an impact is imminent, his feature is designed to help drivers to securely maneuver around the obstacle. Hyundai does not offers a similar technology on the Santa Fe.
Which Has the Best Value?
With a starting MSRP of $28,495, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe proves to be one of the segment’s top values. Although prices have increased for the 2021 model year, Hyundai has given the Santa Fe a long list of improvements. Ford lists the Edge with a starting MSRP of more than $31,000. Both SUVs come standard with highly desirable features, such as a touch display and smartphone connectivity. However, Hyundai’s much longer warranty enables the Santa Fe to offer more value.
The most luxurious model in the Edge’s lineup is the Titanium trim, which competes against the Santa Fe Calligraphy. While the Edge Titanium demands $38,440, Hyundai has priced the Santa Fe Calligraphy at $42,100. Although the Santa Fe Calligraphy has a steeper price tag, it does feel more upscale. Nicer Nappa leather upolstry lines the cabin. Drivers can also take advantage of this model’s head-up display and surround-view camera.
Which is Better?
Like the 2021 Ford Edge, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe deserves a test drive. Both of these three-row crossovers are practical family vehicles. To find out which SUV is better, we must take a closer look at their pros and cons.
The Ford Edge packs a bit more performance. Driving enthusiasts will especially enjoy the Edge ST’s rapid acceleration and slick handling. However, improved powertrain options enable the Santa Fe to satisfy most drivers. A higher city fuel economy rating also gives the Santa Fe an advantage over the Edge.
While the Edge is a comfy vehicle, it does not feel as premium as the new Santa Fe. A greater number of cheap-looking panels are found inside the Edge. Hyundai also offers some high-end luxury features, including massaging front seats and wireless smartphone integration.
The Santa Fe’s recent styling refresh makes it stand out more than ever. Onlookers will notice its bolder front fascia. Even the base Santa Fe receives a rather attractive set of 18-inch alloy wheels and cool LED headlamps. However, there’s also a lot to like about the Edge’s styling. Racy exhaust tips and aggressive bumpers make the Edge ST look ready for the track.
While the 2021 Ford Edge is a more than suitable family vehicle, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe simply outclasses in more categories. Not only is the Santa Fe more luxurious, but it also has a far better warranty. On the other hand, car shoppers who seek pure driving fun should go for the performance-focused Edge ST.