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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Honda CR-V

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Honda CR-V

2021 Santa Fe vs CR-V - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Both the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2021 Honda CR-V fall on the larger side of the compact SUV scale. In many ways, this works in their favor. They are still relatively fuel-efficient and maneuverable while offering a nice amount of interior space at the same time.

In 2021, Hyundai gives the Santa Fe several noteworthy updates. Both the interior and exterior look different than last year, and there is a new Caligraphy trim level for shoppers to consider. This model comes standard with things like ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, and premium leather upholstery with fancy accent stitching. More importantly, the Santa Fe powertrain lineup has completely changed and now includes a hybrid option.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is unchanging from its fifth generation debut in 2017. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe has received several exciting updates this year to attract buyers - will they be enough to outshine one of America's most beloved vehicles? To help make your decision easier, we've compared the two models side-by-side.

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The Powertrain

The standard engine for the Santa Fe is more powerful in 2021. Most models have a 2.5L four-cylinder that generates 191-horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque. This is an appropriate amount of power for an SUV of this size and weight, and the engine is even more fuel-efficient than the one it replaces. An eight-speed automatic transmission continues to be paired to the base Santa Fe engine.

This year, Hyundai is revving up drivers' expectations with its new 2.5L turbo engine – capable of a whopping 277 horsepower and 311 ft-lbs of torque! For an even more dynamic experience on the road, this impressive powerplant comes paired to a dual clutch eight speed automatic transmission for maximum performance.

Additionally for those conscious about fuel efficiency there will be hybrid option featuring 1.6L gasoline plus two electric motors creating 225 horsepower from start to full acceleration via its six speed automatic gear box - all paired exclusively with AWD capabilities for extra control during challenging conditions on any terrain type yet explored.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is all about power. Its standard turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine ensures a thrilling ride with an impressive 190 horsepower and 179 lb.-ft of torque, while the hybrid version features two electric motors alongside its 2.0L four cylinder to produce even more raw energy - 212 horses! To get your drive going quickly, you can count on the continuously variable transmission that's used in both models for smooth transitions along every route.

The 2021 Santa Fe gives drivers the ability to choose between efficient and powerful options, with base engines reaching 25mpg city and 28mpg highway while turbocharged motors can get up to 22 mpg in cities. Those looking for a truly eco-friendly experience may opt instead for its hybrid variant, which can go further than both other versions at 36 mpg around town. But if fuel economy is your number one priority, then you'll be most satisfied by the CRV - whose regular gasoline engine goes as far as 28/34 mpg or 40/35 when running on electricity.

Whether you're towing a trailer or bringing along some adventure gear, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V have got your back. The Santa Fe is an impressive powerhouse with its standard engine offering up 2,000lbs of capacity - far outdoing the 1,500 lbs on offer in the CR-V. Both vehicles come with front wheel drive as standard but can be upgraded for all terrain performance; except when it comes to top trim level Caligraphy which exclusively offers AWD and ensures no load's too big.

Drivers looking for peace of mind can rest easy in the Santa Fe, as its powertrain warranty extends well beyond that offered by competitors like the CR-V. A robust five year/60,000 mile basic protection and ten year/100,000 miles on powertrain ensures your car is covered against costly repairs long after other cars are no longer eligible.


When it comes to comfort and leisurely rides, the 2021 Santa Fe and CR-V are certainly contenders. The suspensions of both models absorb most bumps from average roads for an easier journey. However subtle differences in steering responsiveness, braking power, and interior room help set these two SUVs apart: while there is hardly any difference between back seat specs for each model―the front seats offer a discernible amount more legroom (44 inches) in the former than latter (41). All this makes driving or riding along with either car a unique experience.

The CR-V gets back in the game when looking at cargo space. It gives drivers 39.2 cubic feet behind the second-row, and the ability to go up to 75.8 cubic feet when the second-row is out of the equation. The Santa Fe comes close, giving drivers 35.9 cubic feet behind the backseat and a total capacity of 71.3 cubic feet.

When it comes to maneuvering and parking, the CR-V may be the easier option. It measures in at 182.1-inches in length and 73-inches in width. The larger Santa Fe is 188.4-inches long and 74.8-inches wide.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has the technology features needed to stay current. Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, four USB ports, and wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The SEL trim level and higher add BlueLink connected services and are available with a 10.25-inch touchscreen. These same models have wireless device charging.

As for the 2021 Hond CR-V, it has a four-speaker stereo system on its base level. That is it. If buyers want smartphone integration and a 7-inch touchscreen, they will have to move up to the EX trim. One has to go all of the ways up to the top Touring trim of the CR-V if they want wireless device charging.

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The 2021 Honda CR-V performed well in tests by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The NHTSA gave it five stars for everything except rollover testing, where it received four stars. From the IIHS, the CR-V received the top score for everything except its standard halogen headlights, where it got a score of "marginal" rather than "good."

Like the 2020 model, the 2021 Santa Fe has a generous amount of standard driver aids. Highlights include lane-keeping assist, trailer sway dampening, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision mitigation. SEL models add a rear-passenger safe exit system as well as blind-spot monitoring. Other available driver aids for the 2021 Santa Fe include a rear-seat reminder, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view camera system, and even an automated parking system.

The 2021 Honda CR-V has very similar standard equipment when it comes to driver aids. On top of what the Santa Fe gives drivers, the CR-V also comes with automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitoring and rain-sensing windshield wipers are also available for select CR-V trims. There is no automated parking system currently available for the CR-V.

When it comes to the popular head-up display feature, only the Santa Fe offers this to drivers. The feature is meant to reduce driver distraction by projecting the info needed onto the road in the driver's line of sight without obscuring their vision. While this is standard for the top Santa Fe Caligraphy model, it is unavailable on any version of the CR-V in 2021.

On top of the high-tech driver aids, these two SUVs also have similar equipment when it comes to traditional safety features. They include daytime running lights, electronic stability control, and traction control.

Which Has the Best Value?

The 2021 Santa Fe offers drivers a mid-sized SUV with plenty of high-end features at an affordable price, starting from $28,035 for the entry model to almost double that amount for its top trim. On the other hand, Honda's CR-V presents even better value with their LX model priced only slightly higher than the base Santa Fe and just above 30 thousand dollars ($34,825) as its upper limit - this price also includes hybrid options!

Over five years however it appears Toyota’s midsize crossover will remain more expensive since Kelley Blue Book estimates costs totaling around $36K compared to similar levels but less overall expenditure in comparison on part of buyers driving away in a new 2020 CRV EXL Hybrid.

With the 2021 Honda CR-V, drivers get a great bang for their buck. Although they may have to fork out $18,540 up front, this vehicle will hold its value much better than Hyundai's Santa Fe over five years and buyers can expect only minimal fuel costs. However, due to the lack of an extended warranty from Honda compared with Hyundai’s excellent one on offer with the Santa Fe – owners should be prepared for potentially higher repair bills down the line.

Another useful way to look at these numbers is cost-per-mile. For the Santa Fe, the estimate is $0.48. The CR-V is estimated to cost $0.45 per mile to drive.

Although the CR-V is the more affordable option, it is important to also factor in the standard features. The Santa Fe has many more tech features in its base model and comes with a more powerful engine. Buyers will have to decide if things like wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are worth paying more for, both upfront and as the years go on.

Which is Better?

With the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, drivers don't just get an attractive vehicle but they also enjoy a generous selection of powertrain options. In addition to that, various technological features come included in this enjoyable SUV right out-of-the box and its warranty is among one of the most extensive around. Even though it may cost more over five years compared to other choices on the market such as Honda's CR-V model, buyers will certainly feel like they are making a smart move when selecting it as their preferred option due to all these advantages mentioned before.

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