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2020 Nissan Rogue vs Hyundai Santa Fe

2020 Nissan Rogue vs Hyundai Santa Fe

2020 Rogue vs Santa Fe - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Although they may not be as sporty as once upon a time, the SUV still remains a popular vehicle for a wide variety of consumers. They offer the space and versatility that today's families are after. As a result of the high demand, the market is filled with an overwhelming number of options. Many shoppers will consider both the 2020 Nissan Rogue and the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe.

The Nissan Rogue has been in its second generation since 2014. There are no real changes for the new model year, something that is concerning to shoppers wanting cutting-edge tech and performance features. Still, it offers a large cargo area and an impressive list of standard driver aids, making it a strong contender in the eyes of many drivers.

There are fewer trim levels for the Santa Fe in 2020 with the deletion of the Ultimate model. This vehicle entered its fourth generation just last year but continued to make tweaks moving into 2020. Like the Rogue, the Santa Fe has today's top driver aids. It also has a warranty that is hard to beat.

Which vehicle is right for drivers? That depends on their particular needs. To help simplify the decision, the following is a breakdown of both the 2020 Nissan Rogue and Hyundai Santa Fe.

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The Powertrain

There are only three trim levels available when it comes to the Rogue. All of them utilize a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that makes 170-horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission is the only option. Buyers interested in more power may want to consider the Rogue Sport, a smaller SUV offering in the Nissan family.

The Santa Fe also is sold in three trim levels. The standard engine for all is a 2.4L four-cylinder generating 185-horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Those seeking a more exhilarating drive can upgrade the engine for the Limited trim to a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder. These models have the ability to make 235-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Select versions of the mid-level SEL are eligible for this engine upgrade as well. With either engine, an eight-speed automatic is standard.

Both the Rogue and the Santa Fe come standard with front-wheel drive. They both also give buyers the option of upgrading to all-wheel drive on any trim. It will set buyers back around $1,350 for the Rogue and $1,700 for the Santa Fe.

When it comes to towing, the Santa Fe is the obvious choice. When properly equipped, this midsize SUV can bring along up to 3,500 pounds. The smaller Nissan Rogue can only bring up to 1,102 pounds.

Before writing off the Rogue, however, buyers should be aware that it gets much better fuel economy than the Santa Fe. With front-wheel drive, this vehicle is estimated to get 26mpg in the city and 33mpg on the highway. Electing to go with all-wheel drive instead will reduce each of those numbers by just one.

For the Santa Fe, the standard engine will give drivers 22mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models get 21mpg city and 27mpg highway. The more powerful turbo engine is estimated to get 20mpg city and 27mpg highway. While not as impressive as the Rogue's numbers, these are considered quite good for the midsize SUV class of vehicles.

Predicted reliability is something that many consumers value highly. For the Nissan Rogue, J.D. Powers has awarded four out of a possible five stars. The Hyundai Santa Fe does better still, getting 4.5 stars. As a result, they both have a better-than-average predicted reliability.

The Nissan Rogue comes with a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty. Powertrain coverage extends for five years or 60,000 miles. This cannot compete with the famous Hyundai warranty, which gives buyers five years or 60,000 miles basic and ten years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain.


The midsize Santa Fe is going to give passengers more room to stretch out in when compared to the compact Rogue. Legroom is significantly larger in both rows, with the Santa Fe having 44.1-inches in the front and 40.9-inches in the back. The Rogue, on the other hand, has 43-inches front and only 37.9-inches for the back.

At the same time, the smaller size of the Rogue will make it easier to park. This option is 184.5-inches in length and 72.4-inches in width. The Santa Fe measures in at 187.8-inches in length and 74.4-inches in width. When comparing height, buyers will find that the Santa Fe is 67.1-inches while the Rogue is 66.6.

Moving on to cargo, the Rogue may actually be more practical. With the rear seats up, it offers an impressive 39.3 cubic feet. The Santa Fe has only 35.9 cubic feet to offer. With the backseat down, the Santa Fe manages to get a small victory with 71.3 cubic feet in comparison to the Rogue's 70.

On the tech-front, standard features between the Rogue and Santa Fe are quite similar. They both come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as a 7-inch touchscreen. Both have easy to use infotainment systems, although the Rogue's is starting to look a bit outdated. Bluetooth is standard for both options. The Rogue has two USB ports standard and the Santa Fe has four.

Satellite radio is standard for the Rogue and available when it comes to the Santa Fe. Both vehicles offer navigation as well as HD radio. The Santa Fe offers even more high-tech features, such as wireless charging and an 8-inch touchscreen.

The Nissan Rogue provides passengers with a smooth ride. That said, its engine does tend to struggle when pushed, which can result in quite a bit of noise. The Santa Fe's engine does a better job of handling its weight. It, too, offers a smooth ride and composed handling to drivers.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Santa Fe five out of five stars. It received five stars in both frontal and side testing and four stars in rollover testing. The Rogue received only four out of five stars. This is because it got five stars in side crash testing but only four stars in frontal as well as rollover testing.

On the other hand, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2020 Rogue a top safety pick. It received a score of "Good" for five of their crash tests and "Acceptable" in one. The standard headlights, however, were deemed to be "Poor." Upgrading to LED headlights brings this score up to "Acceptable."

The Hyundai Santa Fe is also considered a top safety pick by the IIHS in 2020. It received a score of "Good" for all six of the crash tests performed. The standard headlights are "Marginal," which is just one step up from the lowest rating. Going with the optional headlights, however, gives the SUV's headlights a "Good" rating.

One of the appeals of the Rogue is its long list of standard safety features. All models come with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and forward-collision warning. The Santa Fe also comes standard with pedestrian detection and forward-collision warning, as well as automatic emergency braking. Its other standard safety features are lane keep assist, a driver attention monitor, and adaptive cruise control.

Buyers can also get select models of the Rogue with adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, although a driver attention monitor is not available. Other optional safety features here include a surround-view parking system and rear parking sensors. For the Santa Fe, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on select models.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue offers ProPilot Assist. This is essentially a semi-automated driving system. It can help with the steering and braking of the Rogue and is designed to keep it at a steady speed.

As for the Santa Fe, its unique driver aid offering is Safe Exit Assist. This feature looks for traffic approaching from the rear when exiting the vehicle. When need be, it can temporarily lock the doors to prevent a collision. The Santa Fe can also be had with a blind view monitor, which will display a real-time image of what is happening in the appropriate blind spot when a turn signal is activated.

Which Has the Best Value

The Rogue is considered a bit pricey for the compact SUV class. Its base trim starts at $25,200. Going with the mid-level SL will mean spending around $26,620. The top-of-the-line trim costs about $31,590. There are also a variety of packages available for the 2020 Rogue which will increase the price further.

As for the Santa Fe, it starts out at $26,125. While this is more than the Rogue's entry-level trim, it is considered lower than average for a midsize SUV. The top-of-the-line trim level starts at $35,975. The Santa Fe also has several available packages that will cost buyers extra.

For a complete analysis of the value of each vehicle, the cost of ownership must be factored in as well. This means looking at both depreciation and the out-of-pocket expenses that drivers will face. Most estimates go five years out from the time of purchase.

The Nissan Rogue is predicted to cost drivers around $19,400 in that time frame when it comes to things like fuel, repairs, and maintenance. It will also lose $16,500 in value. As a result, drivers can estimate that the Rogue will cost them nearly $36,000 in five years.

For the Santa Fe, the predicted out-of-pocket expenses sit at around $18,350. Although it will cost more in fuel than the Rogue, it is predicted to cost significantly less when it comes to both maintenance and repairs. As far as depreciation, the Santa Fe will lose around $16,900. Its cost to own is $35,250. This makes it cheaper than the Rogue over time, but not by much.

When comparing entry-level models, the Rogue has the advantage when it comes to standard safety and tech. The Santa Fe, on the other hand, throws in some convenient features such as keyless entry and reclining rear seats. Whether or not this justifies spending an extra $1,000 is up to the buyer.

Looking at the top trims, the Santa Fe offers up a bit more luxury. Both vehicles come with things like leather upholstery and heated front seats. The Santa Fe Limited, however, has a few extra sophisticated touches that are not available for the Rogue. These include ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats.

Which is Better?

The Nissan Rogue does not offer much of a thrill behind the wheel and has a somewhat cramped backseat. However, its amazing fuel economy and long list of driver assistance features are likely to appeal to families. Smaller children will find that the backseat has plenty of room and the extra space with both rows up will come in handy when grocery shopping.

Frugal buyers will like the Santa Fe. Although it costs a bit more upfront, its amazing warranty and predicted reliability are hard to ignore. This option also has a lower predicted cost-to-own, making it an even smarter buy. Factor in its more powerful engine and the Santa Fe becomes the obvious winner to many consumers.

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