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We’ve got a new winner among midsize SUV options! The 2021 Chevy Traverse just outranked the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. The Chevrolet Traverse feels a bit like the underdog here, but let’s see what it has on the Santa Fe.

The 2021 Chevy Traverse vs. the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

A red 2021 Chevy Traverse parked at a traffic light
2021 Chevy Traverse | Chevrolet

According to the U.S. News, the 2021 Chevy Traverse currently outranks the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. While the Kia Telluride continues to dominate the top spot, the Chevy Traverse landed in second place on their list of the best midsize SUVs for 2021. 

There is a massive four-way tie for second place. Then the Hyundai Santa Fe comes in at sixth place. Options like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer landed even farther down the list, but they felt like honorable mentions. 

These rankings are based on published reviews from respected automotive critics and data from third-party sources. Each vehicle is judged based on its performance, interior, safety, reliability, fuel economy, cargo and towing, and awards. Ratings may change as new information is released. 

Why does the Traverse outrank the Santa Fe? 

The 2021 Chevy Traverse earned a high rating for having tons of space for passengers and cargo, a comfortable ride, and an intuitive infotainment system. But the U.S.News also reported that rivals feel more upscale, and it’s less agile than rivals. 

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe ranks well for having an excellent fuel economy, composed handling, and a long list of available features. But it was also noted for having a rough ride, dull base engine, and obtuse infotainment controls. 

You can get started in a new Traverse for about $29,800. The Hyundai Santa Fe begins at about $27,000. The Santa Fe only has two rows, and the Traverse has three. The Traverse gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and up to 27 mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe gets up to 25 mpg in the city and up to 28 mph on the highway. 

The Traverse comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.1 seconds. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 5,000 lbs. 

The Santa Fe comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter for 277 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds and tow up to 3,500 lbs. 

Does the Traverse or Santa Fe have better features? 

A white 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe towing an Airstream trailer in the woods
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

Three Major Reasons To Avoid The Hyundai Santa Fe

Both the 2021 Chevy Traverse and Hyundai Santa Fe offer a smooth ride, but lack sporty handling. The Santa Fe may have a bit more body roll around turns, and the Traverse can feel hefty due to its larger size. 

The Traverse offers plenty of legroom for adults in all three rows, and the Santa Fe provides plenty of passenger space too. Both options provide an incredibly quiet cabin for comfortable daily drives. 

Also, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers more standard safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. 

The Chevy Traverse comes with more space and more standard power, but the Santa Fe still offers comfort and luxury in a smaller package. If you don’t need a spacious third row, it’s an excellent option to consider against the Traverse.