Good Chance You Won’t Regret Buying a Hyundai Santa Fe Instead of a Toyota Highlander

Both of these family SUV options boast three rows, powertrain options, and a range of trims and prices. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2020 Toyota Highlander crossover each made it onto the J.D. Power list of the top 10 quality family SUVs.

2020 Toyota Highlander parked outside of a brick building
2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

In spite of Toyota‘s impressive reputation in terms of producing reliable vehicles, the Hyundai Santa Fe actually beat out the Toyota Highlander. Though both made the list and are each great choices for a quality family SUV, the Highlander had more problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). In fact, we think it’s probably safe to say that buyers won’t regret choosing a Santa Fe over the Highlander.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe family SUV option in a parking lot
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

The 2020 Toyota Highlander

The 2020 Highlander received a redesign. It’s a three-row crossover SUV and it allows space for seven or eight passengers. This number, of course, depends on how you configure your Highlander crossover.

In addition to great family seating options, the 2020 Toyota Highlander comes with a few powertrains to choose from. There’s a V6 engine with 295 horsepower. Then, for those families looking to save on fuel expenses, there’s the option of a gas/electric hybrid system. J.D. Power reports that the hybrid Highlander gets up to 36 mpg on average.

2020 Toyota Highlander in a park
2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Plus, there are five different trim levels for families to decide between. The redesign gave the 2020 Toyota Highlander crossover an improved 12.3-inch infotainment screen. There’s also a host of added state-of-the-art drivers’ assistance features. If you opt for an AWD Highlander, the system is now more advanced than ever.

It’s a great quality family SUV option. You probably won’t regret it if you buy one. Still, you also probably won’t regret getting a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe instead.

The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

For 2020, the Hyundai Santa Fe is in it’s second model year since its last full redesign. That said, the Santa Fe still received several updates for 2020. One of the most appealing of these is a free scheduled maintenance program that Hyundai has rolled out. This just adds to Hyundai’s already unbeatable warranty.

One of the primary reasons that families may opt for a Highlander over the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is for the seating options. While the 2020 Highlander seats up to eight, the Santa Fe is a five-passenger family SUV.

The Hyundai Santa Fe offers one of the cheapest lease deals available.a
Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

However, if you don’t need the extra row of seating you won’t miss it. The 2020 Santa Fe comes in three available trim levels. The standard engine is a 4-cylinder that gets up to 184 horsepower. Then there’s the option to upgrade to a 235 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

The 2020 Santa Fe is a value-packed crossover SUV.

J.D. Power

Family SUV problems

For the J.D. Power survey that ranked these quality family SUV options in the top 10, real owners of the vehicles reported problems they’d had with their SUVs. The Hyundai Santa Fe earned its place over the Toyota Highlander with 140 PP100. The 2020 Toyota Highlander on the other hand had a slightly higher number of problems with a score of 142 PP100.

The 2020 Toyota Highlander crossover SUV, surprisingly a competitor to the Acura MDX, parked near a lake
The 2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

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In addition, the Santa Fe comes a lot cheaper. According to U.S. News and World Report, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe costs between $26,275 – 39,575. The 2020 Toyota Highlander crossover costs between $34,600 – 48,800––according to U.S. News and World Report.

Overall, these are two great options for families. But if you don’t need that third row, you probably won’t regret buying a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe instead of the Highlander. The choice, of course, will ultimately come to each unique family and how they prioritize what they need from a new car.