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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL

Starting Price: $31,830 | Price yours

Above Average: Upscale cabin with room for 6-7 passengers, good visibility all around, industry-first safety feature-Safe Exit Assist on the highest trim, stellar warranty

Below Average: Small third row, cargo space is somewhat lacking, fuel economy isn’t great, some safety features don’t come standard on base model

Consensus: The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL (previously called the Santa Fe) is a good bet for a reliable, comfortable, and spacious 7-passenger SUV.
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent

Starting Price: $32,970 | Price yours

Above Average: Upscale, roomy enough for 8 people, tech-loaded and sportier than most midsize SUVs

Below Average: Only one engine option, no hybrid, and a relatively rough ride

Consensus: The 2019 Subaru Ascent has pretty much everything you could want including comfort, safety, practicality and sportiness.  If you only need to use the third row for tiny humans, it’s a great buy.
 

Name changes can be confusing, but the Hyundai Santa Fe XL is the new name of the previous 3-row Hyundai Santa Fe. The 2-row version, previously called the Santa Fe Sport, is called the Santa Fe for 2019. The 2019 Santa Fe XL is essentially the same as the 2018 Santa Fe with a new cabin layout that orients driver controls so that they are more easily reached. While the Santa Fe XL does not come at its base level with AWD, as the Subaru Ascent does, there is good on-road feel and the safety and comfort systems (lane-keep assist and active cruise control) work well and are unobtrusive. On the other hand, the 2019 Subaru Ascent comes standard with AWD in all trims. Its Subaru’s best foray into the three-row melee and they’ve got the right recipe: A combination of sportiness thanks to the 260-hp, 4-cylinder engine, comfort, safety (EyeSight, Subaru’s safety suite, comes standard), and versatility. While the lack of variety of engines leaves something to be desired, it’s still a decent bet for the price.

Similarities

Functional 3-row SUVs that are fully capable family haulers.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Advantages

A comfortable ride, fantastic warranty, and best-in-class safety rating.

2019 Subaru Ascent Advantages

USB ports for every row and 19 (19!) cup holders make the cabin of the Subaru a very comfortable place to be.

Final Recommendation

The Subaru Ascent edges out the Hyundai Santa Fe because it comes equipped with safety features and AWD at the entry level.  To get those in the Santa Fe XL you have to step up to the SE or Limited edition.

  2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2019 Subaru Ascent 
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.3-liter V6 2.4-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm 260 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm 277 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission 6-spd automatic Continuously variable
Fuel Economy 21 mpg (18 city, 25 hwy) 23 mpg (21 city, 27 hwy)
Also Available    
Specs    
Warranty 4 years or 50,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating NA NA
Max Seating Capacity 7 passengers 8 passengers
Wheelbase 110.2 inches 113.8 inches
Overall Length 193.1 inches 196.8 inches
Width 74.2 inches 76.0 inches
Height 66.9 inches 71.6 inches
Turning Diameter 36.9 feet 38.0 feet
Headroom, Front 39.9 inches 41.3 inches
Headroom, 2nd row 39.4 inches 40 inches
Headroom, 3rd row 35.7 inches 36.3 inches
Legroom, Front 41.3 inches 42.2 inches
Legroom, 2nd row 40.4 inches 38.6 inches
Legroom, 3rd row 30.9 inches 31.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 59.4 inches 61.1 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd row 58.3 inches 60.3 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd row 53.9 inches 57.2 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 146.6 cu. ft. 153.5 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 80.0 cu. ft. 72.6 cu. ft.
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