Greene Ford Compares 2015 Ford Explorer VS 2015 Hyundai Santa Near Cumming, GA

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2015 Ford Explorer

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VS

2015 Hyundai Santa

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited/Sport offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Santa Fe doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Explorer Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 7 times as many Ford dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Explorer V6 ECOBoost’s reliability will be 13% better than the Santa Fe.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 17th in reliability. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 27th.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Explorer Sport’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 75 more horsepower (365 vs. 290) and 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 4 cyl. ECOBoost gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe FWD (20 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Santa Fe:

Explorer

Santa Fe

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

11.9 inches

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Santa Fe are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops shorter than the Santa Fe:

Explorer

Santa Fe

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Santa Fe (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Santa Fe (255/50R20 vs. 235/60R18).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Santa Fe’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Santa Fe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Santa Fe (112.6 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Santa Fe.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .81 G’s, while the Santa Fe Limited AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe Limited AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe (151.7 vs. 146.6).

The Explorer has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room, 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.1 inches more third row headroom and 1.7 inches more third row legroom than the Santa Fe.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Santa Fe.

Explorer

Santa Fe

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet

40.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

80 cubic feet

The Explorer has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Santa Fe’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer Limited detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer Limited/Sport offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Explorer Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Explorer will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Explorer will retain 48.1% to 51.24% of its original price after five years, while the Santa Fe only retains 44.69% to 45.8%.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Santa Fe has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Hyundai Santa Fe by almost two to one during the 2014 model year.

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