|Up To 8||Seating Capacity||Up To 7|
|3.6-liter V6||Engine||3.3-liter V6|
|98.2 cubic feet||Storage Capacity||80 cubic feet|
The crossover and SUV segments have reshaped our cultural mindset and how we view passenger vehicles. Whereas sedans lacked the sensibility of utilitarian design, and minivans were devoid of any sort of style or sportiness, the modern SUV has evolved to embrace the best of both worlds. Add in an impressive performance, improved fuel economies and a wealth of technology (designed to satisfy all kinds of passengers) and there aren’t a lot of boxes left to tick. And the inundation of offerings does nothing to dilute the strength of those offerings. Compare any make & model against another and you’re bound to find a wealth of features worth considering, in both. With that in mind (and since its one of our favorite activities) let’s compare the 2017 Chevy Traverse vs 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe in Cincinnati, OH, to see how they measure up.
Priced to start around $29,930 MSRP the Chevy Traverse is a three-row SUV that can accommodate up to eight passengers. Approaching a decade on the market, this full-size crossover is well into its second-generation as of 2017, relatively unchanged from the previous model year. Made available in three primary trim levels (LS, LT, and Premier) the lower levels enjoy subdivided variants as well. Depending on the configuration selected, the Travers is available in either front-wheel or (optional) all-wheel drivetrains.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is priced to start around $30,850 MSRP and can seat up to six or seven passengers (depending on how you configure the small third-row seating). A more ‘mature’ offering, the Santa Fe is edging towards its twentieth anniversary and immersed in the deep-end of its third generation. That said, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has enjoyed steady updates and a bit of a design refresh in this model year. It is available in four trim levels: SE, Limited, SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate (as well as Hyundai’s smaller Santa Fe Sports model) and is also available as either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
In terms of cargo space, the Traverse easily bests any competition thanks to its Best-in-Class stats. With 98.2 cubic feet, there is no shortage of space. Even with third-row seating utilized, there is ample space for storage. The Santa Fe falls short with 80 cubic feet overall, although its design limits functionality with a full passenger load.
For those in need of towing capacity, the Traverse has a slight lead with 5200 LBS (over the Santa Fe’s comparable rating of 5000 LBS). This difference is minimal, but it stands as another advantage enjoyed by the Traverse.
While the crossover SUV market demands a wide-range of amenities, Chevy stands out among automakers in terms of their inclusion of technology (across all vehicle segments). At the (base) LS 1SM trim level, the Bluetooth-enabled Traverse is equipped with OnStar telematics and 4G LTE W-Fi. Its infotainment system is built around a 6.5-inch touchscreen (with rearview camera) and a six-speaker sound system. Offering CD, USB and auxiliary inputs there is no shortage of ways to enjoy your music.
Jumping trim levels only serves to enhance this experience. At the Premier level, you can expect a 10-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio and internet radio integration, along with built-in navigation and a wide array of safety features.
In regards to technology, the Santa Fe is an ambitious competitor. At the (base) SE level, it can compete head-to-head with the Traverse, and even serves up satellite / HD radio. Comparable enhancements can be enjoyed at higher trim levels but, yet, Hyundai fails to offer Wi-Fi functionality at any level. Considering that many crossovers are used for either family, or to accommodate multiple passengers, there are certain expectations. As strong as the Santa Fe’s tech offerings are, Chevy’s consistency and the availability of Wi-Fi help it to grab another win.
Both the Traverse and the Santa make use of strong material choices throughout the cabin and offer spacious comfortable rides. However, the Traverse does offer greater comfort to third-row passengers (and more openness due to the window configuration, as noted above). In addition, it easily bests the Santa Fe in terms of available cargo space, regardless of seat configuration. But how do they look?
Once again, we face the subjective nature of design when we compare the interior of these two offerings. Take a look and decide for yourself, but there is something clunky and obstructive about the dashboard design of the Santa Fe. Its larger proportions give it the impression of having oversized controls, which may be appealing in terms of functionality, but creates a sense that Hyundai used more space than was necessary. With these points in mind, the Traverse stands out as the clear leader.
Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the Chevy Traverse is rated at up to 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Offering 18 mpg (combined) the Traverse delivers 22 mpg on the highway, and 15 city. Acceleration is modest, with an 8.1-second sprint from 0-60 mph.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic, offering 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. Serving up an estimated 20 mpg (combined) the Santa Fe is comparable to the Traverse in its acceleration, climbing from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds.
With this in mind, the two start of neck in neck.