Edmunds compares 2020 Subaru Outback and Hyundai Santa Fe

Subaru has redesigned its popular Outback for the 2020 model year. It is more spacious and better equipped with the latest security and technology features. But Subaru is not the only carmaker that serves customers looking for a medium-sized SUV for five passengers. Hyundai took a similar approach when redesigning the old Santa Fe last year.

These two models are almost identical in size, space, power and starting price. Edmunds experts have tested the new Outback and Santa Fe and have identified some important differences that should facilitate your purchase decision.



Both SUVs have spacious cabs. There is enough space to carry five adults in relative comfort or to accommodate bulky rear child safety seats without having to move the front seats. The Outback and Santa Fe also have about 30 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and more than 70 cubic feet with the seats folded down. It is enough space for most tasks, from Costco to loading for a long camping trip.

Subaru has an advantage for visibility. Its large windows provide an airy feeling inside and easy views, even in reverse. Santa Fe suffers a little because its thicker roof pillars create bigger blind spots compared to Outback.


Winner: Outback



These two SUVs score well for the comfort of the seat. Front support seats and reclining rear seats must accommodate passengers of almost all shapes and sizes. The Santa Fe has a more upright driver's seat, offering an elevated view of the road, while the Subaru's position is lower and more like a car.

Subaru moves forward with Outback's outstanding quality. Impressive, it smoothes bumps and grooves on the road, providing a solid and stable feel at road speeds. Santa Fe’s firmer ride helps you feel a little more sporty when cornering, but it also makes the bumps much more visible.

Winner: Outback


The Outback features a large, attractive, 11.6-inch, vertically-oriented touchscreen that is standard on all but the basic trim level. Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to interact with him. Their on-screen menus are not always logically organized. Worse, Subaru directs almost all vehicle configurations, including climate control, through it. What should be simple tasks can turn into disruptive multi-step processes.

Santa Fe uses a smaller, but more direct touchscreen interface. Combined with a useful physical button layout, Santa Fe controls are easier to use

Both vehicles offer advanced safety features to help prevent or mitigate accidents, such as direct collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Subaru goes a step further, offering automatic rear rear braking and a camera-based driver attention monitoring system that you can't access in Santa Fe.

Unfortunately, Outback's security features are more irritating to live with. You will be subject to beeps and bells as conditions change. It may look like 16 again and drive with an anxious father.

Winner: Hyundai


Both the Outback and Santa Fe come standard with four-cylinder engines that produce just over 180 horsepower. In Edmunds' tests, the two SUVs accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h in about 9 seconds. This is below average for the class, as most other midsize SUVs come with more powerful entry-level engines. The problem is that you will pay thousands more for the base models of these competitors.

Want more power? Hyundai and Subaru offer turbocharged engines as options. Santa Fe produces 235 horsepower and Outback produces 260 horsepower. The towing capacity of each is 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, enough for light recreational or cargo trailers.

Outback is a little smoother when accelerating, and has greater ground clearance and standard four-wheel drive that make it safer when driving on off-road trails.

Winner: Subaru


Prices suggested by the two SUVs start at just over $ 27,000, including destination rates. After passing the basic finish, you will pay a little more for the Subaru, mainly because you can get any Santa Fe finish with front-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is standard on all Outbacks, while it's a $ 1,700 option on Santa Fe.

The well-equipped Outback and Santa Fe models, with the most powerful engines, cost around US $ 36,000 and both reach US $ 40,000. However, the value proposition is more obvious if you stick to less powerful engines. Otherwise, you will pay what you would pay for a competitor with a V6 engine.

The Santa Fe has an important advantage: Hyundai's 10-year / 100,000-mile warranty. The five-year / 60,000-mile Subaru power train warranty is even for the class.

Winner: Hyundai

EDMUNDS SAYS: Subaru Outback impressed us with its comfort and performance, but, ultimately, its excessive reliance on its touch screen, with its heavy menu, prevented it from winning our first choice. Instead, we recommend the well-rounded Hyundai Santa Fe.


This story was provided to the Associated Press on the automotive website Edmunds. Will Kaufman is a content strategist at Edmunds. Instagram: @didntreadthestyleguide.

Related Links:

-Edmunds: Hyundai Santa Fe 2020 review: https://edmu.in/3bK3Fuz

-Edmunds: 2020 Subaru Outback Review: https://edmu.in/2WNC9Z3

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