Date Posted: October 29, 2018

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe in Bend, OR is going head to head with the 2019 Subaru Ascent in a bid to grab top SUV honors. Both have been consistent favorites among three-row SUVs, but only one of them deserves a spot in the family garage. It's a tough competition, but the safer, roomier, and more accomplished 2019 Subaru Ascent ultimately leaves the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe in the dust.


Safety Comparison

Right off the bat, the 2019 Santa Fe and the 2019 Ascent set a very high standard for safety. The two SUVs received the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. To get this designation, a vehicle has to score "Good" in almost every crash test, which includes the difficult passenger small overlap frontal test. Only a few models receive this award.

Looking closely, however, it's clear that the Subaru Ascent has the edge when it comes to safety. The halogen headlights on lower-trim Santa Fes were scored "Marginal" (the next score from the bottom) because they did not provide enough illumination. This can be an issue when you're ferrying the whole family at night.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent also received an additional commendation thanks to its LATCH anchors, which make it easier and safer to mount child seats inside the cabin. In contrast, the Santa Fe only got an "Acceptable" score for its anchors. For growing families with small children, flexible yet safe anchors for child seats are an essential feature.

Passenger Safety Comparison

For this year, the 2019 Santa Fe is significantly smaller- it can only accommodate up to 7 passengers, but that's already stretching it if you're trying to seat adults. The third row is only fit for small children, so if you plan on driving around with a car full of grown-ups, you should consider the 2019 Subaru Ascent instead.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent can easily accommodate eight adults with some room to spare. It offers more than enough headroom and legroom so that tall passengers can settle in comfortably. In addition, you also get more cargo space inside this SUV (153.4 cubic feet) compared to the Santa Fe (146.6 cubic feet). So whether you need to load groceries or bring luggage and equipment for a fun family vacation, the 2019 Subaru Ascent lets you bring more on the trip.

Feature-wise, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is truly family-friendly. You get 19 cup holders, six USB charging ports, and a wall-style outlet for bigger devices such as laptops. This feature is not available in the Santa Fe. The 2019 Santa Fe only offers manual AC on the base models, while the 2019 Ascent gives you standard tri-zone climate control so that everyone can enjoy their preferred temperature.

Reliability Comparison

The 2019 Ascent and Santa Fe both offer fantastic warranties. However, Subaru has a long history of producing durable, reliable vehicles that stay on the road for a long time. It's also the originator of the critically-acclaimed EyeSight suite of safety tech, so you can be confident when it comes to the design and build of every Subaru.

Another point for the Ascent is that you get All-Wheel Drive even at the entry level. AWD is important for a family SUV since it gives you complete control no matter the weather or road conditions you find yourself in. Unfortunately, the 2019 Santa Fe requires you to pay more to get All Wheel Drive.

Engine Comparison

The smaller 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe lets you choose between two engines, but they're both less powerful than the engine on the 2019 Ascent. The base engine on the Santa Fe only generates 185 horsepower, and its optional turbocharged engine maxes out at 235 horsepower.

On the other hand, you get 260 horsepower and 277 pounds per feet of torque on the 2019 Subaru Ascent. With that much power under the hood, this is an SUV that's perfect for hauling a full load of passengers and gear.

The well-rounded, practical, and refined 2019 Subaru Ascent impresses right out of the gate. It has a strong competitor in the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe in Bend, OR, and not many SUVs offer what these two can. When it comes to being a family vehicle, however, the 2019 Subaru Ascent remains the better choice.

Click to see our family-friendly 2019 Subaru Ascent inventory.

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