Should you Choose the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe or the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Hyundai has made major changes to the Santa Fe naming system. For 2019, the five-­passenger Santa Fe Sport will become the regular Santa Fe. Meanwhile, the standard model carries on as a newly-­named seven-­passenger XL. Got it?

All this reordering makes it difficult to compare the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe (seven-­passenger) to the 2019 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe (five-­passenger). But, we’ll give it a go.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been completely redesigned for 2019. Changes include a revised exterior, revamped interior, stronger chassis, a new transmission and the standardization of the Smart Sense Safety suite. Let’s look at how the latest model stacks up against the outgoing SUV.


It’s easy to distinguish the 2018 and 2019 Santa Fe from one another. The new model features far more aggressive design elements, most notably, the grille and front lighting. While the latest SUV is undoubtedly more modern, it isn’t necessarily more handsome. Which of the two vehicles looks the best is a matter of personal preference.


Inside, the most noticeable difference between the two SUVs is occupancy. While the 2018 Santa Fe fits seven passengers, the newest model – because it replaces the discontinued Sport – seats only five. Those looking for seven-­passenger seating can opt for the 2019 Santa Fe XL.

But the seating arrangement isn’t the only change. For 2019, the cabin has been completely redesigned with a lowered dashboard and new command center layout. Overall, the interior has a more car-­like feel.


The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe gets the same engine options as the 2018 Sport it replaces. These include a 2.4L four-­cylinder (185 hp and 178 lb-­ft) and a turbocharged 2.0L four-­cylinder (235 hp and 260 lb-­ft). Both options pair with a new 8-­speed automatic transmission.

On the other hand, the 2018 Santa Fe packs a 3.3L V6 (290 hp and 252 lb-­ft) and 6-­speed automatic transmission. For 2019, the larger engine will find a home in the XL model.

No matter which generation you choose, front-­wheel drive comes standard. All-­wheel drive is offered for maximum traction and handling.

Safety and technology

The Santa Fe layers on more standard features for 2019. Now, all models get the Smart Sense suite of driver assistance technologies. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are universal now as well.


If you’re interested in the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, you’ll still be able to buy it brand-­new next year, as the rebadged seven-­passenger XL model. But, if you want the 2018 Sport, you’ll want to get it quick before the all-­new 2019 Santa Fe takes over.

Indeed, the next-­generation SUV is more refined than its predecessor. So, if you want the latest and greatest – and are OK with five-­passenger seating – the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is the way to go.

The best way to decide between the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

As you read this, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is on its way to dealerships everywhere. Visit Rexdale Hyundai to determine if it’s the best choice for you, or if you prefer the seven-­passenger 2018 model.