Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 GMC Acadia VS 2016 Hyundai Santa Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 GMC Acadia

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2016 Hyundai Santa

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Acadia are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

The Acadia offers an optional front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE) 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 Santa Fe doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Acadia 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The GMC Acadia weighs 571 to 917 pounds more than the Hyundai Santa Fe. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Santa Fe.

There are almost 4 times as many GMC dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Acadia has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Acadia has a standard 730-amp battery. The Santa Fe’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Acadia is under the floor, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the Acadia’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Santa Fe’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 Acadia’s reliability will be 22% better than the Santa Fe.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 65 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The Acadia SLE/SLT’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Acadia Denali’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Acadia has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Santa Fe (22 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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


Santa Fe

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.9 inches

The Acadia’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.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Acadia has larger tires than the Santa Fe (255/65R18 vs. 235/60R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia Denali has standard 20-inch wheels. The Santa Fe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Hyundai Santa Fe only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the Santa Fe (118.9 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Santa Fe.

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Santa Fe Limited AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Acadia has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Santa Fe can only carry 7.

The Acadia has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe (151.8 vs. 146.6).

The Acadia has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room, 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.7 inches more third row headroom, 1.7 inches more third row legroom, 4.2 inches more third row hip room and 3.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Santa Fe.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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


Santa Fe

Behind Third Seat

24.1 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

70.1 cubic feet

40.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

116.1 cubic feet

80 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the Santa Fe’s in almost every dimension:


Santa Fe

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Ergonomics Comparison

The Acadia 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.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Acadia offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Santa Fe offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Acadia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Acadia will cost $315 to $1300 less than the Santa Fe over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the GMC Acadia, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Hyundai Santa Fe isn't recommended.

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