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Used Toyota Highlander vs. Used Hyundai Santa Fe

Oct 03, 2018
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Toyota Highlander
What’s for sale near me?

Above Average: Resale value, fuel economy, 8-passenger seating, hybrid model, safety

Below Average: 4-cylinder engine, interior volume, infotainment

Consensus: A reliable, economical family SUV with a sporty look, a versatile interior outstanding safety scores and advanced driver-assist systems.

Hyundai Santa Fe
What’s for sale near me?

Above Average: Features, safety, warranty, V6, infotainment

Below Average: Resale, cargo space behind third-row seat

Consensus: A sleek and well-appointed 7-passenger crossover with a powerful V6, impressive features and an unbeatable warranty.

The Toyota Highlander is really the gold standard of the midsize SUV world. With seating for eight people, a stellar reputation for quality and the highest resale values in the segment, there isn’t much not to like about this particular Toyota. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a bit smaller than the Highlander and only has seating for seven. There is also a smaller 5-passenger model called the Santa Fe Sport, so be careful not to confuse the two. Both SUVs offer a powerful V6 engine, but the Highlander also offers a somewhat underpowered 4-cylinder and fuel-efficient hybrid as well. The Santa Fe’s interior is nicer overall, even going back as far as 2013, you’ll find luxury touches and features in the Santa Fe that allude the Highlander. Both models offer advanced driver assists starting around 2017, but only the Santa Fe offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both do well in IIHS crash testing, but when it comes to coverage, the Santa Fe’s standard and CPO warranty are longer than what is offered by Toyota.

Toyota Highlander Advantages

8-passenger seating, resale, reliability, hybrid fuel economy

Hyundai Santa Fe Advantages

Warranty, features and options, V6, infotainment


Powerful V6 engines, advanced driver assists, towing, versatility

Bottom Line

For its resale, reliability and 8-passenger seating, the Toyota Highlander is the better used SUV choice. However, if things like high-end audio, a panoramic moonroof, heated and ventilated fronts seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are more important, then a used Santa Fe will give all this for less than a comparable Highlander model, plus a better CPO warranty.

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