Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Pathfinder VS 2018 Hyundai Santa Near Dublin, GA

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder

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2018 Hyundai Santa

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Pathfinder are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Pathfinder are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Pathfinder 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 29 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Pathfinder’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (259 vs. 252) than the Santa Fe’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pathfinder gets better fuel mileage than the Santa Fe:




Santa Fe



3.5 V6/CVT

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto



17 city/23 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto


3.5 V6/CVT

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto



17 city/22 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pathfinder’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.

The Pathfinder stops shorter than the Santa Fe:



Santa Fe


60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

The Pathfinder has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pathfinder’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the Santa Fe (114.2 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pathfinder is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Santa Fe.

The Pathfinder SL 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the Santa Fe AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan Pathfinder amounts to more than styling. The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .326 Cd. That is lower than the Santa Fe (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Pathfinder get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pathfinder has 11.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Santa Fe (157.8 vs. 146.6).

The Pathfinder has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear hip room, 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.1 inches more third row headroom and 3.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Santa Fe.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Santa Fe

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

13.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded


40.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

47.8 cubic feet


The Pathfinder has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pathfinder 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.

If the front windows are left down on the Pathfinder the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Santa Fe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Santa Fe’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

When the Pathfinder SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Santa Fe’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pathfinder is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe because typical repairs cost less on the Pathfinder than the Santa Fe, including $1 less for front brake pads, $71 less for front struts and $132 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its August 2014 issue and they ranked the Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4 higher than the Hyundai Santa Fe AWD.

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