Santa Fe's interiors are more luxurious and are better appointed, equipped and finished as well. There's a trip computer on board too with the clocks.
In a drag race, the Santa Fe easily creams the Fortuner. And, whether the race starts from a standstill or on the move has little bearing on the final result – the Hyundai always wins!
As is clear from the opening picture, the Fortuner still has no equal in its price bracket when it comes to road presence. In fact, SUVs costing twice as much can’t match it. It has a quint essential SUV stance; it stands tall, has a high face and large dimensions. Honestly, I’d buy it for its looks alone, and maybe most people already do. The Santa refinedFe in comparison looks meek, almost feminine. It’s not that the Hyundai isn't an imposing vehicle; but in Fortuner’s company, it’s rendered in significant.
However, if you believe that proof of the pudding is in eating it, then the Hyundai will appeal to you more. It has more upmarket, better looking and better finished interiors. It looks more modern and feels richer on the inside as well. The Fortuner in comparison feels a lot more utilitarian than luxurious. The Hyundai, as a plus, sports more features – it gets two-zone climate control, power seats and a steering that adjusts for both rake and reach. The Toyota has none of it, barring the steering, which only adjusts for rake. And then, the Hyundai simply blows the Fortuner out of contention come safety equipment with its six airbags and ESP over whatever else the Toyota sports.
Moreover, in terms of utility, thanks to its better designed boot, the Santa Fe comes out better. Its rear most seats are easier to fold flat on the floor. The Fortuner’s though need to be stacked away at the sides creating an uneven loading area.
Fortuner's interiors lack the upmarket feel of the Santa Fe's. Similarity with Innova's insides and less equipment doesn't help either.
If it's an SUV you want with utmost road resence, it doesn't get better than the Fortuner as is clear in the picture
Now, the Santa Fe might not look as large as the Fortuner on the outside, but inside, it's clearly more spacious. And feels it too, especially in the last two rows of seating. The Toyota has cushier and more supportive seats for the second row. But, at the front, Santa Fe continues to rule due to its larger and more comfortable seats, and a better driving position. Staying with comfort, the Hyundai's ride is better. In typical SUV fashion, it does jiggle while tackling broken surfaces and feels skittish at times too, but so does the Fortuner. Importantly, the Santa Fe's ability to absorb road irregularities like potholes, bumps or even undulations is better. The end result is a less tiring drive for all occupants on board.
It handles better too, does the Santa Fe. Now, both SUVs, roll and understeer around bends and then twitch under hard braking. But, the Santa Fe's monocoque chassis feels nimbler and more controllable than the Fortuner's body on ladder frame.
The Hyundai also feels more spirited every time the throttle is pressed; it lunges ahead like a starved predator and there's less lag compared to the Toyota as well. The Fortuner isn’t slow, but feels so after the Hyundai. To boot, Hyundai’s smaller engine is way more refined too. In the crucial fuel economy stakes, the Toyota does take the lead. It returned better fuel economy both in the city and on the highway.