2008 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Its Competition

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe FWD 4-door Auto SE Angular Front Exterior View
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe lands in an interesting middle ground between more compact crossover SUVs such as the Toyota RAV4, and mid-sizers such as the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

The Santa Fe is easier to park than those mid-sizers while boasting a more settled ride on the highway than the compact competition--though beware that the firm suspension is choppier than the norm on rough city streets.

The Santa Fe's third-row seat feels bigger than the one offered in the RAV4 and works in a pinch for kids.

2008 Hyundai Santa Fe FWD 4-door Auto SE Angular Front Exterior View2008 Hyundai Santa FeBrowse Used Listings2009 Honda Pilot2009 Honda PilotBrowse Used Listings2009 Saturn VUE2009 Saturn VUEBrowse Used Listings2008 Toyota Highlander 4WD 4-door Limited (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2008 Toyota HighlanderBrowse Used Listings2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
Hyundai is no longer bargain-basement-priced, but the hard-to-fault 2008 Santa Fe has all the refinement of comparable rivals with a little more flair.
The 2009 Honda Pilot looks more SUV-like in its second edition, but it has the room of a minivan, along with some notable styling miscues and expensive choices to make from the options list.
With its available V-6 engine, the 2009 Saturn Vue is a bit more fun to drive than other compact SUVs; otherwise it’s not a standout.
Most Americans prefer mushy white bread, and the 2008 Toyota Highlander is a larger, high-quality "loaf" that will satisfy most every consumer.
The 2008 Toyota RAV4 brings a little more space than most compact SUVs without a mid-size price.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas I4Gas V6Gas I4
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
FWD 4-Door Manual GLS2WD 4-Door LXFWD 4-Door I4 XEFWD 4-Door Base (SE)FWD 4-Door 4-cyl 4-Speed AT (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sport Utility4 Door4 Door SUV4 Door4 Door
ManualAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/OD