2017 Kia Sedona vs Hyundai Santa Fe

Families looking for a suitable vehicle to carry out all those day-to-day duties have never had a better set of options than they do now, especially those looking to buy on a budget. Although it's hard to beat the practicality and versatility of a minivan, a number of very good crossovers are competing for the affections of families not yet sold on a minivan lifestyle. So, let's compare a minivan with a family-focused three-row crossover by putting the 2017 Kia Sedona head-to-head with the Hyundai Santa Fe.

2017 Kia Sedona vs Hyundai Santa Fe

Styling: Hyundai Santa Fe

With practicality its primary focus, it's a challenge to make a minivan like the Kia Sedona look stylish. To be fair, the Sedona looks about as good as it can, with clean and classy lines. That said, it looks like a minivan--and that's not going to be everyone's favorite.

The Santa Fe had a significant refresh this year that made it look even more distinctive from its smaller namesake, the Santa Fe Sport. With a crossover blueprint to begin with and no need to incorporate those large sliding doors a minivan has to have, the Hyundai has an inherent advantage over the Kia. Sporty and athletic in ways that a minivan never can, the Santa Fe wins the styling stakes.

Interior: Kia Sedona

If buyers choose crossovers for their exterior styling, they choose minivans for practical and flexible interiors. Although the third-row seats are only really suitable for children, it's hard to question the family-friendly credentials of the Sedona interior. The seats in the front and second rows are extremely comfortable, and the options for folding and adjusting the seating and cargo areas are as numerous as a family would want or need them to be.

Despite also being a seven-seater, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a total passenger volume of 146.6 cu.-ft., which sounds like a lot until you learn the Sedona boasts a massive 172.3 cu.-ft. Although this is Hyundai's biggest crossover, it's still smaller than a number of its rivals and the interior just can't compete with the flexibility, space, and versatility of the Kia.

Power and Performance: Hyundai Santa Fe

Being underpowered isn't an option when your job is to carry seven people and all their stuff. It's good, then, that the Sedona has a powertrain that's definitely up to the task. Under the hood, the Sedona boasts a 3.3-liter V-6 developing 276 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft., which drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Being a crossover, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers front or all-wheel drive with a 3.3-liter V-6. This engine develops 290 horsepower that's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Hyundai is therefore more powerful, can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and weighs almost 400 pounds less than the Sedona. This is another win for the Hyundai crossover, but not by much.

Fuel Economy: Kia Sorento

The SXL versions of the Sedona have an electric assist system and are therefore the most fuel-efficient, with EPA ratings of 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined.

The best ratings that a front-wheel drive Hyundai Santa Fe can manage are also 18/25/21 mpg, so basically the same. Unfortunately for the Santa Fe, those numbers take a dip when you choose all-wheel drive.

Learn More about the Kia Sedona

If you're just comparing two vehicles, the Hyundai Santa Fe may seem like the better choice. But when you're making the choice based on real families in real life, the Sedona takes the lead. The flexibility, comfort and capacity of the Sedona's interior is far superior to the Santa Fe, and getting everyone and everything in and out of the Kia is also a great deal easier. The 2017 Kia Sedona costs almost $3,000 less than the Santa Fe, so for us that's the final piece of the puzzle. For families, their passengers, and their stuff, the Sedona gets our enthusiastic vote.

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33,221 miles, Regular Unleaded V-6 3.3 L/204, MPG City: 18 MPG Hwy: 24***, 4DR, Silky Silver Exterior, Dark Graphite Interior, 6-Speed Automatic w/OD
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Exterior ColorSilky Silver
Interior ColorDark Graphite
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