2018 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2017 Ford Explorer

A varied number of reactions are witnessed from the Springfield Pennsylvania SUV market that features the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe with its mature, curvier look in comparison with the 2017 Ford Explorer, which is still strict on the sharper corners on its exterior. We will have to delve deeper into some of the design, safety and performance properties that the two luxury SUVs have to ascertain why the market favors the Hyundai.

Design & Style

While the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe maintains its more anodyne outlook featuring a six-sided grille and a gently curved roofline, the Explorer maintains its sharp corners and clean edges. This once made the Explorer score high in style and design, but today’s market largely takes it as tired and derivative.

We can say the same about its interior, though the 2017 version has made it clear that it is in no way going back to presenting a miserably looking, plasticky interior surface synonymous to previous models. The dash featured in the Santa Fe’s interior fits low enough for the front passenger with large knobs for air conditioning and audio volume. It also gets a plus for the well placed larger touchscreen and the electroluminescent gauges, large cup holders and bins, large cargo space and leg room, and great support from all its seats.

Technology & Safety

Most SUVs in this class have a pretty high score for safety, and the two are not an exception. We will fault the 2017 Explorer for scoring marginally in rollover safety and small-overlap crash tests. It is surprising as well that the SUV lacks key features synonymous to this class like the automatic emergency braking.

The Santa Fe is more of a safety fortress if asked. With a standard rearview camera, and optional surround-view camera set, forward collision and automatic emergency braking, you stand to drive a safer SUV. Ford also tried to introduce the Synch 3 infotainment system but is still no match for the more common Apple Car Play/Android Auto pool.


Both cars do well with fuel economy especially when the 2108 Santa Fe is configured with the front-wheel drive. Its 3.3-liter V-6 automatic engine has an 18/25/21 EPA rating on this mode while that of the 2017 Explorer has a 19/27/22 EPA rating.

We give the Explorer a plus for including a ‘snow’ mode as part of its tech performance features, though you will find better use for the Santa Fe off-road. Also, when driving the Explorer you will need to downshift quickly to lower transmission on twisting roads, again making the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe more suitable for curvier roads.

Bottom Line

The Ford Explorer is a great contender as a luxury SUV, but it falls short when it comes to safety features expected from an SUV of its kind. You will want to use it for a cruise on the highway, or maybe on a snowy day, but you will want the have the 2018 Hyundai Santa FE as your travel buddy on any terrain. Its safety features are standard and it is much more comfortable, making it a better vehicle as a family luxury SUV.

Ready to Schedule a Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drive Today?

If you desire to experience the luxury that the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe offers, you can book a test drive with us at Springfield Hyundai. You can find us in Springfield if you live in and around the area. Drop by our dealership or call us to book for a test drive appointment.

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754 Baltimore Pike • Springfield, PA 19064

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Springfield Hyundai

754 Baltimore Pike Springfield, PA

Phone: 877-428-7515



Phone: 877-428-7515

754 Baltimore Pike Springfield, PA


Phone: 877-428-7515

754 Baltimore Pike Springfield, PA


Phone: 877-428-7515

754 Baltimore Pike Springfield, PA
39.918676 -75.331753
Springfield Hyundai 39.918676, -75.331753.