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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander vs. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which Is Better?

Crossovers offering enough room for as many as seven people are ubiquitous, but when it comes to the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander or the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander gets a long list of standard equipment, seating for seven, and an optional V6 engine.
  • The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe comes packed with technology and features.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Base Price: $25,890 / Read our Review of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

What we like: Tons of space for people and cargo; available third-row; plug-in hybrid available.

What we would change: Four-cylinder engine leaves something to be desired; the third row is tiny.

Overview: While Mitsubishi might not have the most dealerships in the country, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander offers plenty of space, optional all-wheel drive, and handsome looks in a compact crossover.

What’s new for 2020: A new SP trim inserted between the SEL and GT versions, added power lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, redesigned heating and cooling controls, improved comfort in the second row, added USB port in the second row, an updated all-wheel-drive system with Active Yaw Control, a new 8-inch infotainment system (starting at the SE level).

The Premium options package for SEL and GT versions and the GT Touring package have been discontinued. A new Premium interior package for the GT PHEV model brings diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces is also available for 2020.

Features and Tech: For 2020, the Mitsubishi Outlander gets a self-dimming rearview mirror and rain-sensing wipers at the SE level (one step up from the base level ES). This is also the new point where forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams become standard. An 8-speaker Mitsubishi Power Sound System (MPSS) replaces the Rockford Fosgate optional audio upgrade. This setup doesn’t have a subwoofer, whereas the RF system did and used to crowd cargo space.

The ES trim gets 18-inch alloy wheels, hill-start assist, heated side mirrors, LED daytime running lights/taillights, full power accessories, electronic parking brake with Auto Hold, color driver information display, height-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment, tilt/telescope steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, slide/recline second-row seating with 60/40 split/fold, 50/50 split/fold third-row seats, a rearview camera, voice control, Bluetooth, 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 6-speaker CD audio system with HD radio and a USB port.

The SE trim adds fog lights, color-keyed side-mirror housings with LED turn-signal indicators, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry/ignition, upgraded gauges, self-dimming rearview mirror, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, leatherette/fabric upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, heated front seats, satellite radio, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, an 8-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, and dual USB ports.

Step up through the trims to get added features like leather seating, powered sunroof, the V6 engine (available on the GT trim), and features like adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, and multi-view camera to make parking easier. You can opt for AWD in all versions. The GT version does not come in front-wheel drive. You can also opt for the plug-in hybrid version, which gets rid of the third-row seating.

What does the future hold? Rumors about Mitsubishi’s future in the U.S. continue to swirl, but the Japanese automaker isn’t going anywhere. The Mitsubishi Outlander will get a significant update in 2022.  See the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander models for sale near you

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

Base Price: $26,995 / Read our 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

What we like: Good-looking cabin, lots of cargo space, an impressive warranty, and really good safety technology.

What we would change: Offer the engine upgrade on lower trims, improve fuel economy, and allow for more towing capacity.

Overview: A handsome, safe, and sophisticated 5-passenger SUV with good feel and a stellar warranty, the 2020 Santa Fe offers a ton of amenities for an affordable price.

What’s new for 2020: The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe loses some standard safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, though they are still available on the next trim up. Hyundai also got rid of the sliding rear seat for 2020, as well as the SEL plus and Ultimate trims. The 2020 Santa Fe SE gets a blind-spot monitor, however, and the Limited trim gets Hyundai’s Blind View monitor.

Features and Tech: The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in three trim levels this year: the SE, SEL, and Limited. Those with the 2.0T designation indicate that they have the optional turbocharged engine. At the entry point, you get features like forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot mirrors, a driver inattention warning system, a backup camera, automatic headlights and high beam control, rear privacy glass, a height-adjustable driver’s seat (includes 2-way power lumbar adjustment), a 60/40-split-folding and reclining back seat, cloth upholstery, a 7-in touchscreen, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you want the optional 2.0L turbocharged engine, though, you’ll need to step up to the SEL model. You’ll also get access to two optional packages on the SEL, as well. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe comes stacked with great standard safety equipment at the base, and as you move up the trim ladder, you get more and more safety equipment.

What does the future hold? The Hyundai Santa Fe gets a relatively heavy (and rather good) refresh in 2021. See the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe models for sale near you

Outlander vs. Santa Fe: Strengths comparison

Mitsubishi Outlander Benefits: Ample seating for five or seven passengers.

Hyundai Santa Fe Benefits: A great warranty, standard advanced safety features, and a really handsome vehicle both inside and out.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander vs. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which is better?

The Hyundai Santa Fe takes the top spot in this face-off for its variety of engine options, it’s base-level safety features, and its better resale. Find a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander for sale or Find a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale.

Popular Powertrains 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
Engine 2.4-liter inline-4 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 166 hp @ 6,000 rpm 185 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Torque 162 lb-ft @ 4, 200 rpm 178 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission CVT Automatic, 8-Spd
Fuel Economy 27 mpg (25 city/30 highway) 25 mpg (22 city/29 highway)
Also Available PHEV, V6 2.0-liter turbo I4
Warranty 5 years/ 60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/ 100,000 miles 10 years/ 100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 7 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 108.9 inches
Overall Length 184.8 inches 187.8 inches
Width 71.3 inches 74.4 inches
Height 67.3 inches 66.1 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 37.5 feet
Headroom, Front 40.6 inches 41.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.4 inches 39.2 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 44.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.3  inches 40.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.4 inches 59.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56  inches 58.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 128.2 cubic feet 110.7 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 63.3 cubic feet 71.3 cubic feet

Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist based in L.A. and she's covered automotive topics for a variety of well-known outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNN and Motor Trend. She's also a television and video host and regularly covers breaking news, social justice, technology, health and wellness, and science in addition to her car coverage. When she's not working on her next project she's... Read More about Abigail Bassett

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