Nissan and Hyundai both offer budget-friendly vehicles and models that offer similar styles and features. Nissan is based out of Japan, and Hyundai is based out of South Korea. However, while the Nissan Rogue was the seventh best-selling vehicle in 2021, the Santa Fe wasn’t among the 25 most popular models from the 2021 sales year.
Why is the Rogue so popular and how does it differ from the Santa Fe? In a matchup between the 2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, here’s how the two compact SUV models compare related to price, safety, dependability and fuel efficiency. Which one dominates the road?
Nissan Rogue vs. Santa Fe: The Price Comparison
Many new car buyers focus on their budget to help determine the best vehicle for their financial situation. Affordability may be the difference when a buyer needs to choose between two similar models by competing manufacturers.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue has a base price of $26,050. However, buyers need to understand that 2021 models might be considered pre-owned (depending on if they are purchased used). Some 2021 models could still be considered ‘new.’
Base models are not always available at dealerships, especially if the dealership needs to sell previous model year vehicles. The models could have a few upgrades, and these features impact the price. However, when comparing the Rogue and the Santa Fe, focusing on the base price is the fairest means of comparing the two.
The Rogue is moderately priced. While it might not be the least expensive compact SUV on the market from the 2021 model year (that would be the 2021 Kia Soul), the Rogue still appeals to the mid-range buyer.
The 2021 Santa Fe has a base price of $27,000, which is slightly higher than the Nissan Rogue. While the Santa Fe is still priced for the mid-range buyer, those who are truly watching every cent might opt for the lower-priced Nissan Rogue.
The Winner for Price: 2021 Nissan Rogue
Nissan Rogue vs. Hyundai Santa Fe: Which Model is the Safest?
Nissan and Hyundai both produce models that are known for their safety features. However, while buyers can opt for advanced safety features in most models, reviewing the safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) might be the best resource for determining how a vehicle will fare in a crash.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating. This is the highest rating bestowed by the IIHS. In comparison, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe received a Top Safety Pick award/rating from IIHS. The difference between the + and the Top Safety Pick rating comes down to headlights offered for the model.
The IIHS notes that the Top Safety Pick award/rating is only given to models with specific headlights. Models that receive Top Safety Pick+ awards/ratings offer the best headlights as a standard feature.
The Winner for Safety: The 2021 Nissan Rogue (because of the headlights)
Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Nissan Rogue: Which Model is the Most Dependable?
Every year, J.D. Power reviews ratings from tens of thousands of car owners to determine the most dependable models. The top-rated car for each segment receives the award for most dependable. Models are reviewed after three years of ownership. This means that 2021 award winners were 2018 models.
These dependability ratings, though, can help buyers spot trends related to models. Some models consistently rank high in scores each year. While the model might not win every single year, they might always score high by owners.
How do the Santa Fe and the Rogue compare? These models were actually rated in different categories for the 2018 model year. The Santa Fe was placed in the mid-size SUV category, while the Nissan Rogue was placed in the compact SUV segment.
The 2018 Santa Fe was rated 7th for dependability with a total score of 81. The Santa Fe received a score of 82 for quality/reliability, a score of 79 for driving experience and a score of 85 for resale value.
Among the competing compact SUVs, the 2018 Nissan Rogue placed 6th overall with a score of 81 (the same as the Santa Fe). The Rogue received a score of 80 for quality/reliability, a score of 79 for driving experience and an 81 for resale value.
The Most Dependable (per 2018 models): The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
Santa Fe vs. Rogue: What Model is the Most Fuel Efficient?
Car buyers might need a smaller SUV for a work commute. While SUVs tend to have lower fuel efficiency, smaller models can offer better gas mileage.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue offers decent fuel efficiency for buyers who need to maximize their fuel. The 2021 Rogue can get 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe offers less fuel efficiency. The Santa Fe can get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Winner for Fuel Efficiency: 2021 Nissan Rogue
Key Differences between the Rogue and the Santa Fe
Both the Rogue and the Santa Fe have space for a total of five passengers. Neither the Rogue nor then Santa Fe offers a third row of seating.
However, the Santa Fe is categorized as a larger SUV than the Rogue. The Santa Fe is about five inches larger than the Rogue. They are so similar, though, that perhaps the extra few inches won’t matter much to buyers.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) notes in its comparison of the two models that the Rogue has a more luxurious design. The Rogue could be a great choice for buyers that want the look of a higher-end model without the larger price tag.
KBB also noted, though, that the Santa Fe offers a hybrid model. While the Rogue surpasses the standard Santa Fe in fuel efficiency, the Santa Fe hybrid could be appealing to buyers that want an eco-friendly option that gets great gas mileage.
However, the Santa Fe HEV has a larger price tag for its fuel efficiency. The base price of the hybrid model is $33,650. The hybrid model can get up to 36 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Those who have urban commutes might gravitate to the hybrid Santa Fe.
Rogue vs. Santa Fe: Which Model is Best?
Choosing the better model might be a matter of preference for buyers. While the Rogue is slightly more affordable and the 2021 model nudged out the Santa Fe for the IIHS safety awards, the difference for safety is related only to headlights.
In addition, both models (from the 2018 model year) offer decent dependability. However, the Santa Fe may hold the advantage for resale value. Buyers need to understand, though, that dependability ratings were related to 2018 models; the dependability of the 2021 models may fare differently.
Fuel efficiency figures give the Rogue a slight advantage over the standard Santa Fe. However, buyers could opt for the hybrid Santa Fe, which offers better fuel efficiency than the standard Rogue. The hybrid Santa Fe is more expensive than the Rogue; buyers on a tighter budget might not want to invest in the hybrid.
Both models offer space for five, which makes them a great choice for those with families or buyers who just want more space. With the seat space, the Rogue offers slightly more cargo space. However, the standard cargo volume between the two vehicles is fairly comparable (the Nissan Rogue only slightly nudges out the Santa Fe).
The ideal model for each buyer could come down to personal preference or perhaps a brand preference. These two models are fairly similar, although KBB does note that the Rogue has a higher-end looking design.
Use RelayCars to Explore the Rogue and the Santa Fe
Car buyers can use RelayCars to research both the 2021 Nissan Rogue and the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. Download the RelayCars app and explore the models via interactive 3D imager or in virtual reality (for those with Google Cardboard).
Using RelayCars’ app, buyers can use their fingertips to interact with 3D images of both models. See these SUVs from all angles and explore their interior features, too. RelayCars also offers specs, MSRP and other data for buyers who want additional data for particular models.
Buyers also can access the RelayCars app via their mobile device. Using a tablet or smartphone, buyers can explore vehicles on the website in augmented reality or via 3D imagery. Choosing augmented reality, buyers can preview a model in their own environment.
RelayCars’ augmented reality tool transforms the user’s real environment into an augmented reality showroom. Drop a Santa Fe or a Rogue into the garage or preview the vehicles in the driveway. Walk around the SUV model to see it from different vantage points.
RelayCars also lets buyers switch out the paint hues for each model within its inventory. Thousands of models—including older model years—can be accessed via the platform. For each model, buyers can explore every paint hue offered by the manufacturer.
Use RelayCars to determine if the Hyundai Santa Fe or the Nissan Rogue dominates, and have fun exploring all the different tools to research these popular car models.