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A silver 2021 Buick Envision is parked in front of a river and city at sunset.

The Battle of the 2021 Buick Envision vs 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

When it comes to compact crossovers, there are only two entry-level luxury models that you should consider. The battle for supremacy between the 2021 Buick Envision vs 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is an engaging fight. Both vehicles are athletic, sophisticated, and aerodynamic, making them the best two vehicles in their class. And with both featuring a plethora of advanced features, it may be hard to choose which one is best suited to your specific driving needs. So let’s get started with the comparisons to see which one comes out on top!

Size Matters

Both of these compact crossovers are capable of transporting up to five people. However, is the passenger volume the same between the two? We pulled out our tape measure so that you don’t have to.

The 2021 Buick Envision is a touch larger than the 2020 model, sitting on a longer wheelbase (109 inches) with a wider stance (74 inches). A little bit of front-seat space was taken from the new Envision to create more legroom in the back – the designers thought it would be more practical for growing families with this new design. A total of 1.8-inches has been added to the rear passenger legroom, and approximately 0.4-inches of headroom has been added to the back as well. Meanwhile, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has also grown and now offers 42 inches of legroom in the back, giving it a bit more space in the back.

As for cargo space, the Envision offers 25.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seating. If you need more room, you can fold the back row down to gain access to 52.7 cubic feet. On the other hand, the Hyundai Santa Fe currently boasts 35.9 cubic feet of room in the back, growing to 71.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. While the numbers for the 2021 moel have not yet been released, the Santa Fe will likely continue to have more room than the Envision for cargo.


A white 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is parked in front of a gray wall.

While not every detail has been released about either 2021 compact crossover, we can make some educated guesses based on the 2020 lineup.

The 2021 Buick Envision standard powertrain will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, likely mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. We expect this powertrain will be pushing out around 250 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, with an average fuel economy of about 25 mpg combined. This is the current top engine in the 2020 Buick Envision and will provide a nice bump in power for drivers interested in the base models.

On the other hand, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will likely be keeping its current pair of engines. The first is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The other option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor making 235 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will likely continue to be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and while FWD will be the standard drivetrain, AWD will be an option for the Santa Fe as well. We expect the fuel economy to be somewhere around 20 to 22 mpg city and 26 to 29 mpg highway.

Safety Features

Advanced safety systems are what set certain vehicles apart from others. If you are looking for a family-friendly model, then the number of safety features may make or break a deal. Let’s look at what these two vehicles have to offer.

The 2021 Envision will come with quite a few safety systems. These include emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping, and lane-departure warning as standard safety systems. On higher trims, there will be more advanced features like blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a head-up display, and even a 360° camera parking system. At the time of this writing, the new Envision has not yet been crash-tested by the NHTSA.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will probably come standard with a few advanced safety systems. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning. Higher trim levels may be available with blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams. This vehicle has also not yet been crash-tested by the NHTSA.

A silver 2021 Buick Envision is shown from the side while parked in front of a river after winning the 2021 Buick Envision vs 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe comparison.

Infotainment Technology

The only disadvantage that the new Buick Envision is at is that not many details have been released yet. However, plenty of information has been unveiled about the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. Making an educated guess based on previous models, here’s what we think will happen with the infotainment options.

The 2021 Buick Envision will come standard with a touchscreen interface that is at least 8-inches. More likely than not, higher trims will get an upgraded 10-inch touchscreen. Smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is expected, as well as Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. The Premium trim will also probably have satellite radio and a wireless charging pad. A navigation system is also expected on the upper-level trims.

On the other hand, we already know that the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will feature a standard 10.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment interface. The same entertainment options will be available, including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. We are unsure at the moment about whether or not it will have its own Wifi hotspot.

Trim Levels and Prices

Even though we don’t know what all is included on these trim levels, we do know that the 2021 Buick Envision will be available in four unique trims. The base is called the Select, and it will have a starting price of a bit over $30,000. The next trim is the Preferred version. It will cost around $32,995. Then, we have the Essence model at $36,995. Lastly, the top-of-the-line Avenir will run you around $41,395.

Now, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is nowhere near as luxurious as the Buick Envision. Only available in three trim levels, its premium model is cheaper than the base Envision trim. The first model is called the SE and will start at around $27,000. The mid-level SEL will go for around $29,000, while the top Limited trim will cost you about $37,000.

Find a Compact Crossover

If you are excited about these two vehicles, then you can get in touch with your local Buick and Hyundai dealers to learn more about them. And as soon as they hit the market, you will be able to test drive both if you haven’t made up your mind yet.