2021 Honda Passport vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Honda Passport vs Hyundai Santa Fe

SUVs are the best-selling vehicles on the road today. One of the most popular and successful SUVs in this hotly contested segment is the versatile, spacious, go-anywhere Honda Passport.

Debuting in 1994, the Passport was Honda’s first full-fledged SUV. After a long and successful run, the original Passport was discontinued in 2002. But it wasn’t gone for long, as an all-new, re-engineered Passport, designed and built in the U.S., went on sale for the 2019 model year.

Since then, the Passport has consistently scored success with car buyers seeking legendary Honda quality in a rugged, reliable, and good-looking multipurpose family hauler. The Passport checks all the boxes for comfort, convenience, cargo capacity, performance, fuel efficiency, technology, and safety.

In this crowded field, there are plenty of contenders seeking to emulate the Passport’s unrivaled success. One of them is the Hyundai Santa Fe. Let’s see how the 2021 Honda Passport Sport stacks up against the 2021 Santa Fe SE.



The 2021 Honda Passport Sport rolls into Honda showrooms with a bold, athletic new look that accentuates its sporty and adventuresome capabilities. An available gloss-black grille flanked by dazzling LED headlights invites you to hit the open road with a confident swagger.

On the other hand, with its massive egg-crate grille and odd-looking T-shaped LED headlights the 2021 Santa Fe SE tries perhaps too hard to assert itself like some open-jawed, growling beast. It’s an over-the-top appearance that takes some getting used to.



Honda continues to lead the way when it comes to designing automotive interiors that set the standard for comfort, convenience, and quality. The Passport Sport’s well-appointed cabin is no exception.

No detail is too small in creating a spacious, versatile, comfortable, and practical inner space that makes you feel right at home from the moment you get behind the wheel. Comfortably seating five, the Passport Sport is roomier and can carry more cargo than the Santa Fe SE.

You’ll also get easy-to-use, one-touch, fold-down 60/40 split rear seats on the Passport, compared to the Santa Fe’s clumsier 60/40 rear-seat arrangement.

2021 Passport Sport 2WD 2021 Santa Fe SE
Passenger Volume 115.9 cubic feet 111.5 cubic feet
Rear Headroom 40.1 inches 39 inches
Front Shoulder Room 62 inches 59.1 inches
Rear Shoulder Room 61.9 inches 58.3
Front Hip Room 59.1 inches 57.5 inches
Rear Hip Room 57.3 inches 56.3 inches
Cargo Volume Behind 1st Row Seats 77.9 cubic feet* 72.1 cubic feet
Cargo Volume Behind 2nd Row Seats 50.5 cubic feet* 36.4 cubic feet
One-Touch 60/40 Rear Seats Standard Not Available


The 2021 Passport Sport pulls way ahead of the Hyundai Santa Fe SE in terms of both horsepower, torque, and towing capacity. And that’s an important difference when it comes to having the freeway merging and passing power at your command when you need it.

Mated to a smooth-shifting, 9-speed automatic transmission, the Passport Sport is powered by Honda’s powerful and efficient 280 hp*, 24-valve, iVTEC, 3.5-liter V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) and Eco Assist™ that churns out an impressive 262 lb.-ft. of torque* and generates up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity*.

By comparison, the Hyundai Santa Fe gets a new 2.5-liter, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic that manages to deliver a rather unremarkable 191 hp and an anemic 181 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s only rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds.

The new Santa Fe has also done away with the traditional shifter, replacing it with a series of somewhat confusing buttons. Also, the Passport offers Intelligent Traction Management for improved handling in inclement weather conditions. You won’t find that on the Santa Fe SE.

2021 Passport Sport 2WD 2021 Santa Fe SE
Engine V6 4-Cylinder
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6000 RPM 191 hp @ 6100 RPM
Torque 262 lb.-ft. @ 4700 RPM 181 lb.-ft. @ 4000 RPM
Towing Capacity (2WD) 3,500 pounds 2,000 pounds
Transmission 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel Capacity 19.5 gallons 18.8 gallons
Eco Assist Standard Not Available
Intelligent Traction Management Standard Not Available


“Impressive” is the only way to describe the 2021 Passport Sport’s long list of standard technology and infotainment features. With Apple CarPlay®*, Android Auto™*, and Bluetooth® Hands-FreeLink and Streaming Audio integration* standard on every Passport, you’ll stay connected, informed, and entertained while on the go. The Passport’s handy second-row USB ports make it easy to plug in and enjoy your favorite devices when on the road. Also standard on the Sport model is a kickin’ 215-watt, 7-speaker audio system with a subwoofer. The Passport’s standard 8-inch, high-resolution Display Audio touchscreen is both easy and intuitive to use.

The 2021 Santa Fe comes equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen AM/FM audio system.



The Passport Sport offers Honda’s advanced suite of Honda Sensing® safety features as standard equipment. Designed for the ultimate in peace of mind behind the wheel, Honda Sensing’s active driver-assist technologies include Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM®), Lane-Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control, and Collision Mitigation Braking System, ™(CMBS™).

Plus, the Passport also features Honda’s exclusive ACE™ Body Structure that’s designed to offer enhanced occupant protection in frontal collisions.

The Santa Fe SE offers rear-occupant alert, forward-collision avoidance assist, smart cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and driver-attention warning as standard equipment. But you’ll have to opt for pricier models to get additional active-assist safety features.

When you add it all up, while the 2021 Santa Fe SE is the new kid on the block, the Honda Passport outperforms the Santa Fe where it matters most. If you’re shopping for a midsize SUV that gives you more of what you’re looking for, then pass on the Santa Fe and get behind the wheel of a new 2021 Honda Passport today.


280 hp (SAE net)

262 lb. ft. of torque (SAE net)

Cargo volume based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.

Android™ and Android Auto™ are trademarks of Google LLC.

Apple CarPlay is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license.

Drive responsibly. Some state laws prohibit the operation of handheld electronic devices while operating a vehicle. For safety reasons, always launch your audio application or perform any other operation on your phone or audio device only when the vehicle is safely parked.

Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs. (SAE net- 2WD)

Honda reminds you to properly secure cargo items.