Should I Buy a Hyundai Santa Fe Elite or a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel?

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe (upcoming SR model pictured)


I'm at the pointy end of decision time, likely by the end of the month. The frontrunner is the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite and has been quoted at $47,900 drive-away some 3-4 weeks ago at our local dealer in Coffs Harbour and currently has the factory extras pack worth $2600 included - it seems like a good deal to me.

The wild card on another dimension is a Jeep Grand Cherokee; likely a customised Laredo with the diesel, leather and sat-nav and probably nearly $10k (and budget-stretchingly more). I am currently in the throes of getting quotes on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Either choice will be a long-term proposition. I appreciate your insights and advice; the video reviews are definitely assisting in the process. Many thanks, Jim.


Both vehicles are desirable, premium products with plenty to differentiate one from the other, objectively. Scroll down past the photos and specifications for the complete answer.


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Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo diesel

  • RRP $53,000
  • 6cyl 3.0-litre diesel
  • 8sp auto
  • 184kW @ 4000rpm
  • 570Nm @ 2000rpm
  • Max tow capacity 3500kg
  • Seats: 5
  • Made in USA
  • 7.5L/100km (combined)
  • Warranty 3yr/100,000km


Click to enlarge

Hyundai Santa Fe Elite diesel

  • RRP $48,490
  • 4cyl 2.2-litre diesel
  • 6sp auto
  • 145kW @ 3800rpm
  • 436Nm @ 1800-2500rpm
  • Max tow capacity 2000kg
  • Seats: 7
  • Made in South Korea
  • 7.3L/100km (combined)
  • Warranty 5yr/unlimited km

I’ve spent three weeks this year driving Grand Cherokees, and I've probably spent a similar amount of time in Hyundai Santa Fe. I think a lot of the decision is down to personal preference - the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Hyundai Santa Fe are obviously different classes of vehicles. It's not as if there is only one right answer to this question. Obviously some aspects of your personal situation (such as, for example, the desire to tow a very heavy trailer) might make one vehicle (in the case of heavy towing) far more suitable. If you need to accommodate seven people in the car, then the Santa Fe would be the better bet.

Grand Cherokee advantages: Serious tow capacity, superb off-road ability, excellent boot space, cachet.

Santa Fe advantages: Extra seating capacity, superb value for money, warranty and capped-price servicing for the life of the vehicle.

Santa Fe has just had a model upgrade for 2015. Details here >>

If it was me I would buy the Santa Fe because of the value proposition and the money you will save. This is the rational proposition: good vehicle, superior warranty, excellent equipment levels, and best vehicle in the Hyundai range.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee obviously has vastly superior towing capacity and off-road ability, but it's not as if you get that for free. If you don't need it, why not save the money? The other big concern is reliability - Jeep is hardly a shining light there, but I get the feeling they are getting better.

On getting the best price: in regional areas it can be difficult to get competitive pricing because of the distance to the next dealer. Dealers in regional areas often bank upon their geography-based exclusive territory. It is, however, possible to cast the net a bit wider: Let me get the team from the brokerage to call you ASAP. They're the experts in this area and they will certainly help you achieve the best price.

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