• Bargain price
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Six- or seven-passenger seating
  • One available engine
  • Rough suspension
  • No rear-seat entertainment option

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Santa Fe in 2014

HID headlights, LED taillights, and a ventilated driver's seat are added to the Technology package for the Limited trim level. Blind-spot monitoring is now part of the Premium package...more

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 Santa Fe is Hyundai's best vehicle. Hyundai is a company that makes great strides with its new vehicles, and the Santa Fe is the newest model in Hyundai's lineup. The Santa Fe used to be a crappy crossover with optional, cramped third-row seats, and now it's a well-developed family crossover that effectively replaces the old Veracruz in Hyundai's lineup. In an eight-car comparison we conducted in spring 2013, the Hyundai came out on top, beating the Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander. Those are big names, and the Hyundai Sante Fe bested them all. It's stylish, it's spacious, and it's affordable. The Santa Fe we used for the eight-car comparison was completely loaded but still the cheapest car of the bunch. The Hyundai Santa Fe is the new benchmark for family crossovers.

Overview

The Santa Fe nameplate is currently being used by two of Hyundai's vehicles: the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and the six- or seven-passenger Santa Fe. The larger, more accommodating Santa Fe is 8.5 inches longer than the Santa Fe Sport, but that extra cabin space really comes from an extension in the car's wheelbase, which is almost four inches longer than the Sport's. Whereas the Santa Fe Sport has 108 cubic feet of passenger volume, the Santa Fe has 146.6 cubic feet. There's plenty of space for people to get comfortable in all three rows, although, as always, the third row is most comfortable for the smallest passengers.

The Santa Fe is a crossover that's been designed with road-tripping families in mind. It can tow up to 5000 pounds. The second-row seats slide and recline, and the third-row seats fold flat. The Santa Fe is available in two trims -- GLS and Limited -- and we suggest that you opt for the top-tier crossover. That gets you some cool standard features, such as a power liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, heated first- and second-row seats, and a rearview camera. Only the Limited trim can be optioned with a panoramic sunroof, which is part of a $2900 technology package. It's the greatest panoramic sunroof we've seen aside from that of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. What might put you off about the Limited, though, is the fact that it can seat only six. If you really want that extra seat in the second row, you'll have to get the GLS model.

Either way, you'll be driving one of the best family crossovers on the market.

Key Competitors

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Ford Explorer
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Nissan Pathfinder

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