2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

  • MSRP: $24,045
  • MPG City: 20
  • MPG Hwy: 27
  • Seating Capacity: 7
  • Rating: 8.4

With so many crossover SUVs on the market, it can be difficult for one of them to stand out above the rest. The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of those exceptional vehicles, offering the same value, spacious interior and sleek design that buyers have come to expect from Hyundai, with a host of new and exciting features.

Among the newer options, the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe offers ventilated front seats, Blue Link concierge service and rear parking assistance. With three rows of comfortable seating, the 2014 Santa Fe can transport up to seven adults, providing generous leg and head room. A graceful and attractive exterior, coupled with a modern and sophisticated cabin, makes the Santa Fe one of the most eye-catching models in its class.

Pros and Cons

  • Intuitive dashboard and infotainment system
  • Attractive, quality interior
  • Good cargo capacity

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is a midsize crossover SUV available in both GLS and Limited trim levels. The GLS model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, air-conditioning, power seats and accessories, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Also standard on the GLS model is a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, USB connectivity and a 4.3-inch touchscreen display.

Beyond the standard features, the GLS offers a Premium Package upgrade adding a power liftgate, keyless ignition system, blind spot detection system, upgraded heads-up display and leather upholstery. The Limited trim model offers everything in this Premium Package but also includes second-row captain’s chairs.

If that isn’t enough, both trim models offer an available Technology Package, a significant upgrade to the accessories of the standard model. This package gets you 19-inch alloy wheels to ride a little higher, a navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen and a panoramic sunroof. Further options include xenon headlights, LED taillights and a premium 10 or 12-speaker Dimension sound system. With these options and upgrades, the 2014 Santa Fe offers enough flexibility with accessories to fit any budget. The Santa Fe comes out of the gate with an MSRP of around $30,000, and even a fully loaded limited trim model won’t top out above $40,000, an exceptional value in a class where upgraded crossovers could cost thousands more.

Base Specifications

  • Trim: FWD 4dr GLS
  • Passenger Capacity: 7
  • Passenger Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
  • MPG: 18 City / 25 Hwy
  • Engine: Regular Unleaded V-6 3.3L/204
  • Horsepower: 290 @ 6400
  • Torque: 2252 @ 5200 3.3L/204

Reviewer Comments

“Talk about a comfortable, well-appointed interior, though. The dashboard and doors are outfitted with high-quality leather and soft-touch materials, accented with small amounts of aluminum and wood trim. The whole cockpit looks and feels truly upscale; everything from the leather used on the steering wheel to the plastics used on the door trim to even small details like the window switches and climate control buttons are top-notch.”

– Autoblog

“The first two rows are completely livable for adults, while the third row is a decent kid’s row.”

– Kelley Blue Book

“Controls are easy to identify and use, making this a great match of good looks and intuitive function.”

– Motor Trend

Performance and Powertrain

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the quickest vehicles in its class, going from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. Powering the Santa Fe is a 3.3-liter V6 engine giving out 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, the Santa Fe is a true crossover, combining the quickness and agility of a sedan with the power and towing performance of a full size SUV. The standard models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive, but the option for all-wheel drive is available. EPA estimated gas mileage is about the same for both drive options. The front-wheel drive model comes in at 18 mpg city / 25 mpg highway, while the all-wheel drive model posts 18 mpg city / 24 mpg highway.

Safety Features

Hyundai customers have come to expect some of the safest vehicles on the market, and the 2014 Santa Fe is no different. All models come standard with anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a rear view camera and front-seat active head restraints. The Institute for Highway Safety gives the Santa Fe a top “Good” rating in both standard crash testing and whiplash protection during rear impacts. Optional safety features include rear parking sensors and a blind spot monitoring system.

Special Features and Interior Design

One of the standout features of the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is the impeccably designed interior cabin. Hyundai continues to outpace the competition with elegant and simple accessories and cabin controls. The material quality of the trim and seating is second-to-none for the class, and the intuitive placement of controls makes for a short learning curve. The front seats also offer a litany of adjustment options, making the main cabin ideal for longer drives.

The spaciousness of this midsize vehicle is also noteworthy, offering more than ample leg room for larger adults in the front two seating rows, and even an impressive amount of space for kids or teens in the back row. The 2014 Santa Fe can hold anywhere from 13.5 to 80 cubic feet of cargo, depending on how many rows of seating are in use. The Santa Fe is comparable to the Dodge Durango or Nissan Pathfinder in total luggage space.

Perhaps the most interesting feature is the Hyundai Blue Link System, which goes well beyond a typical concierge service. We have come to expect SOS emergency assistance, news, weather and turn-by-turn navigation help on newer model vehicles but the Blue Link goes beyond that. The 2014 Santa Fe incorporates a parent-centric 3-level telematic system, which can send out a text if the Santa Fe goes over a certain speed, stays out past a certain time or goes outside of a geographic perimeter.

Driving Impressions

Few people would expect a big crossover SUV to offer exceptional handling and acceleration, but the 2014 Santa Fe might surprise some purists with the ease at which the vehicle takes off and glides along the open road. The key is the lighter body design of the Santa Fe when compared with the rest of its class, allowing the 290 horsepower V6 to feel more powerful than it would under the hood of another crossover.

The Santa Fe accomplishes smooth takeoffs and passing maneuvers on busy highways with the apparent ease of a much smaller vehicle, and it doesn’t feel overtly boxy or top-heavy like some other SUV models. However, when packing the Sante Fe with extra people or cargo the rear suspension does appear to have trouble coping with the weight, resulting in a somewhat bumpy ride.

Photo Gallery

Hyundai Santa Fe Cargo

Hyundai Santa Fe Front View

Hyundai Santa Fe Interior Dashboard

Hyundai Santa Fe Side View

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