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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe comes to play against a very solid field that includes the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder. An extended version of the popular Santa Fe Sport, the 7-passenger Santa Fe offers more interior room, a long list of standard comfort and safety features and the most powerful V6 engine in the segment. The Santa Fe can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD) and, with the exception of the missing DVD entertainment system, can generally match its competitors item for item while still undercutting them by a few hundred dollars. Of course, Hyundai doesn't skimp to keep the Santa Fe's price low, as witnessed by the handsome interior and elegant styling.

You'll Like This Car If...

Needing room for seven but the budget says, "better shop used?" The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe may just surprise you with its bang-for-the-buck content.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Big jobs sometimes require a V8 engine. If you're towing more than 5,000 pounds or require off-road readiness, the Jeep Grand Cherokee or a full-size SUV such as the Chevrolet Tahoe makes a better choice.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.4
  • 6.9
  • 7.2
  • 7.2
  • 7.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#26

out of 42

Fuel Economy

#4

out of 41

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

10 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

The Hyundai Santa Fe for 2014 now offers Blind Spot Detection on all trims, while the Technology package adds rear parking assist. Other new options include HID headlights and LED taillights.

Driving the Santa Fe
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions No one expects a big crossover SUV to excel in the areas of handling and acceleration, but the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe actually might surprise a few diehards....

... On the open road, the Santa Fe glides along with little effort. The 3-mode steering setup tracks straight and true and the compliant ride walks a fine line between jarringly harsh and marshmallow mush. Inside, wind and road noise are minimal, although we think the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer are a tad better insulated. Power for the Santa Fe comes from a 3.3-liter V6 offering 290 horsepower, but only 252 lb-ft of real hardworking torque. But, thanks to a significantly lighter body than most of its competition, the 2014 Santa Fe accomplishes swift takeoffs and passing maneuvers with ease. When the all-wheel-drive system is added, however, climbing hills and making mid-range passes (40-60 mph) feel more like work.

HYUNDAI BLUE LINK
Beyond the expected concierge services, SOS emergency assistance, news, weather and turn-by-turn navigation help, Blue Link's 3-level telematics system includes a parent-centric app that sends you a text if your Santa Fe is driven over a preset speed, past a curfew time or beyond a preset "geofence" perimeter.

PANORAMIC SUNROOF
A 1-touch power tilt/slide sunroof is cool, but one with a sky view that spans all three rows is triple cool.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Details
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

There's plenty of room in the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, and the driver's view to the front is panoramic (the rearward view is less broad, but you're never reduced to driving purely with the mirrors). The base Santa Fe's stain-resistant cloth fabric feels good, plus the audio and climate-control knobs and buttons are glove-friendly big. All the materials are impressive right down to the rubber that lines the inside of the door pulls. The first two rows are completely livable for adults, while the third row is a decent kid's row. The Santa Fe does give up some cargo area compared to the competition, however.

Exterior
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe photo

Looking for all the world like what it is – an extended-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport without the sporty rear-side-window kick-up – the new Santa Fe has more to say about handsome, contemporary styling than it does about swooping lines that characterize the shapes of Hyundai passenger cars. Nice touch 1: Even in base Santa Fe GLS form, the outside mirrors and bumpers are body color. Integrated fog lights, roof rails and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are the exterior differences between the GLS and upscale Limited versions. Nice touch 2: The Santa Fe GLS gets smaller 18-inch wheels, but they, too, are of aluminum alloy.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Santa Fe GLS drivers with a long journey ahead will appreciate the multi-adjustable front bucket seats with power-adjustable lumbar support. Passengers farther back will give thanks to the 3rd-row controls for the air conditioning and heating. Stepping up to the Santa Fe Limited includes luxuries like leather seating – power-adjustable and heated for the driver and front passenger – push-button starting and heated captain's chairs for the second row. The Limited also upgrades the audio system with a 4.3-inch color display and adds a rearview camera. Sweet as ever, Hyundai's confidence-inspiring 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties cover the new Santa Fe.

Optional Equipment

Beyond a laundry list of individual options like a heated steering wheel, navigation system, premium audio and all-wheel drive, Hyundai is pushing option packages. For the Santa Fe GLS, the Leather and Navigation Package includes said leather and navigation plus a host of comfort and convenience upgrades. The Limited's Technology Package scores you navigation and a 12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 audio system, plus that wow-inspiring Panoramic Sunroof, a heated steering wheel, rear backup sensors and manual rear-side-window sunshades. Sadly for mom and dad, no rear-seat-entertainment/DVD pacifier is available on the 2014 Santa Fe (but an iPad or two would be cheaper than most such systems, anyway).

Under the Hood
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine photo

Hyundai makes it simple to shop for a 2014 Santa Fe: one engine, one transmission. In front-drive form, the SUV's 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 is very well matched to the 6-speed automatic transmission, with good throttle response, smooth pickup and clean, easy shifts. The AWD Santa Fe, though, could do with some more low-end grunt to get it moving. All that said, the 2014 Santa Fe is comfortable towing up to 5,000 pounds of trailer, boat or anything else you'd like to haul.

3.3-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)

A 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS comes out of the gate with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $30,000 – a number the new Nissan Pathfinder SUV can compete with, but the popular Honda Pilot misses by more than $1,000. The Santa Fe Limited starts under $35,000. If you find yourself loading up an all-wheel-drive Santa Fe Limited with options, you'll still find yourself under $40,000, an area that the Hyundai pretty much has to itself in this class. Check out KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price for what shoppers are actually paying for the Santa Fe in your area. It's still a little early to predict the 2014 Santa Fe's resale outlook, but Hyundai SUVs consistently rank well versus their competition.

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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
10.0
Out of 10

Based on 5 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    10.0/10
  • Reliability
    10.0/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    10.0/10
    Styling
    10.0/10

best mileage in the hwy and city

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I don't own this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price to sell fun to drive"

Cons: "2 cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"excellent shape no Scratches inside or outside Factory bug shield.back up Camera.Navegation voice command"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Better than I hoped

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable over extended distances."

Cons: "No running lights or DVD entertainment system."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in a 10 y.o. Ford Expedition for this. Yes, it's Florida and I paid more, but in early 2013 I was the first buyer in the area of the 7-seat Santa Fe Limited edition (with all the options). What sold me was the warranty and horsepower (KIA Sorento was a close 2nd). This thing accelerates nicely. On flat road it gets 25mpg (on cruise control); around town, about 19mpg. I rather wish it had a couple more inches of ground clearance, but that's the Expedition (which I loved) talking. Overall, yes, very recommended."

15 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best SUV ever. There's nothing I don't like.

By on Thursday, May 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, zippy to drive, comfortable seating"

Cons: "I bump my head getting out."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Time to trade my 2008 Saturn SUV before it had no value left and I needed a larger SUV to haul my critters between La. and Al. I love this car. I have Frosted Mocha because I needed a pretty color that would hide dirt and it does. Leather interior is wonderful though I'd have loved to have saddle which was not available. Lots of zip and pickup, easy to drive with lots of option settings. So many wonderful extras on this vehicle I didn't know I'd enjoy so much. The sun roof really is panoramic, closest approximation to having a convertible without the hassle. The sound system is pretty terrific, handles Bluetooth seamlessly. Love the seat air conditioner and have used it already in New Orleans on a hot car day. Pretty cool and works great. The backup camera keeps me from touching somebody else's bumper when parallel parking, which I was good at anyway but now am always perfect. And love the warning if I'm ready to change lanes or back out. Only problem is the trunk opener on the key fob, too easy to hit and I've returned to vehicle a couple of times with the car wide open. I've had this car six weeks in town driving for the most part and it's great. Even better on the road. I am thrilled with my purchase."

20 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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