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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Quick Spin

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Filed under An Addictive Take On Cars, Automotive, Hyundai, Test Drives


Hyundai has made major noteworthy strides in the automotive market, and with the introduction of their all-new Santa Fe in 2013, it has pushed the envelope a little further for the crossover utility vehicle segment. The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe continues on this institution delivering a few additional standard amenities yet has left a good thing to carry the brand’s largest SUV offerings into the hearts of eager consumers.


The latest Hyundai Santa Fe Limited remains smooth with a substantial 3.3-liter V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. My Santa Fe Limited test vehicle featured the standard front-wheel-drive setup getting its power directed through a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode via the floor shifter. Optional is an all-wheel-drive system expected to give the driver a bit more assurance as my front-wheel-drive model felt a bit light on its feet at times emitting unwanted front wheel spin when powering out of turns and under moderate acceleration. Though, traction and stability control where there to bring the front wheels back into sync with the pavement, probably the only thing preventing small plumbs of smoke from the front tires.


As far as driving dynamics go, the 2014 Santa Fe Limited is civil and mild mannered around town. On the highway the Santa Fe Limited proves to have a nicely dampened ride but does exhibit a bit of extra rear-end bounce when pushed through wavy or uneven surfaces. Approaching the lateral handling limits of the Santa Fe Limited, much do to its longer wheelbase and extra weight over the Santa Fe Sport, is sometimes an easy task but not really recommended, though, you will know in time when you approach those confides. Understeer comes in ample amounts but eventually proves to be the safer bet as stability control heavily steps in after a few screams of the large 19-inch tires wrapping stylish alloy wheels. Of course with my enthusiast deposition I tend to explore these sides of vehicles even though the Santa Fe is not meant for such extremes on public roads. However, it is a delight to utilize the Driver Selectable Steering setting with Normal, Comfort and Sport models. Comfort mode for the steering amplifies the electric rack making it easy enough to steer the vehicle with one finger. Normal is still a bit too soft for my taste, as Sport mode seems like the perfect balance.


Interior appointments for the Hyundai Santa Fe Limited are endearingly plush but not overly done. The cabin is still somewhat reserved with a good amount of soft-touch plastics, limited simulated wood trim and lots of padded dash real-estate. Front seats are comfortable on long hauls and provide just enough support for the Santa Fe’s character. The middle row, exclusively incorporating two captain’s chairs for the Santa Fe Limited trim, is almost as comfy as the front seats, especially including a heated option on my test vehicle. The 3rd row seating is plentiful for two adults by means of the 50/50 split folding seats. 3rd row occupants get their own analog climate controls while the 2nd row gets a set of adjustable vents.


With the Hyundai Santa Fe being a versatile vehicle offering several trim levels from a 5-passenger Sport trim with a shorter wheelbase, to the GLS and Limited trim with a 110.2 extended wheelbase and 3rd row seats, it attempts to offer a bit for everyone. The GLS trim gets 7-passenger seating, while my Limited test vehicle only seats 6 but still has the same size and elongated wheelbase. Some may discourage this setup, but it actually proves to be the ideal arrangement for those who need just that one extra seat over a possibly cramped 5-passenger crossover.


The economical side of the Hyundai Santa Fe is another added value perception for the large 3 row crossover getting an EPA estimated 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Similar to my excursions in the 2013 Santa Fe Limited last year, I walked away averaging just over 21 mpg in the city while on a long highway trip I averaged a much better 26.5 mpg.


Price point for the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited loaded up with the optional Limited Technology Package ($4,850 – 19-inch wheels and 235/55R19 tires, HID headlights, LED taillights, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, ventilated and heated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, driver memory seat, Infinity Audio system, Navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen, rear parking assistance system and 115-volt power outlet) came to an as-tested $39,540 including a $855 fright and handling fee.

Copyright: 2014


  • Price: Santa Fe GLS FWD $30,775 / As-Tested Limited FWD $39,540
  • Engine: 3.3-liter DOHC V6 290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm / 252 ft-lbs. torque @ 5,200 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 110.2 in.
  • Total length: 192.1 in.
  • Total width: 74.2 in.
  • Total height: 66.9 in.
  • Track: f/r-64.5/64.5 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-39.6/39.4 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.3/41.3 in.
  • Turning circle: 36.9 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 18.8 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,915 lbs.
  • EPA Fuel mileage estimates: 18 mpg city / 25 mpg highway

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