Santa Fe has a spacious interior, offering three-row seating (40/20/40 split second row bench or captain chairs, and 50/50 split third row) for up to seven passengers. The Limited model comes with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat with 4-way lumbar support, 4-way power front passenger seat, second row captain chairs, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and proximity key entry with push-button start.
Just set the cabin temperature and let the dual-zone automatic climate control with CleanAir Ionizer add a cool, clean and healthy atmosphere; setting forth a finely sculpted and friendly environment.
The available panoramic sunroof stretches over the first and second row of seats, allowing an opportunity to enjoy the sunlight or view an ocean of stars.
The 4.3-inch color touch screen audio system with rear-view camera offers AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio /CD/MP3 with iPod/USB/Aux input jacks.
There are two body styles under the Santa Fe name: The six/seven-seater Santa Fe reviewed here and a five-seater Santa Fe Sport. Santa Fe is available in either the GLS or the Limited trim, and both are powered by the same 3.3 L gasoline engine. The engine delivers 290 hp at 6,400 rpm and 252 lb-ft torque at 5,200 rpm, through a 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and Active Eco System. This perky but most dependable engine fetches an estimated 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
Santa Fe comes standard with trailer-prep package and a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.
Active Cornering Control AWD is a splendid innovation, especially when combined with the re-tuned suspension. Turning is made easy because of the lateral stability, helping to correct over- or understeering by maximizing traction and control. It doesn’t matter if the road surface is dry or wet. Opting for the AWD models adds $1,750 to the price tag.
The Santa Fe received the US News and World Report’s 2014 Best Car for the Money among 3-row midsize SUVs.
Santa Fe has a vehicle app called Blue Link that lets you lock or unlock your car remotely by using your cell phone. Geo Fence helps to keep track of your car if stolen, and Curfew Alert helps you locate your teenager.
There are seven exterior colors and six interior ones to choose from. Monaco White exterior and Black Leather interior provided the color assemble décor for my week of driving.
The MSRP for a FWD Santa Fe Limited is $34,250. An additional $4,650 for the Ultimate Package provides extra amenities like HID headlights, LED taillights, navigation system with 8-inch touch screen, panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 audio system, and rear parking assist sensors.
Hyundai’s Santa Fe was the most comfortable and spirited SUV I’ve driven this year. The front cabin had what seemed like an enormous amount of shoulder, head, hip and foot room (160 cu ft cabin volume).
Visibility on all sides was superb, and the easy-and-quiet shifting of the automatic transmission blended with the great power you get when you want to go somewhere quickly and efficiently.
Santa Fe would be a superb buy if you want a quality vehicle that is modestly priced.
5-year/60,000-miles New Vehicle Limited Warranty
10-year/100,000-miles Powertrain Warranty
7-year/Unlimited-miles Anti-perforation Warranty
5-year/Unlimited-miles 24-hour Roadside Assistance
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or firstname.lastname@example.org