2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Test Drive

?2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited adds technology and? comfort features?


The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai was launched last year by Hyundai Motor America, employing a unique two wheelbase strategy for a crossover vehicle ? a format usually only existing in luxury sedans. First came the 2013 Santa Fe Sport, a five passenger CUV with two four-cylinder engine applications ? a 2.4-liter or a 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant, followed by the 2013? Santa Fe, which replaced the outgoing Hyundai Vera Cruz and weighing 320 pounds less. It was available in two trim levels: a 7-passenger GLS; and a 6-passenger, more upscale Hyundai Santa Fe Limited model.

Both longer wheelbase Santa Fe models with three seating rows were available in either Front-Wheel Drive or with an Active On Demand AWD system with AWD lock and Active Cornering Control configuration, and both were powered by a transversely front mounted Lambda II 3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) V-6 engine, with Dual Continuous Variable Valve Timing and a 3 stage variable induction manifold. All of that remains status quo for the 2014 model year.


The 3.3-liter V-6 produces 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm along with 252 pound feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. Motive force reaches the driving wheels via a Hyundai designed and engineered, electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift capability.

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe features a 3.9-inch long wheelbase, is 8.5-inches longer overall than its Santa Fe Sport sibling, while providing an additional 38.6 feet of total interior volume. The Santa Fe is tow rated at up to 5,000 pounds and comes with features such as: an Active Cornering Control AWD system; a wheel mounted Driver Selectable Steering Mode with three settings (Normal, Comfort and Sport); Hill Start Assist, Downhill Brake Control; Brake Assist, Traction Control; a Panoramic sunroof (optional); seven standard airbags; heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel; power driver and front passenger seats; standard Hyundai Blue Link? ? safety, service and infotainment telematics system; third generation navigation and audio multimedia systems with an available eight-inch display; and a power liftgate.

Seating arrangements for the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe include seven passenger seating with 40:20:40 split folding second row bench seat or six passenger seating with second row captain?s chairs and sliding and reclining second row seating with cargo area release and 50:50 flat folding third row seats. There are rear HVAC controls and a 115-volt power outlet located in the cargo area.


The Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe were designed together, featuring Hyundai?s signature ?Fluidic sculpture? with the primary differentiating element being the side window shape. The longer Santa Fe features a shape highlighting the increased passenger and cargo room behind the third-row seat. Santa Fe also displays its own unique bodyside character lines from the B-pillar back, a different grille design, standard 18-inch Euroflange alloy wheels, with 19-inch alloy wheels available, chrome-tipped dual exhaust and a flush-mounted tow hitch design.


Both GLS and Limited 2014 Santa Fe trims feature the same flowing interior look, designed not only for functionality but for passenger comfort as well, ranging from available heated rear seats and eight-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar support, to a standard 40:20:40 folding rear seat back. New last year? and standard on all Santa Fe models equipped with cloth seats ? was a ?YES Essentials? seat fabric treatment that provides soil-resistant, anti-odor and anti-static properties. 2014 Santa Fe models also offer an optional push-button starter with proximity key, Electroluminescent Gauge Cluster with color LCD trip computer and a heated steering wheel. The remote start may be activated by an available smart phone application.


During the national press launch, I piloted a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited in an AWD configuration. The base price was set at $34,850 while the final sticker totaled $38,730 after adding for the Technology Package, carpeted floor mats and Inland freight and Handling charges. The exterior sported a Circuit Silver metallic finish, while the interior was executed in Black with faux dark polished trim elements. The Tech Package included: the Panoramic sunroof, navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen, 12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound 550-watt audio system, HD radio technology, hearted steering wheel and manual rear side window sunshades. I was also able to experience a Limited model in FWD that cost $1,750 less. It was finished in Regal Red Pearl metallic with a Beige interior. This year my test 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited happened to ?be in ?in a FWD configuration. Its base sticker read $33,700 while the $4,850. Technology Package, carpeted floor mats and inland freight and handling bumped the final count and amount to $39,540. It was powered by the 3.3 liter GDI V6 and sported a Monaco White exterior with a beige and charcoal interior accented by faux polished wood trim.

SUMMARY: ?2014 Hyundai Santa Fe models continue to offer three fuel efficient engines, and five, six or seven passenger seating configurations, as well as FWD or AWD configurations. New for the 2014 model year is an available Blind Spot detection for all trim levels, and a Rear Parking assistance system that?s available on vehicles equipped with the Technology package.


Hyundai categorizes their CUV offering structure, with the Tucson as appropriate for pre-family, the Santa Fe as ideal for families, and the Santa Fe Sport skewed to post-family use. In reality, beauty and function are variable values based upon individual preferences. In my opinion, both the 2013 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are more pleasingly stylish than the Tucson. If you want V6 power and third row seating, go for the Santa Fe in either GLS or Limited Trim. If smaller is your cup of tea and you don?t require third row seating or V6 power, the Santa Fe Sport is the obvious pick ? with your choice of two four-cylinder engines.

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe In any case, is an extremely sleek (with a drag coefficient of 0.34) and attractive mid size Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) with more than adequate power provided by its 3.3-liter V6 along with a pleasant note from its dual exhaust. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly in either fully automatic or in the manual Shiftronic mode.


There is a notable difference in steering effort with the Driver Selectable Steering Mode. The Comfort mode seemed somewhat on the numb side, with the Normal mode being just as its name implies. The Sport mode delivered a crisper, more on center feel.

Hyundai has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of not only styling and design, but in engineering development and mechanical advancements as well as dependability and reliability since their first U.S. offerings. Hyundai?s Bluelink telematics system is intuitive and easy to use, with a host of applications and infotainment features.


In the final analysis, the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe rates as a highly desirable and practical mid size CUV in either trim level. EPA Mileage Estimates: are 18-mpg city and 24-mpg highway for the AWD version with only 1-mpg more on the highway for FWD models.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited FWD [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $33,700.
Price as Tested: $39,540.
Engine Type and Size: 3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) V-6 with Dual Continuous Variable Valve Timing and 3 stage variable induction manifold.
Horsepower (bhp): 290 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 252 @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: Electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic manual shift capability
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD or Active On Demand AWD system AWD lock and Active Cornering Control.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with twin-tube gas filled damper and 26-mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with gas shock absorber and (FWD 21 mm AWD 19 mm) stabilizer bar
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel single piston discs (vented front) with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensors with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Also Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, ESC and Downhill Brake Control.
Tires: Kumho Venture P235/55 R19 101H mounted on 5-double-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 110.2 inches
Length Overall: 193.1 inches
Width: 74.2 inches
Height: 66.9 inches with roof rack
Curb Weight: 3,904-4,145 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 18.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 18 mpg city / 25 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.34
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.


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