Living Large with Three Rows in the Hyundai Santa Fe

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Ltd
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited is great for families, or just a crew who wants a little more space and luxury

The Hyundai Santa Fe lets a reluctant road tripper experience the luxury of space

Ever luck out on an empty airplane and get a whole row to yourself? Me neither. But on a recent road trip from Connecticut to Kentucky, my kids and I spread out over three rows in the Hyundai Santa Fe.

No, we didn’t need all that space for just three of us, but once we got to Kentucky, where I am from and still have family, we were able to use every inch of space, carting cousins and kin all over town.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe, despite its roomy interior, is easy to maneuver in a tight parking lot

Driver comfort

The car feels really sturdy – not luxury, but solid, safe. I found out after driving the car that it even has a knee airbag for added safety.

The seats were comfortable and easily adjustable, though I felt I could have used more lumbar support on such a long drive. But the Hyundai Santa Fe is an easy and very responsive car. I ought to know – I spent a lot of time driving it!

Third row is a charm


Roomy second row in the Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited has a three row version, with captains seats in the second row. It was truly built with passenger and driver comfort in mind. The third row had ample leg room; even an adult could sit back there.

The third row also had its own temperature controls, great for quelling whiny kids. Hot back there? Turn on your air. Cold? Adjust away. The only thing lacking was a USB port for the third row.

Easy technology

The navigation system was super easy to use. And connecting my phone via Bluetooth was a snap. But if you want to use some of the more advanced MyHyundai features, like voice texting, you have to sign up ahead of time.

Driving under the sun and stars

We stayed off the grid on this trip – in a treehouse! But the car was so roomy, and the the third row folded down flat, that we could have camped out in the car. The panoramic sun roof was a huge hit with my teens, who don’t want to waste a nice day indoors, so I was fantasizing about sleeping under the stars. But the treehouse was enough ‘roughing it’ for us.

Standard safety features

A blind spot detection system, rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist are all standard in the Limited model, and options on the GLS. The rear view camera is standard in both models and it is becoming so widespread that I expect it in every car I drive (soon, it will be required).

What I loved

  • All that space!
  • Quality of interior
  • Felt really sturdy and good quality
  • Attention to detail
  • 2nd row latch for car seats is a standard feature
  • Legitimate 3rd row with temp controls and leg room
  • Super easy to fold the third row down, and it folds flat
  • Super easy to drive (even for 17 hours!)
  • Nav system super easy to use
  • High quality speakers; I didn’t notice but a friend was impressed with the Infinity speakers
  • Amazing gas mileage – 2.5 tanks of gas – 800 miles
  • Rearview camera and blind spot monitor
  • Steering wheel controls include radio, cruise, navigation and driver feedback
  • Uses regular gas

What you need to know

  • MyHyundai voice texting requires the user to sign up before using
  • Seven standard airbags, including drivers’ knee airbag
  • Panoramic sunroof, rear park assist and heated second row seats are available options
  • Five year warranty
  • 10 year powertrain warranty
  • 5 year roadside assistance plan
  • Price is about $34,000

Disclosure: The Santa Fe was provided to me by Hyundai for this review; the opinions expressed are all my own.