Spacious, smooth and with an eye-catching design, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a true star among midsize crossover SUVs. It is a well-rounded vehicle, delivers a powerful, yet quiet ride, seats up to seven (with plenty of room to spare) and comes with all the technological trimmings you could ask for.
There are two distinct Santa Fe models available, and Hyundai designers developed both the smaller Santa Fe Sport and larger three-row Santa Fe together, with the side window shape the most obvious difference between the two. The Santa Fe window is bigger and emphasizes the increased passenger and cargo room behind the third-row seat.
The three-row Santa Fe also has an additional 1.9 inches of second-row legroom and 5.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Rear passenger
HVAC controls and vents are standard and offer a standard 50-50 split folding thirdrow bench seat with 31.5 inches of legroom. Second row captain’s chairs are also available. The Santa Fe also has its own bodyside character lines from the B-pillar back, a different grille design, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust and a flushmounted tow hitch design.
On the inside, both Santa Fe trims have the same flowing interior designed for family use and comfort. From the available heated rear seats and eight-way power driver seat with fourway lumbar support, to a standard 40-20-40 split-folding rear seat back, both models have flexibility and a pleasant cabin.
The three-row Santa Fe is powered by a 3.3- liter V-6 engine. It has a high-pressure direct injection system that increases power and torque while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds is perfect for towing small boats or other weekend toys.
The Santa Fe Sport is powered by the Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system for better fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing.
The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine that produces 264 hp and 269 pound-feet of torque with regular gas. The engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that, when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery.
All Santa Fe engines are mated to Hyundai’s six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control. The gearbox delivers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread.
Santa Fe also offers the optional Active Cornering Control All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system for:
• Improved lateral stability while cornering
• Reduced of unintended over- and under-steer, by reducing unwanted traction to the front and rear axle
• High thermal capacity, which helps prevent overheating during hill climbs and trailer towing. The base MSRP on the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is $24,950.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.