2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Car Seat Check

2014HyundaiSantaFeSport

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport earned Cars.com's Family Car of the Year award for 2014, and it's easy to understand why after spending some time in it. With roomy backseat, sizable cargo area and family-friendly touches such as an optional panoramic sunroof and rear sunshades for the side windows, the Santa Fe Sport has a winning combination of features that appeal to families.

We found this two-row crossover easy to work with in terms of child-safety-seat installation. While we have some gripes with the seat belt bases, we seemed to have less trouble with our car seats' impact on front passenger legroom with this year's model as compared to the 2013. Read on to find out how the current model measured up.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 270,000 Hyundai, Kia Vehicles

Hyundai-KiaRecall

Hyundai and Kia are recalling about 270,000 vehicles in three separate actions, according to the Chicago Tribune. Hyundai is recalling 240,000 model-year 2006-10 Sonata sedans and 2006-11 Azera sedans due to a corrosion problem that could affect rear-wheel alignment. Meanwhile, Hyundai is also recalling 20,300 model-year 2013 Santa Fe midsize SUVs and Kia is recalling 9,345 model-year 2014 Sorento crossovers, both due to a potential problem with the right front axle.

In the largest of the recalls, the affected Sonatas were manufactured between March 1, 2005, and Jan. 21, 2010, and the Azeras from Sept. 27, 2005, to Nov. 22, 2010, the newspaper reported. Check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb. Road salt used in 20 cold-weather states and the District of Columbia can lead to rust on the underside of the affected vehicles; this could lead to misaligned rear wheels. The states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Hyundai said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries resulting from the corrosion issue, the Tribune reported.

By Matt Schmitz | August 15, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

Cars.com's 2013 Midsize SUV Challenge and Light Duty Challenge held fast at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on our list of the week's most-watched videos. Meanwhile, our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Exhaust Note struck a chord with viewers, landing at No. 3 in its debut week, while Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays' critique of the controversial-looking 2013 Nissan Juke bowed at No. 4. Check out what was popular:

1. 2013 Midsize SUV Challenge
2. 2013 Light Duty Challenge
3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Exhaust Note
4. 2013 Nissan Juke

5. 2013 Nissan Titan

By Matt Schmitz | July 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

Do All- and Four-Wheel-Drive SUVs Require More Maintenance Than Two-Wheel-Drive Ones?

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Some do, some don't, and it often depends on whether the vehicle is used in what manufacturers describe as "severe" driving conditions, such as towing, driving through water or hardcore off-road use.

Most SUVs available today are car-based crossover models, so they aren't intended for off-road driving, but they can be used for towing, in dusty or muddy conditions, heavy stop-and-go driving and other such conditions that qualify as severe. In those cases, you might need to change the transfer case and differential oil periodically instead of just having it inspected. If you drive any vehicle for extended periods under severe conditions, you should perform other routine maintenance items more often, such as oil and transmission-fluid changes, so that isn't unique to all-wheel- and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

By Rick Popely | July 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

The $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge: State of the Midsize SUV

2013 Midsize SUV Challenge Overview

A lot has changed in the midsize SUV segment in the last 10 years. What once was a class dominated by truck-based models has given way almost entirely to car-based versions with a high seating position and styling that helped make SUVs popular, but offer improved ride and handling, fuel economy and interior space.

The class took a hit to its popularity around the first time gas prices reached $4 a gallon, but lately sales have been roaring back. Jeep's Grand Cherokee is Chrysler's second-best-selling vehicle this year after the Ram 1500 pickup truck, and it's a reason the joint venture with Fiat is booming. Ford's Edge, while not as successful as sister SUVs Explorer and Escape, still outsells Ford's largest and smallest cars, the Taurus and Fiesta.

By Mike Hanley | July 8, 2013 | Comments (11)

The $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge: Meet the Family

2013 Midsize Challenge

The family testers arrived at our Challenge with a history with one of the competing automakers, but they left choosing a different automaker's SUV. But it wasn't an easy or quick decision.

Midsize SUVs are all about family friendliness, so we called in a family of four to help us evaluate six SUVs in the Cars.com/USA Today/"MotorWeek" $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge. Brian and Melissa "Missy" Brown live in the Chicago suburbs with their kids, Zachary, 7, and Taylor, 6. Missy is an elementary school teacher, and Brian is a technical support engineer for Panasonic's biomedical division.

Along with our experts, Brian and Missy evaluated the 2013 Ford Edge, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2014 Kia Sorento, 2013 Nissan Murano and 2013 Toyota Venza. Their evaluation scores helped determine the competition's winner.

By Joe Bruzek | July 7, 2013 | Comments (1)

The $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge: Mileage Results

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Midsize SUVs aren't known as the most fuel-efficient vehicles. The six SUVs we tested for Cars.com's latest comparison have technological advancements that make these five-passenger family haulers far more efficient than the previous generations. Features like an eight-speed automatic transmission, Eco driving modes and a turbocharged four-cylinder are sprinkled throughout the field.

We tested the 2013 Ford Edge, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2014 Kia Sorento, 2013 Nissan Murano and 2013 Toyota Venza.

Each manufacturer fielded its own vehicle and chose the drive type and engine to be evaluated for our comparison. The result was a mix of front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive SUVs. The Santa Fe Sport (20/27 mpg city/highway) went with front-wheel drive along with the Edge (19/27 mpg); the Grand Cherokee (17/25) was rear-wheel drive, and the Sorento (18/24), Venza (18/25) and Murano (18/23) were equipped with all-wheel drive.

We put these SUVs to the test on a 200-plus-mile driving loop in the Chicago suburbs to evaluate their gas mileage in as equal conditions as possible: same day, same time and same route with six legs to swap drivers to equalize weight and driving styles. How'd they do?

By Joe Bruzek | July 7, 2013 | Comments (1)

The $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge: Results

Midsize SUV Challenge

A quick look again at our judges:

  • Aaron Bragman, Detroit bureau chief for Cars.com
  • Joe Bruzek, editor and car reviewer for Cars.com
  • Mike Hanley, editor and car reviewer for Cars.com
  • James R. Healey, auto writer for USA Today
  • Ben Davis, producer for PBS' "MotorWeek"
  • Brian and Melissa Brown, our family judges for this Challenge

Here's how the score broke down: The experts' scores account for 75% of the total score; 15% from the family's scores; and 10% was based on fuel economy. To help you make your own comparisons of these SUVs, we've pulled together a list of what you get for $38,000.

By Patrick Olsen | July 7, 2013 | Comments (14)

The $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge: Cargo

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Any of the six vehicles we tested for the $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge can swallow a generous dose of Little League equipment, potting soil, groceries or whatever you can imagine in the cargo area. When shopping for an SUV, it's important to remember that a big exterior doesn't mean it will have a huge cargo area.

The 2013 Nissan Murano is the longest of the bunch, yet it has the smallest cargo area. To drive that point further, the 2014 Kia Sorento is the second shortest but has the largest cargo area compared to the Murano, 2013 Ford Edge, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and 2013 Toyota Venza.

By David Thomas | July 7, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 and 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Car Seat Check

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Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, but our results also apply to the 2014 model.

Hyundai worked some magic with the 2013 redesign of its Santa Fe. This family-friendly crossover now comes with two rows in the 2013 Santa Fe Sport or three rows in the 2013 Santa Fe. In the Santa Fe Sport's Car Seat Check, we had to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate a rear-facing infant seat, and the Latch anchors were difficult to use. While the Santa Fe can seat up to seven, our test model had second-row captain's chairs, bringing seating capacity to six. Did it outperform the Santa Fe Sport?

By Jennifer Newman | June 6, 2013 | Comments (1)

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