2014 Hyundai Santa Fe | Road Test

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 by
2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 86,900 - 123,900
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  • Santa Fe
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 80%
  • Interior
    Editor: 70%
  • Quality
    Editor: 70%
  • Features
    Editor: 80%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

The Mid-Size SUV segment is one that is slowly getting crowded, with numerous brands pumping in numerous offerings. However, while there may be a fair number of competitors, the 2014 is on the right path to standing out from the crowd.


* A spacious and comfortable cabin is definitely one of the Korean SUV's strongest points.


* Body roll is a little more prominent than you'd like.
* The introduction of a side step would definitely not go amiss.

Introduction and Summary

Hyundai is very proud of the 2014 Santa Fe, as they claim that it has the perfect combination of being practical, comfortable, and affordable, all at the same time. Going up against some big names in the game such as the Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia, we dig deeper to find out if the Korean SUV has what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe front

Styling and Design

The Santa Fe has definitely become a much sharper car over the years. The lines and creases start at the front of the Santa Fe and flow in a very elegant manner all the way to the rear lights, which complete the car’s look from the back end. A little bit of flamboyance is provided by the somewhat flared rear wheel arches and does the Santa Fe some good in terms of shedding the soccer mom association. The panoramic roof adds a very nice touch to the car as it gives off a scent of luxury when the roof blind is opened.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe front rear


The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe has a parking assist system that consists of rear sensors and a backup camera. The special thing about this camera, however, is that it offers an excellent wide angle view without stretching objects, so as to provide a realistic view of what’s going on behind the car.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe interior

The dual zone A/C system uses Hyundai’s “CleanAir” feature which measures the purity of the air coming into the ducts towards the cabin, and then sends out “Clean Air Ions” to counter the impurities in the flowing air, to provide the cabin with the cleanest air possible.

For the audio junkies, the Santa Fe’s infotainment system has all kinds of inputs ranging from a CD player to a USB port, that you could use to pump out your fave tunes and although the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons take some time getting used to, it all works very well. Additionally, the Qibla (Prayer Direction) compass, is a nice touch for the Middle Eastern markets.

 Drive and Handling

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with two engine choices; a 2.4L 4-Cylinder and a 3.3L V6, our test car was fitted with the beefier of the two. Pumping out 266 horses and 320 Nm of torque through a 6 speed automatic transmission to all four wheels, the Korean SUV won’t be breaking any records any time soon, but it fulfills the car’s need as a family SUV.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe front side

The Santa Fe now comes with adjustable steering preferences where you can switch between Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. As expected, in Comfort mode the electronics make the steering artificially a little too soft and although the mushy feeling is reduced in Normal mode, it’s Sports mode that really instills some confidence with its tougher steering when taking corners.

 Comfort and Practicality

During my short stint with the Santa Fe, I used it for taking the siblings to school, drop offs at karate practice, a few grocery runs and airport pickups; so in a way, you could say this is the most realistic road test the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe has ever been through.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe rear seat

No matter what the situation, the Santa Fe proved itself in every scenario. A spacious row provided more room for the kids to be seated comfortably, ample room in the trunk made it very easy to load and unload items and the quiet cabin made it all even better.

Price and Verdict

The price of the Santa Fe starts at AED 86,900 and climbs to AED 123,900 once all the options are checked off. For its price, the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe comes across as a brilliant value proposition, especially once you come to the realization that its closest rivals, the Nissan Pathfinder, cost AED 34,000 more! Proving on all counts, the Hyundai Santa Fe is one seven seater, city runner that I highly recommend.

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