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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Preview

Pros: The stylish 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL stands out from the regular, short-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport with a 60/40-split third-row seat that boosts seating capacity to seven while increasing versatility. Equipped with a powerful V6, it offers spirited acceleration and tows up to 5,000 pounds. 

Cons: The V6's fuel economy is somewhat disappointing. One could say the same thing about cargo room behind the third-row seat. Steering lacks feedback, while the big sideview mirrors affect forward visibility.

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014
Photo: Hyundai

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Price: The base FWD model costs $30,999. Every other trim benefits from AWD, including the Premium at $34,999. Next up is the Luxury, which retails for $39,799. Finally, the top-of-the-line Santa Fe XL Limited, available in 6- and 7-passenger configurations, starts at $43,199.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Fuel Economy: Official ratings are 11.5L/100km in the city and 7.7L/100km on the highway. AWD models burn an extra 0.3L/100km.

Improvements and Changes: Barely one year old, the Hyundai Santa Fe XL returns virtually unchanged for 2014. Some new standard and optional features appear on each trim level (base model: new 4.2'' LCD screen, third-row climate controls, etc.), which explains the minor hikes across the lineup.

Powertrain: The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL exploits a 3.3L V6 with gasoline direct injection, and AWD is optional. Output is rated at 290 horsepower, while maximum torque amounts to 252 lb-ft. It's all handled by a 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual mode.

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014
Photo: Hyundai

Cargo Capacity: The trunk can hold 382 litres of gear. By folding the second and third rows of seats, the cargo area expands to 2,265 litres.

Safety: As a proud recipient of a 5-star crash rating, the Santa Fe XL comes standard with seven airbags (including a driver's knee airbag), stability and traction control, as well as hill-start assist and downhill brake control. A blind spot detection system is newly available.

Comparing the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL: Alternatives to this 7-passenger CUV include the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Tribeca, and Toyota Highlander.