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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are expecting our first kid in the spring, and looking to upgrade one of our small sedans to a CUV. Wife will be the primary driver, and doesn’t want a 3-row SUV or minivan. We do want something that is fully loaded for under $40k.

I don’t have any experience with Hyundai, but the ’14 SFS popped up on my radar recently. I am big into features, and I am very impressed by all the stuff it has: Blind Spot Monitor, rear parking sensors, HID headlights, LED tails, Bluelink, sliding/heated second row, premium sound, ventilated seats, etc. I don’t see any other model that has all these features in this price range. The only things I see lacking are power tailgate and memory mirrors, but those aren’t dealbreakers.

Also, the wife and I both agree this is the best looking CUV we’ve seen (at least online- haven’t seen one in person yet).

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the SFS as a car for a young family (probably will have a 2nd kid in a few years)? We have a lot of family within a 4 hour radius, so will likely take a lot of road trips.

Also, what are your thoughts on car seat & stroller space? I did find a thread on this forum about rear-facing infant seats, but there wasn’t a definitive answer on how much it would affect passenger legroom. These rear-facing seats these days are beasts.

I appreciate any insight. We are also looking at the ’14 versions of the Kia Sorento, Acura RDX, and Toyota Venza. Haven’t done any test drives yet but will start soon.
 

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In case you hadn't realised, the Kia Sorento is a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport underneath - platform, drivetrain and body systems - but perversely the Santa Fe Sport is built in the US by Kia on the Sorento assembly line !
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
In case you hadn't realised, the Kia Sorento is a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport underneath - platform, drivetrain and body systems - but perversely the Santa Fe Sport is built in the US by Kia on the Sorento assembly line !
Yep I did realize that. I know the Sorento has arguably better features than SFS (power folding mirrors, power liftgate, nappa leather, etc). But I think the SFS is much better looking (interior and exterior), and a few thousand cheaper.
 

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I think a SFS would be very good for this. There is more than enough room for a rear facing child seat. The rear seats in the SFS are very roomy.

I will argue for a family of 4 the lack of the third row is a good thing and that the space in the SFS would be more practical than a larger SUV.

I work with someone with twins and has the much larger Pathfinder. The second row seats have more room in the SFS than the Pathfinder and the third rows are useless because they have always have to be folded down so you have room to store stuff in the back.

Even with the third row folded because they have to add cup holders and arm rests the rear storage in 3rd row vehicles the width is narrower.

While I haven't had a stroller in mine. I can fit my golf bag in the back across the width and still have a couple of inches to spare. On the Pathfinder you have to fold seats down to fit clubs in the back as there is not enough width to fit them side to side.
 

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Yep I did realize that. I know the Sorento has arguably better features than SFS (power folding mirrors, power liftgate, nappa leather, etc). But I think the SFS is much better looking, and a few thousand cheaper.
Agreed, I was in the same boat and was down between the SFS and the Sorrento.

The Sorrento had a few extra features but they were not that big a deal to me. The folding mirrors I liked. The power lift gate I just don't see as a big deal. Honestly with the transponder keys I just walk up to the car and press the handle to open. The power lift gate I would have to pull my keys out and hit the button then wait for it to open. That is my biggest problem with them. Any time I'm at a store and someone is using one they are standing next to the car waiting for it open. Nappa leather, I don't care for it that much. HID is the big one but in my opinion they are aimed too low. They are super bright but they don't shine out very far.

In the end I didn't see much value for me in the extra features. Truthfully in the end it came down too the fact that I thought the SFS looked much better, outside and in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I work with someone with twins and has the much larger Pathfinder. The second row seats have more room in the SFS than the Pathfinder and the third rows are useless because they have always have to be folded down so you have room to store stuff in the back.
Thanks for the notes. Is your co-worker's Pathfinder the new body style that came out last year? If so, that is impressive since that new body is supposed to be very spacious.
 

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To the OP:

When our daughter & family came in from the U.K. last month for a three week visit, I picked them up at the airport...Loaded in the rear of the SFS were three HUGE pieces of luggage, one slightly smaller piece of luggage, two smaller carry-on`s, and a stroller..I could still see quiet well out of the rear window...

The sliding rear seats did NOT have to be slid forward to accomplish this, leaving full leg room in the 2nd row seating...Also, there were four adults and a baby seat (not rear facing)...

The return trip to the airport consisted of all of the above, plus an added piece of luggage...
 

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Thanks for the notes. Is your co-worker's Pathfinder the new body style that came out last year? If so, that is impressive since that new body is supposed to be very spacious.
Not sure when they changed but his was a 2012 model so I'm guessing no.

The Audi Q7, Mazda CX9, Kia Sorrento, Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot all had less space in their second rows than the Santa Fe due to the third row. To give leg room and some level of egress from the third row the manufactures move the 2nd row up slightly, which results in some less leg room. This was minimal but noticeable in the Sorrento and at least to my 6' 1" frame shocking in the Pilot.
 

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We bought the sfs '13 and have no regrets! Plenty of space, went on a trip last weekend 5 days, stroller, playpen, suits & dress', 2 suitcases, hot and cold weather clothes. Plus the gift and nothing but the baby and hanging suit bag in the back seat. And I could see out the rear window no problem! The ride was smooth and the gas mileage was 8.8km/100L calculated by the ecu.
 

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Does any one have any first hand experience on the fit of rear facing infant carriers? The car seat check on kickingtires mentioned that the front passenger seat had to be moved up considerably in order to fit the carrier. I would need to have 2 infant carriers in the car, and wanted to see if anyone else had success fitting one without too much adjustment of the front seats.

Was not sure if the previous posters who commented were using convertible or infant carrier seats.
 

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I got the SFS too because we were having a 2nd baby. Size-wise I think the SFS is perfect. But you do need the backup camera at least. My wife is small and she has too many blind spots. Now she avoids driving it (also she's a new driver so, so she's more comfortable with our other small car for now).

Also I really really wish I had auto tailgate. There are going to be many many situations when both your hands are carrying something and an auto tailgate like the one that Ford escape offers would have been a big help (i.e. you just do a kick motion below to open it). Note also that the SFS tailgate can only be opened by pressing a button at the back; no button from inside the car, and cannot be opened by the key fob button. It's a hassle! And my wife hates opening the back when the car is dirty especially on a roadtrip.

I would therefore recommend the 3 row Santa Fe, even though you said you're not looking for a 3 row suv. You can get it with the auto tailgate plus the engine is sweet! And I don't think it's that much bigger so why not go a little big?
 

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not sure how well the Ford system works. The salesman trying to sell it to me did the hokey pokey for about 10 seconds before it started to open.

Absent the Ford style system I don't see the use of automatic tailgates. If your hands are full then how are you going to get to your keys to press the button on the fob.

With the SFS you don't have even take your keys out of your pocket. Walk up to the back squeeze the handle for two seconds and it unlock and a light pull to open.

With the automatic ones it just always seems I see people standing next to the car press the button and watching the thing slowly raising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With the automatic ones it just always seems I see people standing next to the car press the button and watching the thing slowly raising.
Good point. I asked my wife if lack of a power tailgate is a dealbreaker, and she said she actually doesn't like that feature because the gate moves so slowly (her parents have it on their RX350).
 

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Good point. I asked my wife if lack of a power tailgate is a dealbreaker, and she said she actually doesn't like that feature because the gate moves so slowly (her parents have it on their RX350).
My son has power tailgate on his GM Europe Vectra - it's slow to open and slow to close - and too easy to open off the key fob when you're inside a building.
 

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Does any one have any first hand experience on the fit of rear facing infant carriers? The car seat check on kickingtires mentioned that the front passenger seat had to be moved up considerably in order to fit the carrier. I would need to have 2 infant carriers in the car, and wanted to see if anyone else had success fitting one without too much adjustment of the front seats.

Was not sure if the previous posters who commented were using convertible or infant carrier seats.
Because there seems to be different styles & sizes of rear facing infant seats, probably the best thing to do is to take 'your model' to a dealer and try it...
 

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Because there seems to be different styles & sizes of rear facing infant seats, probably the best thing to do is to take 'your model' to a dealer and try it...

Understood. I just wanted to see if there was anyone who had success with any infant carrier. I do not have the infant carriers purchased yet, since the babies have not arrived yet. We were originally considering the LWB, but my wife prefers the size and appearance of the sport.
 

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Understood. I just wanted to see if there was anyone who had success with any infant carrier. I do not have the infant carriers purchased yet, since the babies have not arrived yet. We were originally considering the LWB, but my wife prefers the size and appearance of the sport.
Expecting twins!...Congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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I'm a first time parent and my wife and I bought the SFS 2.0 T AWD in Dec 2012. It's been great so far and we love it! Plenty of room for the baby's stuff and easy loading. Only complaint I have is no auto tailgate lift. No button for it. My brother-in-law also loved the SFS that he ended up getting the 7 seater.
 
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