There are a lot of great midsize crossovers out there, and thanks to a 2013 redesign, the Hyundai Santa Fe is one of them. Hyundai added "Sport" to Santa Fe's name for 2013 and gave the five-passenger crossover a total makeover, with sleek exterior styling, new engines and a high-quality interior. The larger, seven-passenger Santa Fe will go on sale early next year. A sliding and reclining second-row means backseat passengers can get comfortable, but how well did the Sport handle child-safety seats?
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here's how the Hyundai Santa Fe did in Cars.com’s Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There are two sets of lower anchors in the outboard seats. They're not set too deeply into the seat bight, but the cushions are firm and block access. There are three tether anchors midway down the seatbacks, and access is easy.
Booster seat: The outboard seats are slightly bolstered, which help hold the booster snugly. The buckles are floppy, however, and sink into pockets in the leather. This might complicate things for kids trying to buckle up independently.
Convertible seat: This seat's rigid connectors easily pushed through the stiff cushion to find the Latch anchors. In the rear-facing position, the convertible needed extra space to fit in the backseat, so we moved the front passenger seat forward a bit to accommodate it. This was after we slid the second-row seat as far back as it would go. The front passenger still had a comfortable amount of legroom, however.
In the forward-facing position, the head restraint pushed this seat too far forward, but we were unable to take it off even though it's removable. Instead, we reclined the seatback; the angle helped us position the convertible correctly.
Infant-safety seat: Again, this seat needed more space, so the front-passenger seat had to be moved up even more to accommodate the infant seat. The front-passenger’s knees were touching the glove box.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.