2014 and 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Car Seat Check

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?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

What We Like

  • Two sets of Latch anchors in the second row's captain's chairs are easy to use because they're exposed. 
  • The second-row seats slide forward and back, giving up plenty of room for rear-facing child-safety seats. 
  • The booster seat and forward-facing convertible installed easily in the second and third rows. 
  • The second-row captain's chairs have seatbacks that recline and seat belt buckles that are easy for little hands to grasp. 
  • Though the walkway between the captain's chairs is narrow, most kids won't have any problem getting to the third row.

What We Don't

  • There aren't any Latch anchors in the third row — many automakers don't put them back there; we used the seat belt to install the forward-facing convertible. 
  • The third row's seat belt buckles are floppy, which can be difficult for younger kids to manage independently. 
  • The second-row seats only slide forward a few inches, making it difficult to access the third row.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted 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 and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

Research the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Car Seat Check
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