Third Row Seats - 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Long-Term Road Test

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: Third Row Seats

July 22, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

It's all too common to take a glance at the third row seats, shrug and say, "Well, it's just for kids." We didn't have any kids handy, so we decided to try out the Santa Fe's third row seat ourselves. My wife and I both slid between the second row captain's chairs and plopped down in the rear seats. We felt a little silly sitting in the back of a parked vehicle. But we did our best to evaluate what it would be like to sit there for kids, or even adults.

Our knees angled up, but not uncomfortably. The head room was sufficient even though the rear window was very close to the backs of our heads. For short hops this sitting position would be acceptable. For longer trips there were two things that would bother both kids and adults.

If you try to relax and spread out, your elbow lands squarely in a hard plastic cup holder and a storage tray. This would be very uncomfortable. Also, the rear windows narrow to the point where it's hard to see anything while sitting back there. This would make anyone claustrophobic on longer trips.

I'm a fan of third row seats since I like the idea of carrying as many people as possible in one car. The Santa Fe offers a useable third row seat for kids and even, in a pinch, modestly proportioned adults.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 1,316 miles


  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    The biggest problem I've found with third-row seats is typically a lack of cushioning. Especially with the typical knees-angled-up sitting position, the hard thin seat bottom becomes uncomfortable long before the claustrophobia or lack of leg room are noticeable.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    And look at that: Air Vents. Nice comfort feature for those banished to the third row. My CX-9 has floor vents only for the 3rd row which I assume are linked to the floor vents in the rest of the car, likely to only come into play when heating, not for cooling.

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