2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

After more than a decade on the market, the Hyundai Santa Fe will be a longer, lighter and faster SUV in 2013. Crossover shoppers looking for a potentially better buy will definitely be looking in the direction of the third-generation Santa Fe! Spend a little time with us, read our review and enjoy our pictures and video (at the end) to find out who we think will really appreciate the new Santa Fe. And please be sure to let us know what you think when you’re finished by leaving a comment.

We recently spent some time with the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport with a 2.0L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and standard 6-speed automatic transmission. Drivetrain options include the standard FWD or you can upgrade to the AWD. The powerplant makes 264 hp and 269 ft.-lb. of torque. When it comes to fuel mileage, in the city the FWD model gets 21 MPG and on the highway an estimated 31 MPG, with the AWD achieving 20/27. Price starts at $27,700 (FWD) and $29,450 (AWD) and when you max it out fully loaded you’ll pay $35,925.
The folks at Hyundai have adopted the buzzphrase “Fluid and Precision” when it comes to their exterior styling and when you take a look at the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, it undeniably borrows some of the more attractive features from the German and Japanese SUVs currently on the road. We found it to be sporty, sharp and aggressive. In fact, chrome and LED accents now come standard on the vehicle and the improved aerodynamics are very well done when it comes to bumper design, underbody cover and rear spoiler. It’s bound to give allot of vehicles on the road some stiff competition.
The fluid exterior styling continues into the interior of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. We spent time in the Leather/Tech Trim Package which gives you all the bells and whistles. There’s a level of comfort in this vehicle that just doesn’t have any compromise. Seating is very comfortable with nothing to complain about. The large panoramic sunroof goes all the way to the rear without splitting half-way through.
We found the center console stack to be very well designed and easy to use with no complications whatsoever.
Something else new for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is the 40/20/40 split for the rear seats, offering different configurations of cargo/trunk space for varying needs. Overall what you’re getting inside is airy space, premium quality craftsmanship and a very comfortable, well-rounded feeling.
When you get behind the wheel of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, it feels like a big vehicle despite the fact that it’s dropped a little weight, but still reacts the way you would expect a mid-size crossover SUV to react. You get the power when you hit the throttle and it is responsive but still feels a little sluggish and heavy when going up and down hills.

We particularly felt like Hyundai did a good job on the steering wheel in terms of comfort, styling, response, performance and steering modes. For most instances, you have Normal which performs as you would expect, but then you’ve got Sport mode which boasts a 10% increase in steering power and feels stiffer, which makes it a little more fun and engaging. And finally you have Comfort Mode which is loose and easy to turn. The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe also has Best In Class safety options with one more airbag than competitors in the driver knee airbag.

While there is the option of the 2.4L engine in addition to the 2.0L Turbo, our recommendation for an SUV this size if you’re looking for any sort of performance at all is undoubtedly to go with the Turbo and it’s extra 74 hp. The Turbo makes for a more engaging drive with more fun on the twists and turns and performance on the inclines and declines.

As much as we liked the exterior styling and overall handling of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, one of the things that sort of disappointed us was the somewhat lackluster 2.0L Turbo engine. And paddle shifters would have made the drive a little more engaging since the SUV has so many bells and whistles on the inside. In terms of versatility, a power lift gate for the trunk would have been great. And power folding mirrors would have really sweetened the deal and made the package just a little more premium.

After taking a pleasant test drive in the all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, it’s obvious that Hyundai is targeting the family with its styling and comfort. This short wheelbase SUV will be available later in 2012 and a long wheelbase model seating seven passengers will replace the Veracruz in 2013. For those looking for a massive, bulky SUV, the Santa Fe is simply not for you.


And be sure to take a minute to watch the video review!

Exterior color options for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe include: Moonstone Silver, Cabo Bronze, Mineral Gray, Canyon Copper, Twilight Black, Frost White Pearl, Serrano Red, Marlin Blue and Juniper Green

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