2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review | Hyundai Reviews at AutoTalk

26 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review | Hyundai Reviews at AutoTalk

Hyundai Santa Fe

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Now you may think you have seen this car before, as it looks extremely similar to the Santa Fe Sport we tested last year, but the long wheel-base model is larger in every direction. This increase in size has upped the total passenger volume by 39 cubic feet to 147. While they do look very similar, a careful eye will sport the larger grille, raised profile near the rear hatch, and revised fog light design.

Overall we still feel the car looks very handsome, and appreciate the restrained design of the Santa Fe over Hyundai’s more exaggerated styling efforts from the car division.

One immediate change that will be noticeable by buyers is the absence of four cylinder engines. Every Santa Fe comes equipped with the 290-horsepwoer 3.3-liter V6 from the Azera sedan. Sure, the V6 only has 26 more horsepower than the 2.0T we tested in the Santa Fe Sport, but the real reason for the V6 is for towing.

The Santa Fe is the only three-row on sale today that comes standard with a 5000-lb tow rating on all models. There is no secondary tow package, no need for optional equipment. All you need to do is drive it off the lot, hook up a trailer, and you’re good to go.

That extra towing and horsepower doesn’t really come at much cost either. Fuel economy for the 2.0T we drove and the new V6 AWD is rated for an identical 24 mpg highway, and only suffer a loss of one mpg in the city, down to 18. Now while we were less than impressed with transmission tuning in the turbo model, the more natural power delivery of the V6 makes it much more useable in day to day driving.

While we were never able to hit that magical 24 MPG highway, we did feel that the ne Santa Fe performed much closer to its EPA ratings than the Sport from last year. The car does still feature an ECO mode, but pressing that button neuters the engine to the point that this crossover basically becomes undriveable.

While our main tester was a fully loaded model with AWD, we did spend some time with a FWD model, and we have to say that in this case, AWD is the way to go. You only gain one MPG by dropping the system, and the FWD Santa Fe was far more prone to heavy understeer in even light cornering loads. The AWD model on the other hand felt extremely planted and stable.

Suck up the $1,750 price increase it’s worth every penny.

Interior trim for the Santa Fe was much of what we expected. The same high-quality materials and tight seams present in the Sport can be seen here as well. Essentially, the cabin is identical from the dash to the second row. It is only beyond that second row that things get different.

The big addition to the Santa Fe over the Sport is that third row, and hear is the big surprise, it#8217;s actually usable. Our top of the line Limited trim featured a pair of captain’s chairs in the middle, making access to the third row a breeze. For the third seat passengers headroom is only 3.9-inches less than what the front passengers enjoy.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Note: The car we spent most of our time in had the captain’s chairs, but the Santa Fe we chose to photograph had the bench seat.

Driving the Santa Fe doesn’t feel as good as we would like it. As we mentioned, the transmission issue has been fixed, but they terrible steering feel remains. They need to get rid of the user controlled variable steering and just focus on creating one system that works. As it stands, we own a video game steering wheel that provides better feedback.

That is not an exaggeration.

After a full day of driving the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. we did come away with an overall feeling of satisfaction. Other crossovers may provide better drivetrain options, or more spacious interior, but overall we think the Santa Fe may be our new favorite three-row. With its standard 5000 lb. tow rating and with an as- tested price of less than $39,900 we would handily recommend the Santa Fe over the Ford Explorer with its nearly 10-grand higher price tag.

The Explorer may trump the Santa Fe in off-road ability, but let’s stop right there. Nobody who buys these is ever taking them off the pavement so that argument is moot.

Sure, we may not be the largest fans of crossovers, but the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe gets enough things right that we could actually recommend it.

Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe
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