2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
Redesigned for 2013, reviewers say the Hyundai Santa Fe has lots of features and seating for up to seven. However, it’s not an exciting performer, they add.
Last year’s Hyundai Santa Fe was only available with five seats. This year, the five-seat model has been renamed the Santa Fe Sport, and the Santa Fe name is reserved for a stretched-wheelbase, seven-seat model.
So far, automotive journalists have only had a chance to test the 2013 Santa Fe Sport with its available turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Most are impressed with how smooth the acceleration is and how little turbo lag they observed. However, a few critics comment that the power delivery isn’t as linear as they would like, and that the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport’s handling is just so-so. The EPA hasn’t rated the V6 engine of the three-row Santa Fe yet, but the Santa Fe Sport gets up to 22/33 mpg city/highway. The Santa Fe also stands out with high safety scores for the class.
The Hyundai Santa Fe was the 2013 Best 3-Row Midsize SUV for the Money because it has the best combination of ownership costs and positive reviews in its class.
Automotive critics like the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe’s interior. They say it’s well-designed and it feels more upscale than most of the competitors in its price range. They love its long list of standard features and attractive looks. Though a few say the navigation system’s controls are a bit confusing, overall they like the dashboard’s layout. Most also say the five-seat Santa Fe Sport’s cabin is very spacious for its size, although reviewers haven’t tested the three-row 2013 Santa Fe yet.
- "It is, on the other hand, an excellently sorted, well-developed automotive appliance, and we say that in the most flattering sense. It's exceptionally functional, economical to operate, smooth, quiet, flexible and practical. It pleases the senses in nearly every respect, and it's almost never annoying.” -- AutoWeek
- "Although we don't think it's quite on par with the CX-5, the 2013 Santa Fe's solid feel, rattle-free interior, and well-heeled moves place it light-years beyond those of the outgoing model.” -- Car and Driver
- "The newer, cleverer 2013 Santa Fe measures up favorably to both [the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V]. If it can deliver on its excellent mileage numbers and remain as quiet as it did on the roads of rural Utah, this Santa Fe could be yet another well-executed piece of Hyundai's grand plan to compete head on with its foreign and domestic rivals.” -- Edmunds
- "This new Sport is a truly great all-rounder, though no particular aspect of it feels truly revolutionary or exciting. That's fine, though - just by creating a wholly solid product, Hyundai has taken its Santa Fe from also-ran status to a vehicle that's certainly worthy of your attention.” -- Autoblog
Other SUVs to Consider
Shoppers who like the Santa Fe’s upscale, feature-laden interior but want better performance than the Hyundai can offer should consider the Mazda CX-9. It offers seating for seven, and reviewers say it’s one of the best-handling SUVs on the market.
The Kia Sorento has a lower base price than the Santa Fe Sport, but it’s covered by a similarly impressive 10-year powertrain warranty, and it gets better safety ratings than the Mazda CX-9.
Details: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in four trim levels: Santa Fe Sport and Sport 2.0T, and Santa Fe GLS and Limited. Santa Fe Sport models seat five and are available with a choice between two four-cylinder engines and either front- or all-wheel drive. The Santa Fe seats seven and comes standard with a V6 engine and front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive is available. Standard features include Bluetooth; a Driver Selectable Steering Mode that offers a choice between Comfort, Normal and Sport; stain-resistant cloth seats and a six-speaker audio system. Upgrading to higher trims can add features like a heated steering wheel, a 12-speaker Infinity sound system and push-button start.