Car Review: Hyundai with seven-passenger comfort

Having been redesigned for 2013, the Hyundai Santa Fe is one crossover option that shouldn’t be overlooked.         Photo: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe All photos: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, September 2, 2013 — It was redesigned for 2013 and the Hyundai Santa Fe is officially worth a look when it comes to the crossover option boasting power, comfort and great styling.

The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is all about comfort.

The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is all about comfort.

Competition in the crossover SUV market includes the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Kia Sorento, and the Honda CR-V, and big kudos to the option for the Santa Fe as either a seven, six or five-passenger sports utility vehicle.

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is available in either the GLS or Limited trims or the smaller Santa Fe Sport with only a five-seat in either a base or 2.0T trim.

Standard features on the base Sport are 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, cruise control, power accessories, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, and along with the likes of the Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a six speaker audio system as well as Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system.

On this you can also add an Equipment Package with automatic headlights, fog lights, heated mirrors, roof rack rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated front seats.

The Sport 2.0T trim has added to the above package a turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, and keyless ignition/entry.

On the Santa Fe GLS expect features much like on the base version of the Sport with a longer wheelbase, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, V6 engine, and 50/50 split-folding third-row seats with a sliding feature for the second-row bench seat.

At the top of the game is the Limited that is the 2.0T and GLS trims combined, but seating for only six since the second-row consists of two captain’s chairs. You can also opt for a power liftgate, windshield wiper de-icers, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, driver seat memory functions, a power passenger seat, upgraded interior trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a rearview camera.

Some of the features can also be had on the various trims as options, but normally are included in a bundle like the navigation system, which is offered on all trims or the rearview camera or a panoramic sunroof, but that option is not available on the GLS. All trims can be also optioned with a heated steering wheel and take note that the blind-spot monitoring system is only available on the Limited.

Under the hood, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport base trim has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque and front-wheel drive coming standard in a six-speed automatic, but on all the Santa Fe’s all-wheel drive is an option.

On the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, the turbocharged engine is a 2.0-liter with 264 horsepower and 269 pound feet of torque.

On the GLS and Limited trims you get the 3.3-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 252 pound feet of torque. When equipped for it, the V6 Santa Fe can tow up to 5,000 pounds while the Sport 2.0T can take up to 3,500 pounds.

For safety, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side and side curtain airbags, front-seat active head restraints as well as hill hold and descent control. There is also the Blue Link system, which is Hyundai’s answer to handling emergencies via an emergency telematics system, offering remote access, emergency assistance and theft recovery.

Inside, the ride is divine and the interior is comfortable and worth the price tag since material quality has been considered. Of course, also important is the easy placement of the controls and knobs as well as the ease of use. While many touch screen menus can be confusing, this Hyundai is easy to figure out and use.

Comfortable seats both front and back will accommodate even the taller driver and passenger and the head and leg room works well even with the sunroof.  Of course, on the longer wheelbase, the space for legs is even better and in the third row almost 32 cubic-feet is available for passengers.

When the second row seat is dropped down, there is 71.5 cubic-feet of space or 80 cubic feet on the larger version.

Hyundai’s ability to please inside and out means a smooth ride that is comfortable while getting the job done in a quiet, easy atmosphere even during highway driving.

Should You Need to Know: New add-ons for the 2013  Hyundai Santa Fe redesign includes a seven-passenger, long-wheelbase model or a five-passenger Sport version, and take note too of the impressive warranty offered.  

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T got 19 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined 21 miles per gallon.

Cost:  The 2013 Hyundai Sport 2.0T had a price tag of $35,925.

Rita Cook  is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and can be followed on Twitter at @ritacook13. She is also a 15-year veteran journalist and author, her latest book from History Press  is about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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