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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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Expert's Rating


MPG 18 City / 25 Highway
  • Sharp styling
  • High-quality interior materials
  • Good power from turbo engine
  • Refined ride
  • Good all-around value
  • Sluggish base engine on Santa Fe Sport
, Automotive Editor -
With its 2013 redesign, the Santa Fe is among the most attractive buys in its class.


Hyundai's Santa Fe crossover is all-new this year, boasting more space, power, and refinement in a body that's fully in tune with the rest of the recently restyled Hyundai line. The shorter Santa Fe Sport seats five passengers and offers SUV-like cargo room, especially with the standard split-back rear seat folded flat; with third-row seating, the longer Santa Fe has space for six or seven passengers.

The fresh exterior carries a rear spoiler, chromed door handles and grille, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, you'll find a cloth interior, trip computer, tilt-and telescope steering wheel, power windows and locks, and air conditioning. The standard audio system includes a CD player, satellite radio, USB/iPOD connectivity, and six speakers. Hyundai's Blue Link navigation and communications system is also standard.

The Santa Fe Sport's base engine is a 2.4-liter four cylinder with 190 horsepower, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission used all on models. With an optional 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the crossover gets a massive boost to 264 horsepower. Turbo models also get 19-inch wheels, expanded instrumentation, and keyless ignition. Gas mileage in combined city and highway driving is about 21 mpg with the turbo, versus 24 for the base engine. The Santa Fe, meanwhile, uses a 3.3-liter V6 to generate 290 horsepower. It's paired with the same six-speed automatic transmission used by the Santa Fe Sport.

Front-wheel-drive is standard, but all-wheel-drive is available on all Santa Fes for enhanced all-weather performance.

The interior received major attention during the Santa Fe's redesign, and it shows; the dashboard and controls look nothing like those on last year's model. The layout is convenient, modern, and flows well with the rest of the car. The quality of materials, from plastics to seat fabric, is a cut above what buyers might expect in this price range.

For a higher level of comfort and convenience, there's the Popular Equipment package with automatic headlights, fog lamps, heated outside mirrors, side rails for rooftop cargo, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated front seats with driver-side power and adjustable lumbar support. Going further, the Santa Fe offers several luxury-class options: full leather interior, Infinity Logic 7 surround sound, rearview camera, and a panoramic power sunroof that opens the entire passenger roof section to the sky.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Starting price

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS

Recommended for: Families who need a third row and more power.

Your way to a V6 in a Santa Fe starts with the GLS model. The 3.3-liter pumps out 290 horsepower and helps boost available towing capacity to 5,000 pounds. The GLS also comes standard with a third-row seat with separate climate controls—and a recline/slide feature for the second row.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Starting price

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited

Recommended for: Buyers looking for interior luxury.

The line-topping Limited takes the GLS's V6 and third row, and then adds a plethora of upgrades. The Limited carries leather seating with power and heat in front, and second-row heated captain's chairs instead of the bench used on other models. Although capacity is reduced to six passengers, the handsome thrones have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of the interior. Other standard features include a color touchscreen with integrated backup camera display, Homelink entry system, rearview mirror with digital compass, and 19-inch wheels. The Limited shares all other equipment and options with the Sport turbo.

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