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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

As it enters its third generation, the Hyundai Santa Fe has been split into two distinct variants: the compact 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and a new, mid-size Hyundai Santa Fe (reviewed separately). Improved in virtually every area over the Santa Fe it replaces, the 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport embodies a new sense of style and offers more sophisticated features than its predecessor along with enhanced performance and commendable fuel economy that give it an even higher profile in the SUV segment. Available with naturally aspirated (Santa Fe Sport) and turbocharged (Santa Fe Sport 2.0T) 4-cylinder engines and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the new Santa Fe Sport and 2.0T will be formidable rivals to competitors like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Kia Sorento and Toyota RAV4.

You'll Like This Car If...

Anyone seeking a comfortable, capable, feature-rich 5-passenger crossover with commendable fuel economy, distinctive style and strong value will find plenty to like in the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Buyers with more conventional styling preferences or who require the absolute maximum in cargo or passenger space – including available 3-row seating – will have to look to Santa Fe Sport alternatives, including its corporate cousin the Kia Sorento or its 3-row sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe.

What's New for 2013

The complete recasting of this compact SUV brings a bolder appearance, impressively enhanced features and a serious dash of performance coupled with a gain in fuel economy to the Santa Fe Sport side of the family. The mid-size 2013 Santa Fe (reviewed separately) replaces the existing Veracruz in the Hyundai lineup.

Driving the Santa Fe Sport

Driving Impressions
With a new body structure that uses 30 percent more high-strength steel to significantly increase the platform robustness and rigidity while shedding 266 pounds of curb weight, the 2013 Santa...

Fe Sport delivers a far more engaging driving experience regardless of engine or driveline configuration. Well-measured revisions to the suspension tuning, driver-selectable steering effort and upgraded stopping power coupled with a superior power-to-weight ratio combine to endow this new Hyundai offering with greater confidence and better control. The available Active Cornering Control AWD system further improves that experience regardless of road surface or traction conditions. Although the turbocharged 2.0T variant stands out as the enthusiast's choice for pure fun, all iterations of the 2013 Santa Fe Sport benefit from major noise-abatement efforts that make Hyundai's newest hauler one of quietest and most-refined players in the compact SUV class.

DRIVER SELECTABLE STEERING MODE (DSSM)
Standard on all Santa Fe Sport models and accessed via a button on the steering wheel, DSSM offers three different power-steering assist programs. The baseline "Normal" effort is reduced by 10 percent when the city-oriented "Comfort" mode is selected and increased by 10 percent in the "Sport" setting, which provides a more positive feel when negotiating twisty roads or during high-speed freeway cruising.

ACTIVE CORNERING CONTROL ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Optional on the Santa Fe Sport and Sport 2.0T, this "intelligent" AWD system integrates with the Vehicle Stability Management system and the antilock brakes. It actively monitors surface conditions and then distributes engine and braking forces to any wheel/wheels to improve cornering as well as fuel economy.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Details
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport photo Interior

Although its scale remains virtually unchanged, the Santa Fe Sport's well-finished, user-friendly cabin design has a more contemporary look and feel that shares many cues with other current Hyundai products. User-friendly control layouts are complemented by lots of convenient storage areas and the standard seat trim – easy-care Yes Essentials stain/odor-resistant fabric – can be upgraded to leather in either model. Comfortable, well-bolstered front bucket seats team with an adult-capable 40/20/40 rear bench that allows 5.2-inches of fore/aft travel plus a recline function as part of an option package. Dropping the aft seatbacks creates a near-flat floor and expands cargo volume from 35.4 to 71.5 cubic feet.

Exterior
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport photo

Introducing the latest chapter in Hyundai's "Fluidic Precision" design language, the 2013 Santa Fe Sport boasts more evocative bodywork than its predecessor as well as class-leading aerodynamics that are further assisted by unseen but highly-effective underbody fairings. The visible transition is most clearly evidenced in the vehicle's dynamic contours and character lines set off by a dramatic greenhouse treatment and well-integrated details highlighted by a bright-finish grille and door handles, LED-enhanced headlights/taillights and a functional rear spoiler. Where the Santa Fe Sport rides on 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/65 tires, the Sport 2.0T matches 19-inch alloys with lower-profile 235/55 rubber.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All Santa Fe Sports net a bounty of power assists, air conditioning, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3/HD audio, iPod/USB/aux inputs, Bluetooth, and Blue Link telematics. The 2.0T adds the Popular Equipment Package (roof rails, fog lights, automatic headlight control, heated mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, power driver seat, heated front seats, and leather accents), proximity key entry/push button start, electroluminescent instrument cluster, trip computer, and more). Comprehensive safety features include Vehicle Stability Management and Traction Control Systems, Hillstart Assist Control/Downhill Brake Control, 4-wheel antilock discs with Electronic Brake-force Distribution/Brake Assist, and seven airbags.

Optional Equipment

Stackable bundling is the rule when it comes to upgrading this new Hyundai crossover SUV. Beyond the Popular Equipment Package outlined above that's available on the Santa Fe Sport and standard on the Sport 2.0T, both offer Active Cornering Control AWD plus a Leather & Premium Equipment Package (leather upholstery, heated front/rear seats, power passenger seat, dual-zone climate control, sliding/reclining second-row seat, rearview camera, 4.3-inch touchscreen color audio display, and more) that can be further enhanced with the Technology Package (a dual-pane Panoramic sunroof, 550-watt/12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound audio, navigation system with 8.0-inch LCD touch screen, heated steering wheel, and manual rear-side window sunshades).

Under the Hood

The new Santa Fe Sport offers a pair of Hyundai's Theta II GDI inline-4 engines that also are found in the Sonata sedan. Both direct-injected fours feature continuously variable valve timing to further enhance operating efficiency. The base engine is a 190-horsepower 2.4-liter while the Sport 2.0T carries a 264-horsepower version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter. The sole transmission is a smooth, responsive 6-speed automatic with a Shiftronic manual-style gate. The impressive weight-reduction program imparts a new measure of quickness across the board, along with improved fuel economy.

2.4-liter inline-4
190 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (FWD ), 20/26 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
264 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (FWD ), 19/24 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 96 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Lovely car however totally unexceptable cabinnoize

By on Saturday, August 22, 2015

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"THE REASON I only have 9800 miles is my wife cannot stand the cabin noise drowning out the radio so the car I got for her is now mine. Surprised Hyundai Engineering would accept this problem before releasing for sale. The rest of the car is fabulous."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I have had this car just over one year.

By on Saturday, July 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All good"

Cons: "Nothing bad about the car at all."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Absolutely love it. It is the best car I have ever driven on winter roads in the north country. I have had several cars, but this car handles the best. I will definitely buy another Hyundai."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Very nice vehicle

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,489

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very comfortable & fun to drive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought our Santa Fe Sport at the end of April and paid just over 37. We bought the XL Titanium Silver. In BC it's the next model down from the Limited. We really like this vehicle. Getting about17/100km with 50/50 hwy/city. We love the huge sunroof,the awesome power,and are looking forward to the awd,heated seats and wheel this winter."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great SUV!!!!

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun, sporty, classy looking,very comfortable"

Cons: "Had no backup sensors, had to pay more to add"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have the 2013 Santa Fe Turbo Sport, fully loaded and couldn't be happier with it. Mine's in Juniper Green and people are always commenting on the beautiful color. I had an Acura 2 door coupe that I absolutely loved and always said that I would never drive a 4 cyl. car until the dealer convinced me to drive the turbo. I'm so glad he did because this SUV is fun to drive and very powerful."

Fun to drive

By on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 432

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Awesome drive compared to other crossovers"

Cons: "The Bluelink is a little slow to connect"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The turbo put this over other crossovers I test drove. I had a Mazda CX-5 (2012) and was looking to just get a newer version. The dealer had Hyundai as well so I tried this out. It ruined the 2016 CX-5 for me. After driving the Santa Fe with the Turbo I was hooked and the CX-5 seemed so dainty. I am loving this car and all of the extra warranties and coverage doesn't hurt either."

19 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Excellent SUV with superb gas mileage (for me)

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas Mileage, Fun to Drive, Awesome AWD System!"

Cons: "No Speech-to-text on radio."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in my 2008 Tundra for this 2015 2.4 GLS Santa Fe since I don't do any more contractor work and needed an AWD vehicle to endure the rough NE Ohio winters. Having previously owned a 2005 Tucson and a 2008 Sonata made the decision to purchase another Hyundai not difficult at all. They have been EXCELLENT vehicles and the only thing that you have to put on them is gas, oil change and tires. Their reliability is up to par with Toyota no doubt about it. This vehicle aesthetically speaking is beautiful -in and out-, very comfortable and loaded with lots of options that would cost so much money in other brands. I can talk about the refined ride, quiet cabin, cargo room, headroom, legroom, heated seats, back up camera, bluetooth streaming and other nice features, but making 30 MPG average is the greatest of the great for me. I don't know how some people get less than 22 MPG because I consistently make between 29 and 30.5 no matter the route I take. I commute 60 miles per day roundtrip with mixed highway (70%) and city (30%) with an average speed of 48 mph. This vehicle is hands down the best SUV in this market segment and seriously recommend to everybody."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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