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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
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 107 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

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

Great value, nice quiet drive and looks great.

By on Thursday, January 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great value, great driver experience and quiet."

Cons: "Tweak insulation for cold conditions"

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

"I'm going to talk about my 2014 Santa Fe since I think it is good for readers to get feedback from someone who had the vehicle for some time. BTW, since the model hasn't really changed much since 2013, as a consumer, that tells me a lot. Hyundai got it right and they are just making small tweaks over the years. At the time of purchase my choice came down to the Toyota RAV4 and the Santa Fe Sport FWD. In Canada, Hyundai has a package above the basic package called the premium package. This is the one that I was interested in. Cost wise the RAV4 was about $2,000 cheaper. I preferred the Hyundai interior and the look and feel of the driver console. It looks great from any angles and the driver's seat is far superior in the Santa Fe. The RAV4 had some nice features but this is not the purpose of this review. The features in both vehicles were comparably close enough and money always been a factor when you are on a budget made the decision difficult. The user ratings on this website also played a key role in my decision. Lot's of great review for the Santa Fe. Oddly enough, the deciding factor was the left arm rest. I drive holding the steering wheel with one hand at the 8:00 o'clock position. I like to rest my elbow on the arm rest. This is something I could not of done comfortably in the RAV4 because the arm rest is further away from the steering wheel. The driver seat is also far superior so I figured, since I'm driving the SUV mostly by myself, it is more important that the driver be comfortable than having features that would be seldom used by my passengers. So after a year and a half of driving, I do not regret my purchase. Some of the nice things I've appreciated about the Santa Fe that wasn't a factor in my decision process are: 1. Heated steering wheel. Fabulous feature in winter!!! 2. A very quiet drive, especially at high speed. Even passengers made good, unsolicited comments about it. 3. The light sensor which turns on automatically the headlights. I haven't had to touch the headlight controls since I bought the vehicle. Things to IMPROVE: A. Suspension (which they apparently did in 2015). I feel every little humps and holes on the road. Apparently all SUVs in this price range have this issue. My 14 year old Corolla had a smoother ride. I sure would love to have a suspension like the old Cadillac that my dad used to drive. You felt like you were floating down the road! B. Wipers are of poor quality and leave streaks. C. The heating vents for the back seats are not insulated. When it is minus 20 outside, the people in the back only get cold air. Useless feature in winter conditions. D. Cold draft in Winter coming from the area of the shift stick console probably due to lack of insulation. No problems yet after 18 months of ownership. I recommend it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Thoroughly enjoy this vehicle!

By on Friday, December 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,950

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, nice appearance"

Cons: "Two-tone dash reflects in windshield"

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

"Have owned a 2014 Santa Fe Sport 2.0 Turbo for a year now and have enjoyed this vehicle immensely. Owned two mini-vans prior to this purchase, so I was looking for a vehicle with utility, that sits up from the road, drives like a car, yet was somewhat compact (the kids are grown and out of the house!). It has fulfilled my requirements and more. Decent power with the turbo engine, a tight turning radius and its utility with the lift gate and fold down rear seats fit the bill. Blind-spot monitoring is a nice added feature. The panoramic sunroof, 18-inch wheels, and somewhat wide stance make it attractive to look at. Check this one out when you are in the market for a crossover. You won't be disappointed."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Better than advertised

By on Friday, November 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Best decision we've made in a vehicle purchase"

Cons: "none to this point"

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

"Our daughter has a summer place about 75 miles from us.... We get anywhere from 32.5 to 33.2 mpg round trip, and it's not all freeway...We live in a rural area so our mileage is around 26.5 mpg... The ride and handling is top notch, also the lane change warning is a great feature as is the heated steering wheel... I can say there have been zero dislikes or disappointments so far.. We also own a 2011 Kia Sorrento with no problems in 85,000 miles, but the Santa Fe Sport has many more features at a much better price, even though they are made in the same factory in the USA..."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Better than expected! Love it.

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price. Loads of features, I feel safe in it"

Cons: "Rear blinds spots. Auto dimming rear mirror"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Cons: The biggest drawback for me are the blind spots. The high rear design makes is difficult to see cars to your left and right when backing up or changing lanes. I find myself using the backup camera more than I would like to. This model also comes with the auto-dimming rear view mirror. If I had a choice, I would not have it....too dim at night. Pros: Purchased used seven months ago and I absolutely love it. Great features for the price...power leather seats, heated seats both front and rear. Rear split seats adjust up and back and recline a little. Bluetooth syncing is a breeze. Radio is Sirius XM ready. Backup Camera is a good size...I use it all the time. Great cargo space is great and overall a comfortable ride. Super comfortable rear seats. Great leg and head room. We travelled from Florida to Delaware and the comfort level was A+. I have not had any issues. Handlings well overall, although I always feel that I need to hold on with both hands when on the highway and at high speeds. Maybe a little "drifty" but nothing major. I was in the market for a used vehicle with loads of perks under $24K. I also considered the Mazda CX5 but it did not offer the same bang for the buck. I bought the Sante Fe because my brother and sister both have the exact (exact) same vehicle. They both purchased new, and they both raved and raved. Did I mention how sharp the Sante Fe looks? I am proud to park it in my driveway. I have no regrets. Quality car."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle and Better MPG than Rated

By on Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A lot of vehicle for the money!"

Cons: "No driver memory settings for seat/mirrors."

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

"We love our Santa Fe Sport with the base engine and front wheel drive. On a trip to the Wisconsin Dells area this summer we got 32 MPG on a tank in rural driving and average at least 24 MPG in mixed Chicago area driving. The base engine has sufficient power and the steering/turning radius are great. Comfortable and easy to drive! Having memory settings for each driver's seat/mirror positions would have been a convenient option."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Love My Car

By on Sunday, October 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Heated seats in front and back, lots of cubbies"

Cons: "Blind spots, No lane change notification,"

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

"Purchased my 2013 Sante Fe Sport 2.0T used. Car handles beautifully. Great features. Build quality feels secure. Heated driver, passenger and rear seats like in higher end cars. I test drove the Tiguan and the Madza CX5 and although the Madza was an excellent contender, I got so much more for the buck by purchasing the Sante Fe. The 100K drivetrain warranty was also a factor. My only compliant is that the car does have some blind spots due to the way the car is shaped in the back. I also am not crazy about the auto dimming real view mirror which gets too dark if your tint your windows, which is a must in Florida. Other than those two items, I love this car and would absolutely buy it again. Sufficient storage space in the back. Which it had trunk release function. Still, I absolutely recommend this care. I give a 9.5 overall. I have had this car for 4 months. No issues, concerns or regrets."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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