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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

If you're going to enter an SUV race against heavy hitters like the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, or all-new blood like the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, you'd better be ready to run. The new-for-2013 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV is an extended version of the 2-row, 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport, offering more room, three rows of seating for six or seven, standard V6 power, and a competitive offering of standard comfort and optional equipment. Available in front-wheel-drive and optional all-wheel-drive configurations, the 2014 Santa Fe, offered in GLS (base) and Limited (upscale) trim levels, is priced – in classic Hyundai fashion – a few hundred-dollar notches below the competition while delivering a stylish exterior and a high-quality interior with plenty of huggable comfort and convenience.

You'll Like This Car If...

You say you were born and raised practical and now you're raising a practical family? The new Santa Fe should own a space on your SUV shopping list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your power-hungry side comes out on a regular basis and you want more warhorse (or warhorse-hauler) in your SUV, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V8 engine might be a better choice to get the job done.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.5
  • 7.0
  • 7.3
  • 7.3
  • 8.0
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#40

out of 51

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 51

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

10 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The Hyundai Santa Fe is all-new for 2013.

Driving the Santa Fe
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions While not the most dynamic driving tool in the shed, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe does excel in its sheer talent for being easy to drive. The interior is quiet,...

... the view out the front is expansive, and the brakes, 3-mode steering and smooth 6-speed automatic transmission steadfastly refuse to call attention to themselves. The ride is soft and compliant, but without a hint of marshmallowiness. The Santa Fe's 3.3-liter V6 engine offers 290 horsepower, but only 252 lb-ft of real hardworking torque, and it makes that torque at higher revs than the competition. Swift takeoffs and passes aren't an issue in the front-drive Santa Fe – especially since the 2013 Santa Fe is significantly lighter than its competition. When the all-wheel drive system is added, however, climbing hills and making mid-range passes (40-60 mph) feel more like work.

HYUNDAI BLUE LINK
Beyond the expected concierge services, SOS emergency assistance, news, weather, and turn-by-turn navigation help, Blue Link's 3-level telematics system includes a parent-centric app that sends you a text if your Santa Fe is driven over a preset speed, past a curfew time, or beyond a preset "geofence" perimeter.

PANORAMIC SUNROOF
A one-touch power tilt/slide sunroof is cool, but one with a sky-view that spans all three rows is triple cool.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Details
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

There's plenty of room in the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and the driver's view to the front is panoramic (the rearward view is less broad, but you're never reduced to driving purely with the mirrors). The base Santa Fe's stain-resistant cloth fabric feels good, plus the audio and climate-control knobs and buttons are glove-friendly big. All the materials are impressive right down to the rubber that lines the inside of the door pulls. The first two rows are completely livable for adults, while the third row is a decent kid's row. The Santa Fe does give up some cargo area compared to the competition, however.

Exterior
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe photo

Looking for all the world like what it is – an extended-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport without the sporty rear-side-window kick-up – the new Santa Fe has more to say about handsome, contemporary styling than it does about swooping lines that characterize the shapes of Hyundai passenger cars. Nice touch 1: Even in base Santa Fe GLS form, the outside mirrors and bumpers are body color. Integrated fog lights, roof rails and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are the exterior differences between the GLS and upscale Limited versions. Nice touch 2: The Santa Fe GLS gets smaller 18-inch wheels, but they, too, are aluminum-alloy.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Santa Fe GLS drivers with a long journey ahead will appreciate the multi-adjustable front bucket seats with power-adjustable lumbar support. Passengers further back will give thanks to the 3rd-row controls for the air conditioning and heating. Stepping up to the Santa Fe Limited includes luxuries like leather seating – power-adjustable and heated for the driver and front-passenger – pushbutton starting and heated captain's chairs for the second row. The Limited also upgrades the audio system with a 4.3-inch color display and adds a rearview camera. Sweet as ever, Hyundai's confidence-inspiring 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties cover the new Santa Fe.

Optional Equipment

Beyond a laundry list of individual options like a heated steering wheel, navigation system, premium audio, and all-wheel drive, Hyundai is pushing option packages. For the Santa Fe GLS, the $4,100 "Leather and Navigation Package" includes leather and navigation (duh) and a host of comfort and convenience upgrades. The Limited's $2,900 "Technology Package" scores you navigation and a 12-speaker Infinity Logic 7 audio system, plus that wow-inspiring Panoramic Sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and manual rear-side-window sunshades. Sadly for mom and dad, no rear-seat-entertainment/DVD pacifier is available on the 2014 Santa Fe (but an iPad or two would be cheaper than most such systems, anyway).

Under the Hood
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Engine photo

Hyundai makes it simple to shop for a 2014 Santa Fe: one engine, one transmission. In front-drive form, the SUV's 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 is very well matched to the 6-speed automatic transmission, with good throttle response, smooth pickup, and clean, easy shifts. The all-wheel-drive Santa Fe, though, could do with some more low-end grunt to get it moving. All that said, the 2014 Santa Fe is comfortable towing up to 5,000 pounds of trailer, boat, or anything else you'd like to haul.

3.3-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (front-wheel drive), 18/24 mpg (all-wheel drive)

A 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS comes out of the gate for about $29,195 – a number the new Nissan Pathfinder SUV can compete with, but the popular Honda Pilot misses by more than $1,000. The Santa Fe Limited starts around $34,000. If you find yourself loading up an all-wheel-drive Santa Fe Limited with options, you'll still find yourself under $40,000, an area that the Hyundai pretty much has to itself in this class. It's still a little early to predict the 2014 Santa Fe's resale outlook, but Hyundai SUVs consistently rank well versus their competition.

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
10.0
Out of 10

Based on 5 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    10.0/10
  • Reliability
    10.0/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    10.0/10
    Styling
    10.0/10

best mileage in the hwy and city

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I don't own this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price to sell fun to drive"

Cons: "2 cup holders."

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

"excellent shape no Scratches inside or outside Factory bug shield.back up Camera.Navegation voice command"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Better than I hoped

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable over extended distances."

Cons: "No running lights or DVD entertainment system."

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

"I traded in a 10 y.o. Ford Expedition for this. Yes, it's Florida and I paid more, but in early 2013 I was the first buyer in the area of the 7-seat Santa Fe Limited edition (with all the options). What sold me was the warranty and horsepower (KIA Sorento was a close 2nd). This thing accelerates nicely. On flat road it gets 25mpg (on cruise control); around town, about 19mpg. I rather wish it had a couple more inches of ground clearance, but that's the Expedition (which I loved) talking. Overall, yes, very recommended."

15 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best SUV ever. There's nothing I don't like.

By on Thursday, May 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

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: "Great price, zippy to drive, comfortable seating"

Cons: "I bump my head getting out."

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

"Time to trade my 2008 Saturn SUV before it had no value left and I needed a larger SUV to haul my critters between La. and Al. I love this car. I have Frosted Mocha because I needed a pretty color that would hide dirt and it does. Leather interior is wonderful though I'd have loved to have saddle which was not available. Lots of zip and pickup, easy to drive with lots of option settings. So many wonderful extras on this vehicle I didn't know I'd enjoy so much. The sun roof really is panoramic, closest approximation to having a convertible without the hassle. The sound system is pretty terrific, handles Bluetooth seamlessly. Love the seat air conditioner and have used it already in New Orleans on a hot car day. Pretty cool and works great. The backup camera keeps me from touching somebody else's bumper when parallel parking, which I was good at anyway but now am always perfect. And love the warning if I'm ready to change lanes or back out. Only problem is the trunk opener on the key fob, too easy to hit and I've returned to vehicle a couple of times with the car wide open. I've had this car six weeks in town driving for the most part and it's great. Even better on the road. I am thrilled with my purchase."

20 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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