By Richard Homan
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 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.
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.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is all-new for 2013.
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.
A one-touch power tilt/slide sunroof is cool, but one with a sky-view that spans all three rows is triple cool.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
By Mel on Thursday, September 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun To DRIVE, Luxury yet sporty!"
Cons: "8 cup holders but 4 are in the doors!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Typically when car buying I research the heck out of vehicles. This time we sorta just jumped the gun, we knew what type of vehicle we were looking for so that part was easy. We bought the 2014 6 passenger AWD Limited Ultimate so this car is "WOW", it has just about everything under the Sun, well it does have the Sun too with it's Amazing Panoramic Sun Roof! But Heated seats for every seat and air conditioned seats up front (REALLY?? didn't even know they could air condition our bums, LOL) a Heated Steering Wheel for those Cold winter days! Now this car is so technologically advanced that I have a lot of learning to do. But seriously it has it's own APP for me to download to my smart phone. Love that I can locate my vehicle if it's missing or if my daughter decides to take a joy ride I can actually find her and turn my car off so she can't go any further, all from my Phone! Not to mention that I can also turn my car on, turn the heater's or air conditioners on, music and all from my phone while I'm getting ready. Talk about Valet Car, LOL!!! The driver's seat adjust's it's self so when I turn off my vehicle my seat goes back for easy exit and return. Once I turn the car on it returns me to my set position. The integrated phone is great and I Love it! I'm getting used to the Navigation system as it runs a little different than I'm used to but for the most part it seems to have very accurate mapping. As for Road Noise, well their virtually isn't any. You can't even hear outside noises at all when sitting in the vehicle. I stood outside my window tried talking to my daughter who was inside even yelled and she was oblivious. Finally had to actually tap the window for her to notice I was there. Quiet as can be. The drive is very Smooth and Responsive handling. I drive winding hills every day it climbs well, has great visual driving for corners and is overall just an AMAZING vehicle all the way around. I do wish it had more cargo space in the back and wish that the third row was on a platform so knee's wouldn't be in your chest. But overall I traded in my Mazda CX-9 a comparable cross over, and I'm LOVING my Hyundai just as much if not more! The Hyundai has more style, more fun tech and they stand behind their product. Where my Mazda was ALWAYS in the shop being repaired and they didn't stand behind their vehicle very well. In fact a Mazda Sales Manager said that their Shop is where they make their money! I wanted a vehicle that wanted to make money selling me the car not killing me in repairs! Love the Warranty on my new car and the Peace of mind that I can get in and go with No problems. If your skeptical about Hyundai don't be they have jumped up with the big guy's I bet they are giving Toyota and Honda a run for their money!!!! The Hyundai Santa Fe was named #1 in 24 for it's comparable class in 2014 by US New's. These are getting noticed my first day out in my new car a complete stranger came up to me in a parking lot and was in Awe' over my car, she wanted to look at it's interior and was amazed with it's beautiful body. We got our license plates from the dealership the day of the deal so she couldn't tell I just got my car. Pretty cool, resell is yet to be seen on this model but I'm stepping out in blind faith that these will hold strong as buyers take notice. If Safety is a concern for you, then you will be happy to know that this vehicle ranks HIGH on all crash test's so your greatest asset's your people will be protected. Good luck in your buying decisions and give this vehicle a shot at least go drive one! I do believe you will be impressed."
15 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By knight49 on Friday, August 22, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 10 of 10rating details
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"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Rob B on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
20 people out of 29 found this review helpful