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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

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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.

What's New for 2013

The Hyundai Santa Fe is all-new for 2013.

Driving the Santa Fe
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 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

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)

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 29 Ratings for the 2013 - 2017 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Stay away from brand

By on Friday, July 8, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Done with Hyundai

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Good Looks, Handling"

Cons: "Gas, Interior, always at the mechanic, Pricy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I have had a horrible reputation with Hyundai. I have given it so many chances to redeem itself and nothing had changed. I started my journey when I got a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. From the start it was a complete letdown, always with the mechanic and having problems. In 2005, I got rid of the Elantra and bought a Tuscon. It really didn't have good looks and drove pretty sloppy. After a while, it died under the California heat. Next, I traded it in for a 2008 Hyundai Entourage. It looked plain, but not exactly bad. All the amenities helped my family, but the gas mileage was the worst I have ever seen on a car. After the Entourage, I got a Veracruz for a steal of a price because of my history with Hyundai. It had nothing to really write about (nothing really good), but it looked nice and fit my lifestyle. Fed up with Hyundai, I decided to give it one more chance and bought a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD. It looks cool and drives well, but was very overpriced compared to other SUVs. Other car brands have much better interior and the gas mileage is pretty bad. It went to the mechanic more times than I would like, but it was a start for getting better. Overall, I wasn't impressed and impatiently waited for my lease to end. I now have a Mitsubishi Outlander and am getting a Mitsubishi Mirage G4. I am much more satisfied with Mitsubishi. Never get a Hyundai."

Very nice all wheel drive with a third row seat.

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, 5000 tow capacity and comfortable."

Cons: "Lack of audio outlets in backseat."

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

"I have about 17,000 miles on my 2015 all wheel drive model. So far I love it, have had no problems with it so far at all. Gas mileage is good, I almost managed 30 mpg on a long trip on freeways in California by not having a lead foot (but I am not going to say I did exactly 65 mph). I like the turning radius, the gas mileage, the third row seat is of course just for young children, I would not try to force mom back there. The 5000 pound towing capacity is a big plus too. The ride is comfortable. My only complaint is even the lower trim model these days should have some audio outlets in the back. So far, not a thing has broken."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Excellent value and FUn to drive

By on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

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: "Great price fun to drive"

Cons: "Navigation system is not very user friendly"

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

"The sante Fe GLS compared to other SUV's of this size, has more horsepower, more options and similar gas mileage for less money. I have driven on several 2000 plus mile trips with is fully loaded , roof box and bike rack and the gas mileage stayed true. The interior comfort is great. My only complaint is the suspension travel needs to be a bit longer. Read any review, nothing but good ratings"

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Love my 2016 Limited Ultimate AWD!

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 350

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
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome car and Value!"

Cons: "No automatic folding mirros or DVD system"

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

"We traded in our 2014 Santa Fe Sport for the bigger 2016 Santa Fe. We love the Ultimate package.. it has everything we could ever want...with bang for the buck.We shopped for the Kia Sorento, Honda Pilot,Nissan Pathfinder and going back to Hyundai was a no brainer. We spent about 10k less than similar cars with similar packages. Owning a Hyundai today is definitely not owning a Hyundai 10 years ago..they are doing an awesome job of keeping up with the competition. I mostly drive around my kids with it..they absolutely love the captains chairs.Going grocery shopping is easy with the automatic gate lift. The navigation is easy to use. As for reliability..I have only had it for 2weeks and have put about 300 miles on it.. but my 2014 Santa Fe Sport only went to the dealer for oil changes..never had a problem with it.. so I am very confident with this one. We have gotten compliments on it's looks."

30 people out of 37 found this review helpful

I beleive I made the right choice

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "nice power,options, and ride."

Cons: "none as of yet"

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

"I own a 2016 SE with the premium package. Before buying this vehicle, I had rented one in Colorado, and driven the vehicle for three days, impressive. Plenty of power, much quieter than a Ford Escape, and decent ride. Nice option package. The decision to buy this vehicle was not just the vehicle, but the dealer rating, and warranty period. Haven't found any gremlins as of yet."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Best yet

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ride and overall performance"

Cons: "Crazy cup holders and slightly down mpg"

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

"Our 3rd Santa Fe and 1st 6 passenger. The middle captains chairs are impressive and very comfotable for adults. We may only occasionally use the 3rd row flip seats. Storage is fine for 2 row use. All of my recommended improvements over the last 5 years have been made in our 2015 model. Safety features are now very good, including lane warnings and backup warnings. daytime running lights were a must and are here now! Our only gripe was getting a leftover 2015 that had everything except the crossbars on the roof rails. However, $6500 off msrp was a fair price even though the trailer hitch is unneeded! The longer wheelbase has made the ride comfort 100% better over the Sport model. Gas miles isn't terrible at 20/27 but could have been better. Our only gripe is the crazy angle of the cup holders on the doors. Based on our '10 and '13 models we expect fine reliability overall. Try this SUV you won't be sorry!"

17 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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