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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Debut

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Research Click to hide

What's New

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has hit the gym, and enters the new model year more sculpted and fit. The body has been refined and flaunts news curves, something the previous model lacked. The front has been reshaped and appears more aggressive. Overall the new Santa Fe is more streamlined on the outside, but there were changes inside too. Hyundai wanted to add a more premium and sporty feel. There are two versions, a shorter two-row model, and larger three-row crossover, which presumably would pick up some of the market from the Hyundai Veracruz, a model the Korean automaker hopes to phase out.

Who It's For

Hyundai's new crossover is aimed at small families and professionals looking for more room and utility than in a traditional sedan. The 2013 Santa Fe has a new, bolder grille, new headlights and fog-lights, a sleeker beltline, and more presence. Inside the Santa Fe receives two-tone leather seats, some wood and metallic trim, and a new instrument cluster to help bring a more premium feel to the vehicle. If Hyundai aims to compete in this segment, it'll need all the help it can get. The redesigned Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have been perennial best sellers for a decade, and the Chevy Equinox has been a large success. New entries such as the 2013 Mazda CX-5 won't make things easy, either. The Santa Fe does have the advantage of being a little bigger, and can offer more room than those CUVs. The three-row version of the Santa Fe will look to sway midsize and even large crossover shoppers of cars such as the Dodge Durango and Mazda CX-9, who will find the utility of the Hyundai's larger 2013 version useful. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will be the entry-level engine choice, and Hyundai may offer the current 3.5-liter V-6, or the new 3.3-liter engine V-6 featured in the 2012 Hyundai Azera.

Key Features

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has been restyled inside and out to better compete in an increasingly tough segment.
  • New, more aggressive exterior styling with a new grille, lights, and sculpting.
  • More premium-feeling interior with two-tone leather, wood and metallic trim.
  • Two engine options, one for fuel economy, one for those seeking more power.
  • Two-row, and a larger three-row version available.

What We Think

The newest Santa Fe signals Hyundai's focus on increasing presence in the compact crossover market. The automaker has given newer styling to many of its models, and it was widely felt the Santa Fe was a good, if bland, vehicle. With a more aggressive looking exterior, and a more premium-feeling interior, the 2013 Santa Fe is a better vehicle than the one it replaces. Two engine options and a choice of two-row and three-row versions will help broaden the appeal. While the compact crossover market is increasingly difficult to make a mark in, we wouldn't bet against Hyundai. We think the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe will hold its own among the sea of good offerings in this segment.

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